A “routine traffic stop”, as described by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, which took place at the busy intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and Highway 154 in the northwestern part of the city just after dark on March 15th, has led to a high-profile arrest of five members of “an outlaw motorcycle gang”.
Five motorcycle riders wearing apparel bearing insignia identifying themselves as members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, were spotted by deputies of the Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit at approximately 8:00 p.m., as two of the riders failed to stop at an intersection red light. At that point, the traffic stop was initiated by deputies as “the three additional motorcycle riders stopped in the middle of the highway,” with apparent intent to wait for their friends being cited for their traffic violation, Hoover reported.
During the issuance of their vehicle code violation cites, the Gang Enforcement Deputies discovered a number of weapons, including semi-automatic handguns and ammunition, concealed in the motorcycle saddlebags. At that time, all of the motorcycles were inspected by deputies, and additional weapons were found which led to the arrest of all five individuals on firearms related charges.
Among those arrested was Kirk Koester, 46, President of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, his wife Shannon Koester, 41, Byron Posey, 38, Daniel Chapman, 46, and John Gallagher, 41. Each was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of possession of a concealed firearm and active participation in a criminal street gang while in possession of a concealed firearm.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
SLO Tribune: Motorcycle Gang Members From SLO County Arrested