In July of 2004, at the age of 56, Danny Fabricant was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute, three counts of distribution, and one count of possession with intent to distribute. Before he was sentenced, he went back to representing himself again. At a hearing in September, the prosecutor who had said life in prison was a maximum penalty, admitted that he “misspoke” and should have said it was the mandatory minimum. In December, there was a hearing about the prior convictions, which shouldn’t be used to make the penalty worse, because in each instance, he hadn’t been advised of “the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation” as required by the Faretta decision. The district court rejected that point of view. Again, a lawyer was appointed.
On February 5, 2005, Danny was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A Los Angeles newspaper pompously announced that his capture was the result of “an ATF, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Tempe Arizona Police Department and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department joint investigation that was prompted by the 2002 Laughlin Nevada casino shootings that resulted in three people dead…” They make it sound like he personally shot somebody, when he wasn’t even there. Ludicrously, the ATF press release stated that 43 listed law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation leading to his conviction and sentence. Newspapers in each of those cities printed stories based solely on the press release.
Since early 2005, the police had been telling the press how the Hells Angels organization was in a shambles, and slated to lose its clubhouses to the government, on account of being a criminal enterprise. Now, with a former member sentenced, bikers were again a towering media menace. In the ATF press release John Torres, the ATF Special Agent in Charge, said, “Today’s sentencing of Fabricant is a major hit to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and adds closure to one portion of this large gang investigation.” In May, Danny went back to representing himself, as he does to this day.
Rachel, since her arrest, had been appointed a series of utterly incompetent attorneys; each of which billed the Court for hundreds of wasted hours “reading documents” and coming to the MDC to try to convince her to become a rat. She told each one to fuck off. And then a new one would be appointed. The attorney who represented her at the first trial had his son-in-law, a private investigator, appointed to “assist” him at a cost of 6,000 taxpayers’ dollars. The job amounted to driving the attorney up to the MDC several times. Since the “assistant” never spoke to any potential witness, it’s not surprising that the attorney didn’t call a single witness during the trial.
Danny describes her charges: “In one of the counts, I had given Kramer one of her checking account deposit slips, to deposit the extra $100 he owed. Another time, he had bought two ounces of hash (which he, as usual, switched for meth) and came by a week later and gave her $800 to give me. That got her charged in two of the counts. She was also charged with the 11 or 12 grams they found when they raided. She hadn’t been at the house for over two days.”
The prosecution mentioned 25 years as an appropriate punishment for Rachel. They were convinced that she knew powerful secrets, and continually badgered her attorneys to try and persuade her to give information about her husband and the Hells Angels. But ratting was not her style, and she had nothing to say. At the age of 23, she was convicted of drug trafficking and conspiracy, and sentenced to just over 8 years.