A guard at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary suspected of being a leader in a violent outlaw motorcycle gang was arrested Thursday.
Corrections officer Dustin Wendelin was arrested at the prison at 6 a.m. by the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office with help from several regional law enforcement partners.
Officials also arrested a second accused outlaw gang leader, Charles Montgomery, at 9 a.m. at his home in Umatilla County, said a sheriff’s office news release Thursday evening.
Sheriff’s officials collaborated on the investigation for several months with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in Griffin, Georgia, as well as with federal law enforcement partners, said the release.
“Intelligence generated from traffic stops in Walla Walla County led to a joint investigation into two local members of the Pagan’s 1% Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” said the release.
The Pagan’s OMG “frequently participate in violent crime, trafficking and racketeering. In the last several months, Pagan’s members nationwide have allegedly participated in bombings, shootings, felonious assaults, and homicides,” said sheriff’s officials.
The men are indicted in Georgia on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and three counts each of violations of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
Public records show Wendelin lives about 15 miles from Walla Walla in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Sheriff’s officials said Wendelin and Montgomery hold leadership positions in a local Pagan’s chapter.
Prosecutors will be seeking their extradition to Georgia as the first step in a joint investigation into the West Coast Pagan’s gang.
The investigation is continuing with other charges possible, said the release from Sheriff Mark Crider.
Some of the local, state and federal agencies involved were law enforcement agencies in Georgia, the Washington State Patrol, state Department of Corrections Special Investigation Service and officers in Milton-Freewater, Hermiston, Morrow County, Umatilla Tribal Police, Boardman, Pendleton, Portland, Seattle and Spokane.
Federal agencies included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Agency and FBI.