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Hells Angel Gets 41 Years in Drug Case

September 10, 1988|United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO — Hells Angel motorcycle gang member Ken Owen was sentenced in federal court Friday to the maximum 41 years in prison and a $2.1-million fine for the sale of methamphetamine.

U.S. District Judge John P. Vukasin rejected pleas by defense lawyer Tony Serra to reopen Owen's trial based on allegations that the former wife of the government's star witness, informant Anthony Tait, could provide damaging testimony about Tait.

Serra maintained that he believes that Brenda Tait was paid $15,000 by the government to "stay away from the trial" and that she might have provided information damaging to Tait's character and credibility as a witness.

Vukasin refused to grant a new trial, saying, "If Brenda Tait was given money by the federal government, it was not to 'get lost' but out of fear for her safety.

"I have no information that she was hiding information or was instructed to stay away from the trial," Vukasin said.

Owen, 44, was convicted of selling 3 pounds of methamphetamine, or "speed," to Tait during a long-term undercover infiltration of the Hells Angels club.

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