Some local residents arrested by ATF remain in custody

Five Kingman and Golden Valley residents arrested during a federal raid last week remain in federal custody in Phoenix and Michigan.

On July 8, more than 500 local and federal law enforcement officers executed 40 search warrants and arrested 30 people across the state, including 18 people associated with the Hells Angels.

Of the 30 people arrested statewide, 22 were from Mohave County.

Six of the 30 statewide suspects, including a Golden Valley resident, remain at large, police say.

The raids were the result of a two-year investigation into trafficking of illegal firearms and drugs and murder-for-hire plots.

Harriet Bernick, a spokeswoman for the U.S.

Attorney's Office in Phoenix, said not all of those arrested in Kingman or Golden Valley were involved with Hells Angels, but she would not elaborate.

Arrested were six Kingman men, George Walters, Rodman Ward, Thomas Paine, Thomas Loyde Vezie, Scott Joseph Varvil and Robert Raymond Van Arsdale, and three Golden Valley residents, George Edward Harrison, Thomas James Palmer and Debra Dawn Palmer.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confiscated firearms, pipe bombs, machine guns, drugs and cash

Walters, 46, faces a charge of transfer of firearms to commit crime of violence - aiding and abetting.

He was released on $10,000 bond, Bernick said.

Ward, 30, was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of firearms in relation to a drug trafficking - aiding and abetting.

Ward will be detained in Phoenix until room at a drug halfway house is available, possibly in a month, Bernick said.

Vezie, 38, was charged with eight counts of possession of an unregistered device.

He is still in custody without bond after a preliminary hearing and has a Sept.

2 trial date in Prescott.

Van Arsdale, 61, was charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder for hire, and use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder for hire.

He awaits a Thursday bond hearing

Thomas Palmer, 43, was charged with conspiracy to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, and three counts use and carrying of firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking.

He is still in custody without bond after a preliminary hearing and has a Sept.

2 trial date in Prescott.

Debra Palmer, 47, was charged with conspiracy to possess oxycodone with intent to distribute.

She was released on her own recognizance, Bernick said.

Varvil, 43, was charged with unlawful possession of machine guns.

Varvil is in custody in Michigan and awaits extradition by Arizona.

Paine, 43, was charged with conspiracy and two counts of unlawful possession of weapons made from shotguns - aiding and abetting.

He was released on his own recognizance with travel restrictions forbidding him to leave Arizona, Bernick said.

Harrison, 55, was charged with conspiracy and two counts of unlawful possession of weapons made from shotguns - aiding and abetting.

Harrison is a fugitive, Bernick said.

Raids were conducted in Kingman, Golden Valley and Bullhead City as well as in Phoenix, Tucson, Marana, Flagstaff, Prescott and Chino Valley.

The raids were preceded by a similar ATF raid in El Cajon, Calif., in June that led to 18 arrests.

Court documents in San Diego revealed Hells Angels members plotted to avenge the slaying of a fellow member during the 2002 Laughlin River Run.

Christian Tate was fatally shot April 27, 2002, along Interstate 40 as he rode home to San Diego from the river run.

His death remains unsolved.

Three other motorcycle club members died and dozens were injured during a melee between Hells Angels and a rival gang, the Mongols, at the Harrah's casino-hotel in Laughlin later that night.