LAS VEGAS (AP) - A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was sentenced Friday to four years and three months in a federal prison for his role in a 2002 brawl with a rival gang that left three people dead.
"We're very pleased," said David Chesnoff, a lawyer for Calvin Schaefer, a sheet metal worker from Chandler, who pleaded guilty in October to federal charges of committing a violent crime, battery, in aid of racketeering.
Federal prosecutors attempted to try Schaefer and 10 other Hells Angels on criminal racketeering charges, arguing the group acted as a criminal enterprise, like the Mafia, in plotting the massive brawl against members of the Mongols motorcycle club at a biker rally in Laughlin, 100 miles south of Las Vegas.
Two Hells Angels and one Mongols member died in the Laughlin River Run brawl, and dozens were injured.
The trial came to a sudden end after just two weeks when six defendants, including Schaefer, cut deals for lesser charges. The federal case against the remaining five Hells Angels was scrapped.
U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden has described the six who agreed to the plea deal as the most active in the fighting. He did not return a call for comment Friday.
Schaefer, 37, was the first of the six to be sentenced.
In a surveillance video of the fight in the Harrah's Laughlin hotel-casino, the Arizona man is seen drawing a handgun, turning and firing at Mongol, who appeared to shoot first and then have his gun jam.
Chesnoff argued in court that Schaefer acted in self-defense.
Schaefer previously pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in Phoenix in an undercover operation known as "Black Biscuit."
U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan agreed Friday to allow Schaefer to serve his sentence concurrently with a separate five-year sentence he is scheduled to begin Jan. 19.