California Hells Angels sentenced to federal prison

Two Hells Angels members have been sentenced to prison for their roles in criminal activities by the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, federal prosecutors said.   

Jeremy Greer, 43, was sentenced to seven years for multiple assaults, armed robbery, home invasion robbery, and witness intimidation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said Friday.   

Merl Hefferman, 54, was sentenced to four years for arranging the illegal cremation of a former Hells Angel member who was murdered at the club's Fresno clubhouse, prosecutors said.   

"Hefferman used his connection at a funeral home to order the illegal cremation of a member of his own gang as part of the Hells Angels’ efforts to cover up a murder. For eight years, the victim's family grieved without a body to mourn or certainty about what had happened to their loved one. Greer committed serious violent crimes, including armed robbery, beating, and maiming," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Tripp. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Feds say 4 missing CA Hells Angels were illegally cremated

The investigation began in 2014 with the disappearance of former member Joel Silva, who was murdered by Fresno Hells Angels president Brian Wendt, Sonoma County Hells Angels president Jonathan Nelson, and former Sonoma County president Russell Ott, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.   

Wendt, Nelson, and Ott were convicted of the murder in 2022 and are awaiting sentencing.   

In addition to Silva's murder, 11 members and associates of the Sonoma County chapter were charged with narcotics distribution, assault, robbery, extortion, illegal firearms possession, obstruction of justice, and witness intimidation, prosecutors said.   

The investigation involved the FBI, the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, and the California Highway Patrol.