73
      Monday
      81 / 72
      Tuesday
      86 / 73
      Wednesday
      88 / 73

      Will Hells Angels drug bust impact May Bike rallies?

      With the May bike rallies just weeks away, people are wondering about the impact of this week's Hells Angels crime bust.

      Horry County police say they cracked a Hells Angels marijuana distribution ring, leading to the arrests of more than 25 people and 226 indictments after an 18 month long investigation.

      "Personally, I have no concerns and my friends have no concerns," said biker Bruce Bunker. Since 1992, Bunker has gone to every spring Harley Rally.

      "I think it should be a great rally with more people," said Bunker.

      Retaliation from other Hells Angels chapters is not something the county expects either, according to 15th Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree.

      "Many folks in the Hells Angels gang or motorcycle group are not criminals," he said.

      "Certainly, we don't have any evidence or any reason to believe there will be any sort of problem with those who are visiting for this upcoming bike week. That being said," said Hembree. "If I was a law enforcement officer and I was working the bike fest and on the street, I'd be paying just a little closer attention not because I'm expecting trouble, just that I want to be prepared just in case."

      Having the arrests so close to the rallies was a coincidence, said Hembree.

      He said once a grand jury's decision is given, police must act quickly.

      "The key date we were looking at is when does the grand jury meet," said Hembree. "Of course, that was last week, and everything was built around that week regardless of the bike week."

      The spring Harley Rally and Atlantic Beach Bike Fest are scheduled to coincide with one another from May 18th-28th.

      Bunker and his fellow riding buddies plan to recognize the original Harley Rally dates on May 14-20th.