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To his Hells Angels brethren, Raymond Foakes is the victim of overzealous law enforcement.

To federal prosecutors, the Santa Rosa man is a criminal kingpin who allegedly kick-started a bloody shootout between rival motorcycle gangs in 2002.

One undeniable truth: Foakes, 42, is now a federal fugitive.

The president of the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels remained at large Monday, three days after heavily armed FBI agents stormed his home near the Burbank Gardens neighborhood.

He and Michael Vargas, 56, a Hells Angels associate, are wanted under sealed federal warrants alleging illegal possession and distribution of drugs.

"We do believe they know the FBI is looking for them," FBI spokeswoman LaRae Quy said Monday. "At this point, they have the choice whether or not to turn themselves in or to remain as federal fugitives."

Judging by the Web site for the local Hells Angels chapter, Foakes may not be phoning federal authorities anytime soon.

The Sonoma County club, which meets in a clubhouse on Frazier Street, held a "Keep Ray Ray Free" party in 2005 and distributed T-shirts referring to Foakes as a "political prisoner," according to the Web site.

The same site shows the heavily tattooed Foakes boxing with another man. Yet another photo shows Foakes giving presents to children during one of the club's Christmas toy runs.

Violent gang. Benevolent motorcycle club. Both portraits emerge in photos taken of a man who has a lengthy criminal history in the Bay Area and now finds himself being pursued again.

Foakes already was facing federal charges that include attempted murder when as many as 150 federal agents and state and local officers swept into Santa Rosa before dawn Friday.

Foakes and Vargas are being linked by authorities to drug sales through an investigation involving 12 Hells Angels members who were arrested in San Francisco on April 20.

The men are suspected in what news accounts called a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise involving methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Authorities on Friday said they confiscated drugs, weapons and explosives from Foakes' home, the Hells Angels clubhouse and three other locations.

But they did not find Foakes or Vargas.

Foakes was free on bail pending his trial in September in connection with a 2002 shootout and brawl between rival bikers at a Nevada casino that ended in four deaths. According to a federal affidavit filed in 2005, Foakes started the brawl by kicking a member of the rival Mongols biker club in the face.

Foakes' attorney did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment.

Friday's raids were the latest in a crackdown nationwide on the Hells Angels. The organization, which was incorporated as a nonprofit in California in 1967, has about 700 members in the United States, according to the federal affidavit.

Members must be white, Latino or Asian males over the age of 21 and are required to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Prospective members undergo a lengthy initiation process designed to test loyalty and weed out undercover police officers, the affidavit stated.

Members wear distinctive patches, or colors, on the back of leather or denim vests called "cuts." A full member with all of the assorted patches is commonly referred to as a "full patch."

Members are asked to support their Local 81. The numbers refer to the letters "H" and "A," short for "Hells Angels."

Law enforcement officials view the Hells Angels as a criminal street gang with a history of thievery, drug dealing and violence in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Smiley said there are 17 documented Hells Angels members in Sonoma County, making the chapter one of the smaller groups of its kind in the county.

By comparison, police estimate between 1,400 and 1,800 gang members affiliated with the Norteño gang - typically locally born Latinos, but also white members and to a lesser extent black, American Indian or Asian - in Sonoma County. Sureño gang members - typically recent immigrants from Mexico and Latin America - number about 1,400 or 1,500 in Sonoma County, police said.

But Smiley, who oversees the sheriff's Criminal Intelligence Unit, said the Hells Angels is one of the more organized gangs with a worldwide network of support.

He said sheriff's investigators were aware of the FBI's investigation and are now assisting in finding Foakes and Vargas.

"They (the Hells Angels) need to be reminded every now and then that they're not off the radar," Smiley said. "They're not going to be allowed to commit crimes in our community."

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