A Southern California Hells Angels leader was arrested for allegedly trying to put rival tattoo shops out of business via firebombing.
Now, if we were said ink-biz owners we would have scurried to the next town with our tail between our legs. But by some miracle of testicular fortitude, the alleged plot in Ventura unraveled via federal intervention, and 64-year-old Ventura County chapter honcho George Christie Jr. was put in handcuffs this morning based on conspiracy, extortion and arson charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Here's what the office says happened:
The indictment alleges that Christie, while the president of the Ventura County Chapter of the Hells Angels, conspired to threaten the owners of rival tattoo parlors in an effort to force them to close down their businesses. When the owners remained in business, Christie allegedly conspired to firebomb the businesses.
Also arrested in the alleged extortion plot: Kyle Douglas Gilbertson, 33, of Ventura; Benito Hurtado, 34, of Oak View; and Richard Reeves Russell III, 29, of Ventura.
Christie owned The Ink House in Ventura and is accused of trying to put area shops Scratch the Surface, next to a preschool, and Twisted Ink, across from Ventura High School, out of commission by any means necessary.
In fact, feds indicate, he was allegedly behind a July 6, 2007 firebombing at both parlors.
If convicted Christie could face up to 120 years behind bars. The upside for him is that tattooing skills come in handy in the slammer.