KEARNEY, Mo. -- In an effort to prevent violence, various law enforcement agencies teamed up to make sure their presence was noticed in the Kearney area over the weekend. For nearly two decades, bikers from around the region have attend the annual Mule Run, a yearly fundraiser for various motorcycle clubs. However, due to recent outlaw motorcycle gang violence across the country, Lt. Will Akin of the Clay County Sheriff's Department says patrols for traffic enforcement were increased surrounding the event.
"With the information that we were gathering through various intelligence entities, we were expecting them (outlaw motorcycle gangs) to come in from all over the country," said Lt. Akin.
But that didn't happen.
The majority of those attending the event were members of motorcycle clubs, not gangs. On Saturday members of the Clay County Sheriffs Department and Missouri Highway Patrol ran saturated traffic enforcement on Interstate 35 and Missouri 92. Lt. Akin says 49 plates were run through the system, 33 warnings were issued, eight citations were written, and one man was arrested.
"I think it went successful, we made multiple stops," said Lt. Akin
Most of the stops were made on riders wearing non-regulation Department of Transportation helmets and motorcycles with illegal "ape hanger" handle bars.
Last month, a member of the Hells Angels was murdered at a clubhouse in Omaha, Neb. Lt. Akin says there have also been violent incidents involving rival gangs in St. Louis and Las Vegas that have been catching the attention of law enforcement across the country. It's because of that activity, that the Clay County Sheriff's Department decided to conduct the traffic enforcement with hundreds of bikers in town. It was suspected that there could members of the Mongols, Galloping Gooses, Sons of Silence, Banditos, Booze Fighters, and Hells Angels coming to Kearney, all pushing to claim Missouri as territory. However, just a few members of the Galloping Gooses rode through.
"You have the I-35 and I-70 corridors, the highways, with that you have endless opportunities to transport and move whatever kind of illegal activity they are conducting or participating in," said Lt. Akin.
Despite claims of targeting bikers attending the event, Lt. Akin says that's just not true.
"We didn't want to prevent anyone from participating in the event that took place," said Lt. Akin. "We just wanted to make sure everyone is safe."
Lt. Akin says that was the goal, to make sure everyone knew they were there with a significant presence. Lt. Akin added there were no incidents reported at the event.