Five members of what authorities call an outlaw motorcycle gang based out of San Luis Obispo County were arrested Friday evening in Santa Barbara County for allegedly traveling with concealed firearms.
The suspects arrested were Cayucos residents Kirk Koester, 46, and his wife Shannon Koester, 41; Byron Posey, 38, of Paso Robles; Daniel Chapman, 46, of Paso Robles and John Gallagher, 41, of San Luis Obispo, according to a news release issued Sunday by Kelly Hoover of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
Kirk Koester is president of the San Luis Obispo chapter of the Vagos Motorcycle Club — also known as the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang — that originated in San Bernardino County in the 1960s, according to Hoover.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit observed five motorcycle riders traveling together near the intersection of Highway 154 and Highway 101 around 8 p.m. Friday, wearing insignia related to the Vagos Motorcycle Club.
When two of the riders failed to stop at a red light, the sheriff’s unit conducted a traffic stop. The three additional motorcycle riders who were not stopped came to rest in the middle of the highway, apparently to wait for the detained members of their group, according to Hoover.
During the stop, detectives from the Gang Enforcement Unit found concealed semi-automatic handguns within the motorcycle saddlebags of the two riders who were stopped. As a result of the following investigation, detectives arrested all five suspects on suspicion of possessing of a concealed firearm, along with criminal street gang enhancements.
The case has been turned over to the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office.
The Vagos Motorcycle Club has more than 600 members, according to authorities.