By Marcus E. Howard
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Hells Angels California branch leader pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge on Monday, wrapping up a major investigation into methamphetamine trafficking by the outlaw motorcycle club in western New York, prosecutors said.
Richard W. Mar, 64, president of the Monterey chapter of Hells Angels, admitted to trafficking 15 kilograms of methamphetamine from 2002 to 2010, helping to transport pound-size parcels of the drug from California for distribution in the Rochester area, William Hochul Jr., U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, said in a statement.
Mar entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Charles Siragusa in federal court in Rochester, New York.
The charge carries a penalty of up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. His sentencing is scheduled for June 9.
The leader of the New York drug-trafficking network, James McAuley Jr., vice president of Hells Angels' Rochester chapter, was arrested on federal racketeering charges in April 2007, prosecutors said.
While in prison, McAuley continued to work with Mar to obtain methamphetamine in exchange for cash, prosecutors said, noting that the leader's wife, Donna Boon, played a role.
Seven defendants, including Mar, had been charged.
The Hells Angels, with about 2,500 members in 27 countries, is regarded by the U.S. government as an international crime gang.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Richard Chang)