Man gets 3 months for intimidating key witness in Hells Angels murder case

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has handed down a three-month prison sentence against a man who pleaded guilty to intimidating a key witness whose testimony put several Hells Angels behind bars, court records show.

Samuel Holquin, who is also known as Samuel Holguin, was sentenced to three months in prison and three months supervised release. A court order signed by Senior U.S. District Judge Edward Chen says that Holquin has until April 8 to report to the Bureau of Prisons and start his sentence.

Holquin was charged in late 2022 with witness retaliation against Joseph Hardisty, a former member of the Richmond Hells Angels who testified for the government after several members allegedly assaulted him after he announced he was leaving the club.

Holquin allegedly texted menacing things to Hardisty and told another person, “I might as well drive out there and get all three of them (expletive) pieces of (expletive),” apparently referring to Hardisty and two other witnesses. Of his conversation with Hardisty, he allegedly wrote in a text message, “I had to let (Hardisty) know that I found him and know everything about him and his family,” according to a prosecution sentencing memo.

Defense attorneys representing Holquin said in court filings that he has learned his lesson. They also pushed back against prosecutors labeling Holquin a Hells Angels “associate,” writing that he was friends with a few members but not affiliated with the motorcycle club in any way.

“Mr. Holguin has learned a lesson from this conviction – the only time in his life he has been convicted of a crime. The lesson is that his focus must be on his family and on complying with the law,” his lawyers wrote. “During the pendency of this case, Mr. Holguin has demonstrated how thoroughly he has learned that lesson, performing flawlessly on supervision while serving as an in-home caretaker for his ailing father and grandmother.”

Hardisty’s testimony has resulted in four murder convictions over the death of a Hells Angels member named Joel Silva, and probably contributed to several others accepting plea deals.

Hardisty, a former friend of Silva, testified that the Hells Angels plotted to murder Silva due to his increasingly erratic behavior, culminating with him allegedly threatening a high-ranking club member during a motorcycle rally in New England. Silva was shot in the back of his head in the Hells Angels’ Fresno clubhouse and cremated illegally at a nearby funeral home, according to Hardisty’s testimony.

Chen also ordered Holquin to perform 40 hours of community service, stay away from Hardisty and not wear Hells Angels garb or associate with club members.

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Author: Nate Gartrell

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