ROCK HILL — An alleged Charlotte gang member who improperly changed lanes while riding his motorcycle was charged with drug and weapon charges after York County drug agents say they found a loaded gun and methamphetamine hidden in his flashlight.
At about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, agents with York Countys highway interdiction team stopped Brandon Hellman, 29, who they said improperly changed lanes while riding his 2007 Harley-Davidson between Cherry and Celriver roads in Rock Hill, according to a sheriffs report.
Hellman was wearing a jacket bearing the insignia of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, which for years acted as rivals to the Hells Angels, said Marvin Brown, commander of the countys multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit.
Brown said Hellman had hidden 8 grams of methamphetamine in a flashlight and was carrying a pistol loaded with 15 bullets. Police seized the flashlight, two hunting knives and two cellphones.
Hellman also was operating the motorcycle without a valid motorcycle drivers license, police said. He was charged with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, unlawful carrying of a pistol and for having no S.C. motorcycle drivers license.
He was released Wednesday on bond of more than $6,200, according to court records. He could not be immediately reached for comment.
Hellman has no past criminal history in South Carolina, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division.
But, his North Carolina criminal history spans more than a decade with a one-year probationary sentence for possession of marijuana in 2001, according to court documents. A year later, he paid fines for carrying a concealed weapon.
A few months later, he was charged with driving after consuming alcohol while under 21. He was charged again with the same offense in 2004. Several traffic convictions followed in subsequent years before Hellman was found guilty of driving while his license was revoked.
Since 2001, more than 20 charges filed against Hellman in North Carolina have been dismissed without leave by the state district attorney, court records show. Those charges ranged from traffic and driving violations, such as driving a car with an expired license tag, to resisting police, possession of a handgun by a minor and felony conspiracy.
The investigation that prosecutors touted as having vanquished the Rock Hill chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club the Rock Hell Nomads developed after police received complaints about a growing turf war between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws in York County.
Several years ago, York County drug agents and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided a clubhouse belonging to the Outlaws on East Main Street, Brown said. Since then, most of them have left the county for Charlotte, he said.