Two reported motorcycle gang members from Oregon, one of which is a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary, are scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 17 on Spalding County charges in connection with the reported severe beating of a Spalding County man in May.
Dustin Wendelin, 40, and Charles Montgomery, 29, both of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, are each facing Spalding County charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and three counts of criminal street gang act violations. They are currently being held without bond in the Spalding County Jail.
During a months-long investigation to find the suspects, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office investigators learned that Wendelin and Montgomery were reportedly active members of the Pagan Motorcycle Club, also known as the Pagans.
Investigators also learned that Wendelin was serving as the reported chapter president of the Pagan’s territories in Washington state and Oregon, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said.
“Both are also facing charges stemming from an extensive investigation relating to crimes committed by the Pagan’s gang by authorities in Washington state and Oregon,” Dix added.
Due to the severity of the charges, criminal street gang affiliation and high potential for violence during transport, Dix said he sent members of the SCSO’s SWAT Team, CAGE investigators and Transport Team deputies to bring them back from Washington State and Oregon. They were also accompanied on their flights by Federal Air Marshal Service agents, Dix explained.
According to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Wendelin was arrested by Walla Walla County deputies early in the morning of Sept. 9 after he reported to work at the penitentiary. Montgomery was arrested a few hours later at his home in Washington.
The Spalding County charges against Wendelin and Montgomery stem from a reported fight at about 11:30 p.m. May 1 at Big Jim’s Wing Shack.
Witnesses reportedly told deputies that several members of the Pagan Outlaws motorcycle gang entered Big Jim’s as the victim and his friend were singing karaoke. One of the alleged gang members started a fight with the victim, leaving the victim severely beaten and with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.
The suspects ran before responding deputies arrived, Dix said.
According to the indictment, Wendelin and Montgomery are said to have participated in the beating “with the intent to obtain, earn, maintain and increase his status in said gang.”
Dix said deputies poured over witness statements and other evidence in an effort to identify the suspects, but the trail turned cold with no positive identification of the suspects.
“Both criminal investigators and CAGE investigators believed that the suspects were not identified because they were not from this area,” Dix said, explaining that the gang has members spread across the United States.
With the help of the GBI and the ATF, along with additional witness interviews, positive identifications of the suspects were made.