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9 motorcyclists charged with blocking 405 Freeway during Jamzilla

9 motorcyclists arrested for blocking 405 traffic, evading a CHP officer

Nine motorcyclists suspected of blocking traffic on the 405 Freeway during Jamzilla last year and staging dangerous stunts on the roadway have been arrested and face several charges, authorities said Wednesday.

On Feb. 15, 2014, a California Highway Patrol officer spotted the gang of riders acting recklessly and stalling traffic near the Sepulveda Pass. When the officer tried to stop the group's leader, other motorcyclists surrounded the officer to block the chase, said CHP Officer Edgar Figueroa.

The incident took place on the southbound side of the freeway during planned road closures nicknamed Jamzilla, but all lanes were open at the time, said CHP Officer Juan Galvan.

Federal and state investigators used footage from the patrol car’s camera -- which showed some license plate numbers -- along with a video posted to YouTube to track down the riders, Figueroa said.

The nine riders were arrested Jan. 15 in locales as far north as Bakersfield and booked into Los Angeles County jails with bail set at $100,000 each.

Each rider has been charged with two felony counts of resisting and evading an officer, along with a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. 

Eight of the nine have pleaded not guilty. The remaining rider, Kaylee Torres, is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 27.

If convicted on all counts, each faces up to three years in county jail.

CHP Southern Division Chief Dan Bower said reckless conduct by motorcyclists is part of “a very disturbing and dangerous trend throughout our state.”

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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