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      19 people tied to Hells Angels motorcycle gang arrested

      United States Attorney Bill Nettles and David A. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Columbia Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, held a press conference on Thursday to announce the arrests.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Nineteen people have been arrested in the Carolinas as part of a two-year investigation into gun and drug crimes.

      U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Thursday the suspects are from North and South Carolina and are either members or associates of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

      Nettles says agents served nearly two dozen search warrants on Thursday, recovering a wide variety of drugs and more than 100 firearms, including two automatic machine guns.

      Prosecutors say the men and women sold drugs, laundered money and committed arson as members of the motorcycle gang. They're also accused of selling weapons they knew would be used in crimes.

      The suspects face charges including racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering and drug violations. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys or when they'd appear in court.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)