Wade Yates-Taui facing extradition back to Australia after being arrested by US Marshals over death of Max Waller
- The Courier-Mail
- April 30, 2014
Patched Mongol and cage fighter Wade Yates-Taui was staying at a plush Los Angeles hotel with his pregnant model girlfriend when arrested by US Marshals.
The 22-year-old now faces extradition back to Australia to be charged with manslaughter over the death of Max Waller in June last year.
Waller, a Bandidos associate whom police say knew his killers, died after being stabbed outside a Broadbeach apartment building.
Since Waller’s death, Yates-Taui has partied with chapters of bikie gangs in Thailand and the US, where he celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Mongols and rubbed shoulders with the gang’s international president, “Lil Dave” Santillan. He was poised to travel to Bali at the invitation of an Indonesian Rebels bikie.
However, police never lost track of Yates-Taui, who had been in their sights since the very start of the investigation.
US Marshals swooped on the weekend after a 10-month probe involving Gold Coast detectives, the state homicide squad and officers from Taskforce Maxima.
The cage fighter had been “living the high life” under the wing of his global bikie brothers, a police source said.
Yates-Taui had his girlfriend Raquel Petit in tow; the couple staying at a flash LA hotel called the Big Bed and snowboarding at Big Bear Lake.
Yates-Taui entered the US on his own passport and a tourist visa. He faced the Federal Court in the US yesterday and is in custody ahead of an extradition hearing.
Homicide squad Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan said extradition would take “a month at the earliest”.
Detectives hope to charge at least two more men with murder in coming weeks.
It is understood this includes another Gold Coast cage fighter turned Mongols bikie who is already behind bars on another charge.
Waller’s father Mark praised the work of police for continuing to hunt down his son’s killers.
“I’m very pleased with the progress of detectives in persisting to get justice for my son Max,” he said.
“This can’t bring him back but it certainly helps.”