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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Outlaws MC Arrested Over Killing

Third biker arrested in slaying of rival club member 

LEESBURG, FL (June 28, 2017) —– A third biker wanted in the murder of a rival biker during Leesburg Bikefest weekend was arrested Tuesday.

Miguel Angel Torres III, 37, of Rockledge was the Outlaw Motorcycle Club member who reportedly forced David Russell James Donovan and his fellow Kingsmen MC chapter members out of the Circle K.

Torres allegedly put a knife to Donovan’s throat, directed him to the corner of the building and forced him to his knees before another Outlaws member, Marc Edward Knotts, shot him in the back, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Donovan later died of his injuries at a hospital.

Related | Outlaws MC member indicted for murder

Torres was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The heavily tattooed Torres remained in the Lake County Jail on Wednesday morning without bail. Torres, who had a warrant out for his arrest, was taken into custody at the Lake County courthouse.

Miguel Torres

The shooting occurred the night of April 29 at Circle K on West Main Street, a few miles west of Leesburg Bikefest going on in downtown Leesburg.

According to police and the prosecutor on the case, Torres, Jesus Alberto Marrero, 35, and Gregory Alan Umphress, 32, had confronted Donavan and three other Kingsmen in the store, demanded they give up their vests and club insignias and forced them outside when they refused.

According to a police report, the Outlaws had been challenging several motorcycle clubs throughout Florida, including the Kingsmen, to join their group or “submit to their authority.”

They demanded the club insignias of those who refused.

But once in the parking lot, an Outlaws member put a large knife to Donovan’s throat, forced him to his knees and demanded he surrender his vest. Donavan refused and Knotts, president of the Ocala/Marion County chapter of the Outlaws, reportedly ordered his men to “shoot that (expletive).”

The Outlaws fled

Donovan, who went by the nickname Gutter, was shot three times in the back and died at a Sanford hospital days later.

Knotts, who was shot in the incident, and Marrero, 35, already have been indicted with principal to capital murder and kidnapping in the slaying.

Authorities are still looking for Umphress.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

High Speed Motorcycle Chase Leads To Arrest

Cops Suspect He is a Warlocks MC Member

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (June 27, 2017) — A suspected Warlocks Motorcycle Club member with a lengthy record was arrested after a high speed pursuit, according to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Jody Fogle was arrested after a high speed chase on Interstate 20, according to Sheriff Jim Matthews.

Matthews had just completed a traffic stop when he said he saw a motorcycle approaching him from behind at a high rate of speed.

The motorcycle was being driven by Fogle and Matthews was able to determine that the motorcycle was traveling at 101 mph. Matthews then attempted to make a stop by activating his blue lights and siren.

Fogle didn’t stop, however, but increased his speed to about 104 mph and continued eastbound on I-20 before exiting at the rest area on I-20 between US 601 and US 521.

He was ultimately taken into custody coming out of the rest rooms at the rest area. Fogle was carrying several knives and a set of brass knuckles when arrest, according to Matthews. He was wearing “Warlocks” colors when arrested and investigators are currently attempting to determine if he is a validated “Warlocks” outlaw motorcycle club member.

Jody Fogle

Fogle has an extensive criminal history and has been arrested in the past for multiple DUI’s, multiple simple assault and battery offenses, multiple offenses of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, disorderly conduct, violation of probation, accessory after the fact of a felony, multiple offenses for marijuana possession, multiple offenses for driving under suspension, contempt of circuit court, contempt of family court, possession of cocaine/meth, reckless driving, multiple offense for failure to stop for a blue light, possession of a firearm by convicted violent felon and speeding more than 25mph over limit.

Fogle is now facing charges of speeding 104 in a 70, habitual offender, DUS 3rd offense and failure to stop for a blue light (3rd offense). He is currently being detained at the Kershaw County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

SOURCE: Watch Fox57

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bandidos MC: Club leader trial begins

Trial begins for Fort Worth Bandido's  MC leader accused in rival’s death

Fort Worth, TX (June 6, 2017) — Under heavy security, the trial started Monday for a Fort Worth motorcycle club leader who authorities say in 2014 ordered the killing of a member of another club.

Howard Wayne Baker, 62, is suspected of engaging in organized crime and directing the activities of a street gang. Prosecutors say Baker, president of the Fort Worth Bandidos MC, gave the order to shoot Geoffrey Brady, 41, on Dec. 12, 2014, during an ambush at a bar at 2813 Race St.

Pictured: Howard Wayne Baker

Baker, who is also accused of shooting Brady, was booked into jail two days later and released the same day after posting $100,000 bail, according to court records. Brady died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Prosecutors told the jury that two other club members were shot, threatened and beaten during the ambush and a third was beaten.

The Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center had heavy security Monday as a contingent of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers roamed the open areas. No electronic devices were allowed inside the courtroom during the trial.

Troopers were stationed through out the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center as the trial began. 
Mitch Mitchell at: Star-Telegram  

One Tarrant County prosecutor described motorcycle clubs as a shadow population who have no respect for civilized behavior, law enforcement or human life.

“There is an entire group of individuals who operate alongside you who follow their own set of rules,” she said. Bandidos “consider Texas their territory as far as motorcycle gangs go. If you are a motorcycle gang in Texas, you have to pay homage to, money to the Bandidos.”

At the time of the shooting there was a disagreement between several motorcycle clubs as to whether the Bandidos would continue to be the ruling club in Texas, according to Doug Pearson, a Colorado-based motorcycle gang expert with the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives.

According to court documents, an informant told investigators that Bandidos were tipped off that members of the Ghost Riders, a rival motorcycle club, would be at the bar on the night Brady was shot. Bandidos stormed the bar to let the other club know Texas was their turf, the prosecutor said.

“They dragged Geoff Brady out of the front door and executed him in front of his wife and friends,” Bangs, the prosecutor, said. “They stood over him in a circle and Howard Baker was standing in that circle.”

Baker turned off his cell phone after the attack and then turned it back on later, sending and answering text messages that feigned ignorance of everything that happened that night, Bangs said.

When another Tarrant County prosecutor asked Pearson whether the ambush could have taken place without Baker’s knowledge and approval, Pearson replied, “Absolutely not.”

Testimony is expected to continue Tuesday in state District Judge George Gallagher’s court.

SOURCE:  Star-Telegram 

Outlaws MC members indicted for murder

Outlaws MC members indicted in shooting death of rival club member

Leesburg, FL, (June 5, 2017) — A couple of jailed Outlaws MC members were indicted Friday in the shooting death of a rival club member during the weekend of the Leesburg Bikefest.

Marc Edward Knotts, 48, and Jesus Alberto Marrero, 35, also were charged in the indictment with principle to capital murder and kidnapping for the slaying of David Russell James Donovan, vice-president of the Kingsmen MC chapter in Leesburg.

Pictured: Marc Edward Knotts (L) and Jesus Alberto Marrero (R) 

Hugh Bass, assistant state attorney in Leesburg, Florida  who is prosecuting the case, said Monday “through intimidation and fear” Marrero forced Donovan and other Kingsmen out of the store and into the parking lot after the Kingsmen refused to hand over their vests with their club insignias.

Related Cops: Outlaws shot rival after he refused to give up vest  

Related Members of Outlaws MC arrested 

Related | Man in Leesburg MC dies from injuries

“The Kingsmen had tried to diffuse the situation and were hoping they could talk their way out of it once outside,” Bass said.

But once in the parking lot, an Outlaws MC member put a large knife to Donovan’s throat, forced him to his knees and demanded he surrender his vest. Donavan refused and Knotts, president of the Ocala/Marion County chapter of the Outlaws, reportedly ordered his men to “shoot that Motherf***er.”

Donovan, who went by the nickname Gutter, was shot three times in the back and died at a Sanford hospital days later.

Bass is trying to determine whether to seek the death penalty for Knotts and Marrero.

Bass said the other three Kingsmen with Donovan were looking around “watching their backs” and didn’t see the shooting.

The three ran back inside after the gunfire and hid behind the shelves as clerks called police.

One of the Kingsmen later cracked open the store door and shot into the parking lot, striking Knotts three times. Knotts, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was hit in the back, arm and leg. He was treated and released from the hospital.

According to a Leeburg, Florida police report, the Kingsmen had gone into the Circle K a few miles west of downtown Leesburg to buy cigarettes when they were confronted by the Outlaws. The Kingsmen were badly outnumbered.

The report adds the Outlaws had been challenging several motorcycle clubs throughout Florida, including the Kingsmen, to join their group or “submit to their authority.”

The Outlaws apparently declared any club that refused would need to disband, close their clubhouses and cease to wear their cuts, or vests adorned with club patches.

Police still are looking for Outlaws members, Angel Torres, 37, and Gregory Alan Umphress, 32, on warrants for conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping.

Investigators believe the man who actually shot Donovan fled afterward. They have not identified him.

Citing self-defense, police don’t expect to charge the man who shot Knotts.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Charter Oak MC Member Sentenced For Beating

The Outlaws MC moves in

The Outlaws Motorcycle club opening new club house in London, Ontario

London, Ontario, (June 2, 2017) — After years of lying low in London, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club appears to be flexing its muscle by opening a new clubhouse in the city, a move one self proclaimed expert warns could spark a very violent clash with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

The Outlaws, a motorcycle club with chapters across the globe, have set up a clubhouse in a single-story commercial building on Brydges St., located on the same block as the Hells Angels London police reporting centre.

One source said the move is likely an attempt by the Outlaws to push back at the Hells Angels’ hold on the city’s lucrative drug trade.

The Outlaws MC's London chapter's clubhouse at: 1103 Brydges St.

But an organized crime expert said the Hells Angels — numbering around a dozen full-patch ­members in London — won’t let their rivals expand on their turf, warning that a battle between the two clubs may end in gun violence.

“The Angels will never let them back in,” said Yves Lavigne, a biker expert who’s written several books on outlaw motorcycle clubs.

 The head of the OPP’s biker enforcement unit said he’s aware of the east-end clubhouse and police have been monitoring the location.

“The return to London is not a surprise, as there has been a presence in London by the Outlaws all along — they just had no clubhouse,” Det.-Sgt. Len Isnor wrote in an email.

Opening a London chapter in 1977, the Outlaws dominated the city’s criminal biker scene for decades until the Hells Angels opened a prospect chapter in 2001.

Things went from bad to worse for the Outlaws after that

Several prominent Outlaws — including the chapter president — patched over to their bitter rivals. A province wide police bust in 2002 called Project Retire put dozens of Ontario Outlaws behind bars, though relatively few ended up serving much time.

Some remaining Outlaws tried to start a Bandidos chapter, which was destroyed by the massacre of eight Bandidos in 2006 and prison terms for six others.

The clubhouse on Egerton Street was demolished in 2009, but supporters of the club remained in London.
News of the Outlaws clubhouse came as a shock to the owner of the Brydges Street building, Amy Chan, who said the property manager hadn’t told her about the new tenant.

“I’m going to discuss it with him,” she said.

Decals depicting AOA (American Outlaws Association), written in the club’s signature font, were plastered above the front door of the building, which is outfitted with multiple surveillance cameras. But the letters were covered up a day after the press release.

Motorcycles with the Outlaws skull and pistons logo have been seen parked outside the building

Inside, the 1,500-square-foot space used to be offices, said one former tenant, but there’s access to other parts of the building which totals about 29,000 sq. ft.

The Outlaws may not be getting a luxury space. The building had a leaking roof and mold problems a few years ago, the ex-tenant said.

Signs of a clubhouse opening surfaced on the Outlaws Canada website in March, with one person saying he was looking forward to the opening in London.

London police, who work with the OPP’s biker enforcement unit, also have the clubhouse on their radar.

“We’re aware that they’ve opened a clubhouse in London and we’re currently monitoring the situation,” said spokesperson Const. Sandasha Bough.

The neighbors say they aren’t afraid, but they are. I sympathize with these people
London’s bylaw boss was tight-lipped when asked whether the bikers are violating zoning rules.

“We can neither confirm nor deny if we have any active zoning complaints at that address,” Orest Katolyk wrote in an email.

Coun. Jesse Helmer, whose Ward 4 includes the clubhouse, said he hasn’t had any constituents complain about the bikers, but added that he heard there was a large gathering of motorcycles at the building over the weekend.

Area residents, none of whom wanted to be identified, said they have no problem with the bikers’ presence in the neighborhood.

Lavigne dismissed their nonchalance, saying neighbors fear retribution from speaking out against the bikers.

“The neighbors say they aren’t afraid, but they are. I sympathize with these people,” he said.

SOURCE: National Post  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cops: Outlaws Shot Rival After He Refused To Give Up Vest

LEESBURG, FL (May 24, 2017) — Motorcyclist David “Gutter” Donovan, in town for the Leesburg Bikefest, went to a Circle K gas station to buy cigarettes, but when he walked out he had a knife to his throat, arrest reports released Wednesday show.

The Outlaws MC members reportedly forced him to kneel down and then shot Donovan several times in the back April 29 after he refused to take off his Kingsmen Motorcycle Club jacket, the report said. Donovan, 41, died two weeks later.

RELATED  Members of Outlaws MC arrested

“The ‘Outlaws’ had been challenging several motorcycle clubs throughout Florida to either join their ranks or submit to their authority,” according to a report that sheds light on the shooting.

In what police called a coordinated attack, a group of about 15 Outlaws spread out “at strategic points” at the Circle K at 3300 W. Main St., about three miles from where Bikefest was held in downtown Leesburg. Then they told several Kingsmen MC members to strip off their “cut,” meaning their cut-off vests and club insignia.

Pictured: Marc Knotts and David Donovan 

Two suspects were arrested last week in a multi-agency operation. Marc “Knott Head” Knotts, 48, and Jesus Alberto Marrero, 35, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping. Two other suspects, identified as Gregory “Stinky” Umphress, 32, and Miquel Angel Torres, 37, remain at large.

Police also are looking for the shooter, who has not been identified.

“The investigation is ongoing, and updates will be provided when and if they become available,” Leesburg police Lt. Joe Iozzi said.

Members of the two clubs immediately recognized one another at the Circle K that Saturday night, according to police interviews with Kingsmen MC members. But the bikers told police they didn’t feel in danger because they weren’t affiliated with any of the Outlaws’ rivals and went inside Circle K to buy cigarettes.

The Outlaws then gathered briefly in a circle before spreading out “in what appeared to be an orchestrated and deliberate manner to secure the perimeter,” sending a small group after the Kingsmen members inside the Circle K, according to investigators’ review of surveillance footage.

Police said Outlaws members told Kingsmen members to surrender their insignia, put a knife to Donovan’s throat and directed him to the outside corner of the business below a mounted security camera.

It’s a spot that police believe was “pre-selected” by the Outlaws to conceal the incident.

When Donovan refused to take off his jacket, citing club loyalty, Knotts told the Outlaws to “shoot that mother-fu**er, the report said.

The other Kingsmen ran inside the convenience store and hid behind a shelf, telling the store clerk to call 911, the report said. One member told police he opened the door and shot in the direction of the Outlaws, leaving Knotts with a bullet wound in the shoulder and thigh. Another bullet was prevented from penetrating his lower back due to Kevlar attached to his riding vest.

In a review of the surveillance footage, police said Outlaws appeared to be unhurried while making their escape on their motorcycles.

“Some members remained in place in what is perceived as a measure of security of high-ranking members making their escape,” the report said.

Knotts was found lying beside his Harley Davidson 110 feet from Donovan with a .22-caliber pistol. He was flown to a hospital and later recovered from his wounds.

On May 17, Knotts was arrested outside the Outlaws’ clubhouse in Ocala. A Leesburg detective met with Knotts at the perimeter of the clubhouse, which is fortified with walls and surveillance cameras, Iozzi said.

He asked the detective for “10 minutes to make a phone call, put boots on,” and soon after surrendered himself, Iozzi said.

The Kingsmen MC told police they were aware of an Outlaws decree that all clubs either join them or disband but “wrongly believed that they would be able to escape this movement.”

Transcripts of the 911 calls and the store’s surveillance video can’t be released because the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Watching their backs

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hells Angels MC member killed in shooting

Hells Angels member killed in Riverside gas station shooting

Riverside, California (May 22, 2017) – A member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was fatally shot at a Riverside gas station, and police are searching for his killer.

Officers responded to a call of a shooting at a Shell gas station at 3502 Adams St. in Riverside shortly before 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

A gas station employee, who made the 911 call, said the gunfire took place directly in front of gas pumps, Riverside police said.


According to authorities, five motorcyclists who appeared to be part of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club were passing through town and stopped at the gas station to fuel their motorcycles.

Suddenly, a silver four-door sedan pulled up, a passenger got out and started shooting at the group.

Two people were hit. One motorcyclist was grazed by a bullet that hit his helmet. Authorities said he will be OK.

A second motorcyclist was also struck by gunfire. Emergency crews from the Riverside Fire Department provided immediate medical aid and transported the victim to the Riverside Community Hospital, where he later died from his injuries, police said.

The coroner's office later identified him as James Duty, 31, of Orange.

After the shooting, the suspect got back in the passenger side of the sedan and the car fled westbound on the 91 Freeway.

Police are still trying to figure out why the gunman opened fire. Police do not have a description of the shooter.

"Right now, we don't know what the motive is. We are confident that these five had some type of affiliation with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, but we're looking into where they were at. Was there some type of problem earlier? We don't know that yet," said Officer Ryan Railsback with Riverside police.

Investigators have collected surveillance video from the gas station but have yet to release the footage to the public.

Detectives from the Robbery-Homicide Unit and the Gang Intelligence Unit were investigating the incident.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Demented Rejects MC Members Arrested

Members of NC’s ‘Demented Rejects’ Motorcycle Club facing drug & gun charges

THOMASVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 2017) – After a four-month investigation, Thomasville Police arrested three members of the Demented Rejects Motorcycle Club for distributing drugs and weapons to the Piedmont Triad.

Thomasville police, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security helped with the investigation.

On May 10, officials found 1.57 lbs. of methamphetamine, 2.01 ounces of marijuana, 17.5 grams of synthetic cannabinoid, 34 dosage units of Oxycodone, 10 firearms and $24,461 in cash.

Guns, drugs and cash were confiscated (WFMY)

Trace William Bostick, 38, Brandie Scarlett Saunder Bostick, 35, and Clifton Scott Peeler, 31, are facing multiple charges including making, possessing, transporting, and selling methamphetamine as well as possession of other drugs like LSD, synthetic cannabis, weapons, and more.
Guns, drugs and cash were confiscated

According to police, they are still looking for Adam Nicholas Badgett, 30, for charges that include possession of drugs and weapons, and having a firearm by a felon.

Members of Outlaws MC arrested

Outlaws MC members arrested in fatal shooting during Bikefest 

LEESBURG, FLA  (May 17, 2017) - A multi-agency operation this morning resulted in the apprehension of two Outlaws Motorcycle Club members for their suspected involvement in a shooting that left one man dead last month three miles west of where Leesburg Bikefest was being held, police said.

Marc Edward Knotts, 48, was arrested during a calm “face-to-face” meeting with a Leesburg detective at the fences of the Outlaws motorcycle clubhouse in Ocala, Leesburg Lt. Joe Iozzi said.

RELATED | Man in Leesburg MC shooting dies from injuries

“It is a fortified location with walls around it and surveillance cameras and all they did was pull up and all Knotts did was walk up,” Iozzi said.

Knotts was shot three times in April during a confrontation with Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members at a Circle K gas station three miles west of the annual biker bash, Iozzi said. He was wearing a leather vest embedded with bullet-proof panels at the time, Iozzi said.

At the clubhouse, Knotts asked the detective for “10 minutes to put boots on and make a phone call,” which the detective allowed, Iozzi said. Knotts then “came back out and surrendered himself,” he said.

Mark Edward Knotts

He and three others were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping in the April 29 shooting of David Donovan, 41, at a Circle K gas station at 3300 W. Main St. Donovan died over the weekend from his injuries at a Sanford hospital, where he had been transferred from Leesburg Regional Medical Center for what Iozzi believes were security reasons.

Jesus Alberto Marrero, 35, was also arrested during today’s operation at an undisclosed location assisted by Lee, Volusia and Brevard county sheriff’s offices, the FBI and the Ocala Police Department.
Gregory Alan Umphress, 32, and Miquel Angel Torres, 37, who face the same charges, are still at large. Police are still trying to determine who shot Donovan, Iozzi said.

“These are nationwide Outlaws motorcycle gang members,” he said.

Outlaws MC  vest showing the Florida rocker

Pictures of Donovan’s Facebook show him wearing Kingsmen Motorcycle Club gear. Last year, 16 Kingsmen members were indicted for what the U.S. Attorney’s Office said was a “major racketeering operation.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Man in Leesburg MC shooting dies from injuries

LEESBURG, FLA  (May 15, 2017) - A man involved in a shooting between two motorcycle clubs at a gas station during Leesburg Bikefest last month died over the weekend, police said Monday.

David Donovan, 41, whose Facebook pictures show him wearing Kingsmen Motorcycle Club gear, died from three gunshot wounds he incurred during a shooting about 8 p.m. April 29 at a Circle K gas station at 3300 W. Main St., Leesburg police Lt. Joe Iozzi said. He said he learned of Donovan’s death Sunday morning at a Sanford hospital.

Police said the shooting started from an argument between members of the two motorcycle clubs. The Circle K is about three miles from downtown Leesburg, where the annual biker extravaganza was being held.

RELATED | Shooting after fight between rival Motorcycle Clubs

Marc Knotts, 48, who was identified in a Marion County arrest report as a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club also was shot in the back, arm and leg during the shooting and recovered from his wounds, Iozzi said.

Knotts was wearing a leather vest embedded with ballistic-proof panels, Iozzi said.

Two handguns, several ammunition magazines and weapons, such as clubs, were found at the scene, he said.

The Outlaws have 1,700 members and about 180 chapters worldwide, including in Orlando and Osceola County, according to the FBI.

In New York, 16 Kingsmen members were indicted by the U.S. attorney for its “major racketeering operation” in 2016.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hells Angels MC members arrested during traffic stop

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shooting after fight between rival Motorcycle Clubs

Outlaws MC and the Kingsman MC involved in shooting 

LEESBURG, FLA. (April 30, 2017) -- A dispute between members of the Outlaws and Kingsmen Motorcycle clubs led to a shootout Saturday that left two men injured in Leesburg, according to records.

The shooting happened as members from both clubs started arguing about 8 p.m. at a Circle K gas station at 3300 W. Main Street. Guns were drawn and two men were shot, both three times each, police said.

About three miles east of the shooting, Leesburg was hosting its largest event — Leesburg Bikefest — in its downtown area. The event was expected to bring more than 200,000 bikers to the Lake County city.

The injured men have been identified as David Donovan, 41, and Marc Knotts, 48. Police say one of the men was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.

Various clubs roll through Leesburg annually for the event, and officials said they typically don’t have issues with them.

Scene outside the Circle K in Leesburg, Florida

Leesburg Police Lt. Joe Iozzi said there was a sizable police presence around the city Sunday.

“I would like to reiterate that this was an isolated incident which occurred far outside the downtown venue area,” Iozzi said Sunday. “ … There will remain an enhanced law enforcement presence in and around the greater Leesburg area throughout the event.”

No arrests have been made, but Iozzi said they are looking for one primary suspect who fled after the shooting. The man is not from this area.

Leesburg police say both Donovan and Knotts are in stable condition at area hospitals.

Donovan’s Facebook page is filled with photos of him wearing Kingsmen gear. He doesn’t have a criminal history in Florida besides a drug arrest in 1998 in Naples where the charges were dropped.

Federal authorities last year arrested 16 members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club, including one member in Tavares, in an effort to dismantle the group after an execution-styled killing in New York.

Those arrested were active in club chapters in Leesburg, DeLand and Daytona Beach.

Knotts was a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, according to an arrest report in Marion County.

He faced charges in 2013 after he was accused of threatening a driver who cut both him and another Outlaws member off, according to a report in the Ocala Star-Banner.

Both motorcyclists were armed with guns and charged with aggravated assault, deputies said. Authorities noted both were members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, the newspaper reported. It’s unclear what the results of the charges were.

The Outlaws were also connected to a bar fight in April in Daytona Beach that led to one of its members being fatally stabbed, several weeks after Daytona Bike Week, authorities said. The fight was between the Outlaws and Pagans, according to a report by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Motorcycle clubs have been linked to violence across Central Florida over the years.

Last year, two motorcycle club members were shot and killed (link is external) outside an Orange County strip club several months apart.

In 2012, three people died after a shootout with members of the Warlocks motorcycle gang in a Winter Springs VFW parking lot.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Alleged Snitch complicates Federal MC Investigation

Evidence shows defendant in Motorcycle Club trial served as a police informant.

DETROIT, MI. (April 29, 2017) -- When the U.S. Attorney's Office indicted 91 alleged members and associates of Detroit's Highwaymen Motorcycle Club on allegations of racketeering, drug trafficking, theft and murder for hire, a central thread in the case was club leader Aref (Steve) Nagi's attempts to root out suspected snitches.

Nagi's preoccupation with informants inside the storied and homegrown motorcycle club — whose violent history is credited with keeping the Hells Angels out of Detroit — was evident in his rambling, late-night phone conversations, which were secretly recorded by the FBI and introduced as evidence at the 2010 trial in federal court in Detroit.

And when the FBI raided the Highwaymen's Michigan Avenue clubhouse in southwest Detroit in 2007, they discovered a photograph of one of their two confidential informants —with  the word "rat" scrawled in black marker across his face.

The Highwaymen's Clubhouse in Detroit, MI

The case sent more than 30 Highwaymen to prison —- many, including Nagi, for lengthy sentences.
But some of those convictions are now being challenged because of new revelations that Nagi himself — a former Highwaymen vice president and the lead defendant — had worked as a confidential informant for federal and local police agencies.

Convicted Highwayman Gary (Junior) Ball Jr., who from his federal prison cell used Michigan's Freedom of Information Act to uncover Nagi's hidden past, says Nagi and his Detroit attorney, James Thomas, led defense strategy meetings in the massive case. Among the concerns: Whether what he and other defendants thought were confidential disclosures made to attorneys may have been fed, through Nagi, to the FBI and prosecutors.

The Highwaymen, founded in Detroit in 1954, gained infamy in the 1970s when some members were convicted of bombing and raiding homes and clubhouses of rivals. The outlaw motorcycle club, which at least until the indictments was Detroit's largest, was seen by many as an outlaw among outlaws — banned from a federation of Detroit clubs founded by a former Outlaws president.

Aref "Steve" Nagi

Records released by Troy Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act show Highwaymen leader Aref "Steve" Nagi had acted as a police informant.

In a March 29 court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Goetz highlighted some of the Highwaymen lore, alleging the club had "terrorized southwest Detroit for decades" through drug dealings, beatings and theft and "got away with everything." He described an incident in which several club members pulled up in front of an occupied southwest Detroit home and fired 15 rounds into it, as well as beatings administered with fists, beer bottles and chairs on occasions when club members encountered a suspected snitch, or someone who was significantly behind on his drug payments.

Ball, 51, who is serving a 30-year sentence and wants a new trial, has a May 17 hearing scheduled before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

The hearing is to explore other irregularities Ball uncovered, such as the fact that his own defense attorney, Lawrence Shulman of Birmingham, without Ball's knowledge, also represented a codefendant, Randy McDaniel, charged in connection with some of the same crimes as Ball. Court records show Shulman cut a deal for McDaniel in another federal case that resulted in his charges in the Highwaymen case being dropped.

The Shulman conflict alone, which Shulman denied existed in an e-mail to the Free Press, is grounds for Ball — convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to transport stolen vehicles, drug trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to obliterate vehicle identification numbers — to get a new trial, said Ball's Alabama attorney, David Schoen.

But the Nagi revelations, he said, have the potential to also undo other convictions.

"The case is a mess," Schoen said.

Attorney James Thomas

Thomas, well-known in Detroit as the lead defense attorney in former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption case, vehemently denied Nagi ever acted as a police informant. He swore an affidavit to that effect in November.

Ball must have Nagi confused with some other Aref Nagi, Thomas insisted, pointing out that the Aref Nagi he represented, sometimes known as "Steve" or "Scarface," has a birth date of Aug. 17, 1963.

That, however, is the same birth date as the Aref Nagi who, in 1992, arranged for delivery of 2 kilos of cocaine in a shopping center parking lot, then gave the signal for Troy police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to swoop in, according to records Ball obtained using the FOIA. Booking photos released by Troy Police also match Nagi's image.

In the Highwaymen trial, "the defendants agreed to have Mr. Nagi's defense attorney serve as a sort of defense team leader and Mr. Ball would have never agreed to the same had he known all relevant facts," Schoen said in a court filing.
Federal prosecutors, unlike Thomas, aren't denying the truth of what Ball discovered, including Nagi's past role as a police informant. But they are downplaying its significance, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline told the Free Press on Wednesday he wasn't even aware at the time of the Highwaymen trial of Nagi's past role as an informant.

Nagi, who was convicted of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm in committing a violent crime, conspiracy to transport stolen property, drug conspiracy and other charges, was sentenced to 37 years in prison, later reduced to 27 years on appeal. In 2016, Edmunds further cut Nagi's sentence to 20 years, based on submissions from Thomas about his "exemplary" conduct in federal prison.

Nagi's "conviction at trial and lengthy sentence should be enough proof of the fact that he did not cooperate," Graveline said in an April 5 court filing.

"However, the government can aver that the case agent never interviewed Mr. Nagi as part of his investigation and both the undersigned and the case agent are unaware of any attempts by Nagi to cooperate, at any time, with law enforcement, in their investigation of the Detroit Highwaymen Outlaw Motorcycle Club."

But Schoen said it's important for Ball to know the full history of Nagi's cooperation with federal and other police agencies, and who decided to conceal Nagi's past from Ball, even if it turns out Nagi wasn't a "spy in the camp" during the Highwaymen trial. At a minimum, he wants a chance to question Nagi and Thomas under oath.

"The overriding point is, the defendants are entitled to know this stuff," and it was never disclosed, Schoen said.

Since Ball raised the issue, two other imprisoned Highwaymen — Leonard (Dad) Moore, who was dubbed the club's "godfather" at trial, and former national president Joseph (Little Joe) Whiting — have filed court papers making similar arguments.

"Mr. Ball and Mr. Moore were constitutionally entitled to know that Nagi had been in the government's employ as a cooperating witness," Moore attorney Martin Beres said in a December filing.

While Nagi's history has implications for the entire trial, attorney Shulman's simultaneous representation of Ball and another Highwaymen defendant, McDaniel — which was concealed from Ball — is in some ways even more troubling, Schoen said.

Shulman was admonished — but not charged or disciplined — by the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission in 2014 for not responding to Ball's 2013 complaint alleging a conflict of interest.

But Shulman said the commission never made a determination that Ball's conflict of interest allegation had merit.

Shulman, who first made an appearance as Ball's attorney in June 2008, made his first appearance for McDaniel just a few weeks earlier, in March 2008, in a 2006 criminal case in Monroe County. Shulman also represented McDaniel beginning in 2009 in a separate drug case in front of a different federal judge in Detroit, and it was pursuant to the 2010 plea deal Shulman negotiated for McDaniel in that case that Edmunds dismissed McDaniel as a defendant in the Highwaymen case, in April 2011, records show.

Graveline told the Free Press he is limited in what he can say before the May 17 hearing, but he denied that McDaniel's charge in the Highwaymen case was negotiated away as part of McDaniel's plea deal in the other federal case. Instead, McDaniel's guilty plea meant he was already facing more prison time than he would have received in the Highwaymen case, so he was dropped as a matter of efficiency, Graveline said. Shulman said that's his understanding, also.

Shulman never made an appearance for McDaniel in the Highwaymen case, where McDaniel was represented by another attorney. Schoen and Ball believe that was to conceal his dual and conflicting representations. Schoen told the Free Press that McDaniel told him that Shulman in fact represented his interests in both cases. Shulman said that's "simply not true."

Schoen says prosecutors must have known, and Edmunds should have known, that Shulman was representing both Ball and McDaniel. Both had a duty to inform Ball, who was kept in the dark, Schoen said.
Ball and McDaniel weren't just charged in the same wide-ranging case. Two of the charges Ball faced related to the same set of facts under which McDaniel was charged — the alleged theft of motorcycles in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in 2006, and their transport to Michigan to receive false registration titles.

In fact, evidence shows McDaniel was the go-to guy for changing vehicle registrations — an offense for which Ball was ultimately convicted, Schoen argues.

Ball and Schoen allege Shulman pulled his punches in cross-examining certain witnesses, not wanting to explore areas that would help Ball but implicate McDaniel.

"For Shulman, there was a clear risk to his other client's (McDaniel's) interests if he were to pursue plea negotiations with Mr. Ball or if he pursued certain lines of defense that would have well served Mr. Ball, but would have inculpated his other client (McDaniel) or undermined stories McDaniel had told the government in his cooperation," Schoen said in a court filing.

Shulman told the Free Press there was no conflict. Ball knew he was representing McDaniel in the other cases and there was no need for Ball to sign a conflict waiver because no conflict existed, he said.

"I didn't represent Mr. McDaniel in the Highwaymen case, and Mr. McDaniel was not indicted in that case until well after Mr. Ball was indicted," Shulman said in an e-mail.

"McDaniel had another attorney appointed to represent him in the Highwaymen case. My cases with Mr. McDaniel were unrelated."

Shulman said Ball's 30-year sentence was excessive, and he wishes him well in getting a new trial, but "I went to the mat for him during trial and left it all on the floor."

Prosecutors argue that the federal case in which Shulman represented McDaniel had nothing to do with the Highwaymen and McDaniel was never called as a witness against Ball. They also say in court filings that they had strong evidence against Ball on the drug conspiracy charges — including direct sales by Ball to a police informant — which had nothing to do with McDaniel.

"Despite his best efforts to conflate the lengthy timeline of this case and assume certain facts about his defense counsel, there was no conflict of interest in the defendant's case," Graveline said in a court filing.

But there's more.

Ball's first attorney in the case, Lee O'Brien of Troy, represented Ball from the start of proceedings in October 2006 until May 2008, after O'Brien himself was charged in the case, with making false statements.

Prosecutors knew O'Brien, who could not be reached, was under investigation and should have let Ball know he needed to get another attorney, Schoen argues.

"For O'Brien, who, according to investigative reports was suspected of being involved with illegal conduct with Mr. Ball, he risked being inculpated if he were to have Mr. Ball pursue plea negotiations," he said.

Graveline said in a court filing that the 19 months during which O'Brien represented Ball were not a crucial state in the proceedings and Ball can only argue, quite speculatively, that O'Brien's representation prevented a possible plea deal at that time. However, "of the 17 individuals charged in the original indictment, none of them resolved their cases between October 2006 and May 2008," he said.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Propaganda: Motorcycle Gang 1957

Synopsis : A troublemaker returns to town only to find his old tearaway pals have joined a supervised motorcycle club. Friction erupts between him and the new leader about this goody-goody setup, and about the charms of gang moll Terry.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cops detail shooting at Diablos MC clubhouse

Five men arrested; victim listed in critical condition

Terre Haute, IN. (April 1, 2017) – An earlier fight or beating at the Diablos Motorcycle Club apparently led to a shooting Thursday evening near the group’s clubhouse on Eighth Avenue between 26th and 27th streets.

In a court hearing Friday, Terre Haute Police Department detectives Keith Mowbray and Brad Rumsey testified witnesses gave information about a running altercation Thursday between the shooting victim — 54-year-old Kenny Pitts — and members of the Diablos MC.

The cops also said members of the motorcycle club also tried to cover up evidence.

Cops outside the Diablos MC Clubhouse in Terre Haute Indiana

Mowbray said Pitts suffered two gunshot wounds and was in critical condition at an Indianapolis, Indiana hospital.

The testimony prompted Judge Michael Rader to find probable cause to hold five Diablos MC members. Those arrested, initial charges and their bond amounts are:

• Brian Gosnell, 45, Terre Haute; aggravated battery, criminal gang activity, obstruction of justice; $75,000, no 10 percent allowed.

• Jack W. Schultz II, 57, Terre Haute; aggravated battery, criminal gang activity, obstruction of justice; $75,000, no 10 percent allowed.

• Corrie E. Robinson, 32, Terre Haute; assisting a criminal, obstruction of justice, criminal gang activity; $50,000, no 10 percent allowed.

• Vernon Cheesman, 52, Brazil; assisting a criminal, obstruction of justice, criminal gang activity;$50,000, no 10 percent allowed.

• Jeremy M. Yates, 40, Clinton; assisting a criminal, obstruction of justice, criminal gang activity;$50,000, no 10 percent allowed.

Members of the Diablos MC being escorted to court

Mowbray said witnesses told officers that Pitts had been at the clubhouse earlier on Thursday and had battered someone there. He also reportedly uttered threats against the club’s president before leaving in a red Pontiac Firebird.

Mowbray cited multiple witnesses in his testimony, and he said those people asked to remain unnamed in police reports for fear of retaliation.

The detectives said Pitts later returned to the area of the clubhouse with two other people in the car. A witness in the car said Pitts wanted to fight someone, Mowbray told the court.

Pitts was reportedly doing burnouts in the street outside the Diablos MC clubhouse shortly before 6 p.m. when club members came outside because of the commotion.

When Pitts sped past the clubhouse driving erratically and jumping the curb, gunshots rang out, a witness told police. Pitts turned and drove up 27th Street and stopped the car at Beech Street, where he fell out of the vehicle.

Police tape around the Diablos MC Clubhouse in Terre Haute Indiana

Mowbray said a witness at a nearby convenience store told police he heard two gunshots, followed by five or six more gunshots. A person in the car said she was struck by broken glass from two gunshots, Mowbray testified.

Witnesses also reportedly told police they saw members of the motorcycle club picking up shell casings, and two guns were taken from the clubhouse area to a nearby property and hidden in a shed.

Rumsey said he sought search warrants, and police located two guns and shell casings in a locked shed. Some of the shell casings were .40 caliber, and some were 9 millimeter, Rumsey said.

SOURCE: Tribune Star

Club Members

Rouge Club members in Europe 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Virginia Going After Biker Bars

Virginia ABC Cracking Down on Biker Bars in Central Virginia 

ORANGE, Va. (March 28, 2017) – Motorcycle Clubs in Central Virginia are the focus of a new campaign by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is trying to put the brakes on biker bars in central Virginia. The ABC is warning restaurants and bars they could lose their licenses by becoming a hangout for motorcycle clubs.

The ABC says this crackdown comes in response to concerns from law enforcement in Greene County, Louisa, and Orange.

An unknown biker on his Harley

John Nagro, the owner of CJ’s at Byrd Street in the town of Orange, is trying to shake off that reputation for his bar.

“The windows aren't black, there's nobody undressed in here dancing. It's not a biker bar,” Nagro explained. “Don't just say because you have a motorcycle patch on there that you're a bad guy, because it's not true.”

Nagro believes police and the ABC are targeting bikers after a dust-up between a member of a motorcycle club and another customer

“You know, they all like to play dress up with their jackets and who they are, what they are,” Nagro said. “They're good guys, they don't bother me. They don't bother anyone in this town.”

Nagro got a letter (LINK) calling his restaurant a rendezvous for an outlaw motorcycle gang.

“Next thing I know, the big boys from ABC came in and basically threatened me that I was going to lose my license,” Nagro explained.

ABC agents are handing out the letter to 30 bars and restaurants around Central Virginia, including in the town of Louisa. It describes an increase of outlaw motorcycle gang activity, but these aren't just your weekend riders.

Police describe the groups as the "one-percenters".

“Those one-percenters, the ones that create the problems for us in law enforcement and the criminal activity, is the area we need to focus on,” said Chief Ronnie Roberts with the town of Louisa police.

The ABC warns it can revoke the license of a business that becomes a meeting place or rendezvous for outlaw motorcycle gangs.

A pub in Louisa posted the letter and a sign warning bikers not to wear their colors or cuts.

“What we've done is try to make sure everybody is on the same page and not leaving anyone out, so everyone knows what the regulatory issues are,” said Roberts.

Nagro says he's losing business in this battle over rights.

“If the ABC wants to take my license, I guess they can take my license. There's nothing I can do about it, but I do believe that Constitutional rights are being violated here every day,” Nagro said.

Members of motorcycle clubs and their supporters are sending letters (LINK) to the governor and members of the General Assembly about this issue with the ABC.

The letter calls the department's actions "intimidation" and an "infringement of freedom of speech."

Statement from Virginia ABC:

Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement Region 9 distributed a letter addressed to Region 9 on premise licensees advising them of an increase in outlaw motorcycle gang activity in on premise ABC licensed establishments. This letter was created in response to information received from four local law enforcement agencies within the Charlottesville region. The letter was provided as an educational resource for licensees and was hand-delivered to approximately 30 licensees in the region during inspections and day to day interactions. Special agents are continuing to distribute the letters.

The letter includes applicable sections of Virginia Code and states that all Virginia ABC licensees should take reasonable measures to prevent their establishments from becoming a meeting place or rendezvous for members of a criminal street gang or from becoming a place where patrons of the establishment commit criminal violations. The letter also advises licensees of potential penalties that could be incurred in the event of a violation. It does not state that licensees should decline service to certain individuals and does not require any specific actions on the part of the licensee.

At their request, Virginia ABC is working with the following local law enforcement agencies on this effort: Town of Orange Police Department; Town of Louisa Police Department; Louisa County Sheriff’s Office; and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.


Keeping it steady

Friday, March 17, 2017

Six Members of Hells Angels MC Arrested

New Roc Hells Angels facing federal drugs, racketeering charges

NEW YORK, NY ( March 16, 2017) – Six members and associates of the Hells Angels operating in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties are facing several federal drug and racketeering charges.

Joon Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Thursday that six members of the New Roc Hells Angels, which operated primarily in and around Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties from at least 2008 to August 2014, had been arrested.

Kim said most of their activities included narcotics trafficking, extortion, money laundering, contraband cigarettes, and prostitution and altered motor vehicle parts.

Thomas Schmidt, Joseph Kaplan, John Calvacchio, Jeff Amato and Gary Paganelli were arrested in New York Thursday morning, Kim said, and Michael Picchone was arrested near Los Angeles. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains federal court.

An unknown Hells Angels MC member

The six members of the New Roc Hells Angels were charged with various racketeering, narcotics and money laundering offenses, including assault of a rival club member with a hammer, Kim said.

“As alleged, through the sale of cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana and their violent conflict with rival gangs, members of the New Roc Hells Angels wreaked havoc on the streets of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties," Kim said in a statement. "Together with our law enforcement partners, we are determined to combat gang and drug violence throughout the Southern District of New York.”

The assault happened in December 2012, Kim said, when members of the New Roc Hells Angels beat a rival motorcycle club member over the head with a hammer in a crowded restaurant in Poughkeepsie in retaliation for encroaching "on their territory."

FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said clubs like the Hells Angels often use violence and intimidation to protect their turf and "establish themselves."

"In this case, they allegedly used those tactics by attacking a rival club member with a hammer in the middle of a restaurant and placing innocent people in danger," Sweeney said in a statement. "Regardless of the name these men operate under, the FBI Westchester Safe Streets Gang Task Force works daily to remove these alleged violent members of our society and to create a safer community for everyone."

NEWS SOURCE: The Journal News

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Attorney’s Office