United States Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway has loudly announced that a St. Louis Grand Jury has indicted 15 members of the Invaders Motorcycle Club. The men are accused of conspiring to distribute 2,200 pounds of marijuana, the devil’s drug, between 1994 and 2009.
The indicted men have been publically identified as: Edward John Borough, 39; Robert Allen Turner, 60; Victor Dwayne Ashworth, 48; William Arthur Bellmore, 53; Gerald Wayne Dragich, 55; Donald Steven Emory, 49; Stephen Patrick Morris, 46; Michael Shawn Ashworth, 44; Daniel Charles Inman, 54; Timothy Jay Bartruff, 51; Timothy James Rappleano, 43Raymond Edward Bodway, 36; Gary Wayne Null, 35; Ronald A. Young, 51; and Shane L. Rohlfing, 31.
All 15 men have been reported to be members of the Midwest Chapter of the Invaders. The Invaders MC has eight chapters in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Colorado.
Federal grand juries comprise between 16 and 23 jurors. At least 16 jurors must be present at any session to form a quorum and at least 12 of them must vote for an indictment. Generally, federal grand juries always return indictments.
Solomon Wachtler, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1985 to 1993 and subsequently an incarcerated felon himself, once remarked that any federal prosecutor can get any federal grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”
An indictment is an accusation that a crime has occurred. In the United States of America, people who are accused of crimes are presumed to be innocent until they are proven guilty. Nevertheless, the St Louis Post-Dispatch, once the best newspaper in the Midwest, ran a headline in Sunday morning’s edition that screamed, “15 In Motorcycle Gang Ran Pot Ring.”
Your Government At Work
The decade and a half long investigation of the Invaders was carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA.) And, the length of time it has taken for this investigation to reach a conclusion may offer a hint as to why the United States government has not yet captured Osama Bin Laden or won the war in Iraq.
This is the second time in the last six months that the DEA has asked a grand jury to indict members of the Invaders. Last June, a federal grand jury indicted 34 members and associates of the Northern Indiana Chapter of the club for conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana and a half kilogram of methamphetamine. Those charges remain unresolved.