Five men in suburban Pittsburgh were arrested on federal charges yesterday in three separate court cases based on a single undercover investigation.
The three affidavits that support the arrests link the men to a motorcycle club called The LAW Motorcycle Club. Several news outlets including television station WTAE and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review are reporting the men are affiliated with the Lords Among Warriors Motorcycle Club. The federal documents filed in the three cases name the club using only an acronym.
Federal authorities have been intentionally misleading the local press about the case since the five men were arrested yesterday. Isaac Skipworth is charged in a case titled U.S. v. Skipworth. Raymond Kober, Christopher Levy and Scott Kulikowski are charged in U.S. v. Kulikowski, Levy and Kober. Those three men and Jason Godek are charged in U.S. v. Kober et al. WTAE reported that Skipworth was arrested after local police responded to “a call for a suspicious device” and that once inside agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found “some sort of suspicious device.” Court documents state that Skipworth has been the subject of a federal investigation for more than six months. The ATF Case Agent in charge of this investigation is named Ryan Rennig and the way the case is being handled raises an obvious question: What is the government trying to hide?
Officially the three intertwined cases are “being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.”
According to Rennig’s affidavits there are “cooperating individuals,” plural, in the case. The complaints allege that yesterday, January 15, 2015 Skipworth committed the federal crime of possessing a firearm as a user or addict of a controlled substance; that Kulikowski, Levy and Kober “were involved in a variety of illegal activities including but not limited to robbery and firearms possession;” and that Kulikowski, Levy, Kober and Godek “were involved in large-scale cocaine trafficking, distribution of controlled substance prescription pills, (as well as other controlled substances), money laundering, illegal firearms transfers, robbery and other offenses.”
The investigation that led to yesterday’s five arrests began in “early June, 2014,” when “the DEA developed a confidential informant (CS2) that agreed to cooperate with law enforcement in exchange for potential consideration during the sentencing phase of his/her eventual prosecution. CS2 had previously been convicted of two offenses. During subsequent debriefings, CS2 provided information that was independently corroborated by your affiant’s investigation. Therefore your affiant is of the opinion that CS2 is reliable and credible. CS2 identified Raymond Kober (also known to CS2 as ‘Bridge’ and ‘Ceno’) as a distributor of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine throughout the Pittsburgh, PA area. CS2 confessed to investigators that he/she had been receiving packages of cocaine since approximately January 2013 from Raymond Kober. During that time period CS2 had received multiple kilograms of cocaine from Kober.”
The informants statements resulted in six wiretaps that led to all three cases charged yesterday. Accoding to Rennig, the wiretaps led to “the interception of thousands of telephone calls and text messages many of which revealed that “Kober and others were involved in a variety of illegal activities including, but not limited to, firearms possession.”
According to the affidavits, “Kober and his associates are known to be members of a motorcycle club (The LAW) through which they associate and in some instances engage in drug trafficking and other illegal acts together.”
WTAE quoted an unnamed “Pittsburgh homicide investigator” who said, “We’re not talking about Pagans or Hells Angels. We’re talking about a local group that gets together and rides very clean, expensive motorcycles.”