Three members of the Salem, Massachusetts charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club pled guilty to racketeering earlier this month in a hardboiled case reminiscent of the Boston tales of the late George V. Higgins.
Former Salem Hells Angels Robert DeFronzo and Mark Eliason and former Red Devils Motorcycle Club member Brian Weymouth pled guilty February 5 to Conspiracy to Commit Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering; Maiming in Aid of Racketeering; Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering; and Assault Resulting In Serious Bodily Injury in Aid of Racketeering. Former Salem charter vice-president Sean Barr pled guilty to the same four counts last Friday, February 13. All four men will be sentenced in May.
The indictment, filed in January 2014, describes “the Hells Angels Salem Organization” as a “criminal enterprise” and alleges the “purpose of the enterprise included…preserving and protecting the power, territory and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, violence, including assaults and murder, and threats of violence; promoting and enhancing the enterprise and its members’ and associates’ activities; keeping victims and potential victims in fear of the enterprise and in fear of its members and associates, through violence and threats of violence; providing financial support and information to members and associates, including those who were incarcerated for committing acts of violence or other offenses; providing assistance to other members and associates who committed crimes for and on behalf of the enterprise; and providing assistance to other enterprise members and associates, in order to hinder, obstruct and prevent law enforcement officers from identifying the offender, apprehending the offender, and trying to punish the offender.”
Since, typically, this case was never contested in court, the truthfulness of the account of most of what happened relies on the veracity of three anonymous witnesses and an FBI Agent named Jeffrey E. Wood. Witness One was a former member of the Red Devils. Witness Two was his wife or girlfriend. Witness Three was a Hells Angels hang around who was friendly with the other two witnesses. Those four people allege:
A former Salem Angel named Ferdinand ‘Freddy’ Parrott was expelled from the club with the status “Out Bad No Contact” for “allegedly leaving a fellow Hells Angel broken down on the side of a highway in rival, Pagans Motorcycle Club, territory.” Everybody involved in the case seemed to know to stay away from Parrott and to punch him in the mouth if they ran into him.
Nevertheless Parrott showed up at Witness One’s stepdaughter’s sweet sixteen party one Saturday night in September 2012. A number of Red Devils were there and they let the Out Bad Parrott stay rather than kicking him down and out. The next day a member of the Salem charter allegedly told Witness Three that Witness One has “fucked up bad and didn’t take care of business. He will be dealt with as a rat.”
On Monday Barr, who worked with Witness One at a construction company, told the witness that he and the other Red Devils who gave Parrott a pass had until Friday to find him and beat him.
Thursday night, at the Red Devils’ weekly meeting, that club reprimanded the members who had been at the sweet sixteen party. They were told to find and beat Parrott. The chapter vice-president who had been at the party was ordered to steal Parrott’s motorcycle and Witness One was put Out Bad No Contact. Witness One turned in his patches and left.
The next morning at work, Barr told Witness One he had to quit his job. Witness One quit on the spot.
Pick A Hand
Two and a half weeks later, Witness One learned some members of the Salem charter had accused him of “talking to members of a rival club” and he agreed to meet a Salem Angel at a donut shop. The Angel invited Witness One to go to the Red Devils’ clubhouse so he could clear his name. He agreed to go. There were members of both clubs waiting for him. Barr asked Witness One about talking to members of the rival club. Witness One denied he had. Barr produced a ball peen hammer and told Witness One to “pick a hand.” Barr then asked the future Witness One, “you don’t mind giving me your bike right?” Then he told the others there to “take the damn bike.”
The witness was knocked unconscious and suffered a wound that required stitches. When he woke, Barr pointed out to Witness One that he would be needing stitches then asked “hand or knee.” After some hesitation the witness put his hand on a bar stool and Barr hit it twice, broke four bones and, according to the FBI, permanently disabled the former Red Devil. Meanwhile, two other defendants drove to the house Witness One shared with Witness Two, tore down his fence and rode away with his motorcycle. Apparently, this alarmed Witness Two and her children.
Witness Two then took Witness One to the hospital where he told the attending physician he had dropped an engine block on his hand. The day after that, Witness Three was told he could buy Witness One’s motorcycle if he could raise the money. He could not.
So, for months after that, Witness One was allegedly told to surrender the title to his motorcycle to the Salem charter. He refused. Finally, in late March, five months after the sweet sixteen party, one of the defendants told Witness One he had until one o’clock the next day to turn over his title or the defendant would break both of Witness One’s legs, rape Witness Two, beat up Witness Two’s children while Witness One watched and then kill Witness One. Witness One was either unwilling or unable to take matters into his own hands so he went to the FBI and was fitted for a wire.
That, according to the official FBI account, was how Witness One became Witness One, Witness Two became Witness Two and Witness Three became Witness Three.