Six members of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club were found guilty of racketeering this morning under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO. As currently interpreted under case law, racketeering is the crime of being a criminal.
National President Jeff Garvin “Fat Dog” Smith, National Vice-President Paul “Pauli” Darrah, alleged National Warlord Cary “Gun Control” Vandiver, Vincent “Holiday” Witort and Patrick Michael “Magoo” McKeoun were found guilty of all charges. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two RICO charges faced by David Randy “D” Drozdowski but found him guilty on three other charges. Scott “Scotty Z” Sutherland was found not guilty. Sutherland had already pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, served his time and will probably be released from custody today.
All the defendants were accused, in effect, of not cooperating with authorities and urging others not to do so. An indictment filed in July 2012 accused them of: Conspiracy to Suborn Perjury and Obstruct Justice; Subornation of Perjury; Aiding and Abetting, Obstruction of Justice: Obstruction of Justice by Threats to a Witness; Mailing Threatening Communications; and Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess With Intent to Distribute Marijuana.
Club members were accused of manufacturing small amounts of methamphetamine, selling small amounts of marijuana, Vicodin and other drugs and profiting as a club from video poker machines located in clubhouses. Smith and others were also accused of ordering the 2003 beating s of five club members in Arizona who had raped the wife of a Hells Angel.
RICO allows the federalization of lesser, local crimes like selling marijuana and the imposition of very harsh penalties for those crimes. All of the convicted men face a decade or more behind bars.
There is no date for their sentencing hearings. They will probably be sentenced this summer.
The Department of Justice also intends to seize the Devils Diciples’ Clinton Township, Michigan clubhouse, numerous motorcycles and other possessions belonging to the club and its members. The club was founded in Fontana, California in 1967 and has about 200 members in chapters in eight states.
The trial lasted four months and the jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than three weeks.