Ron Smith, 43, a member of the Iron Pigs motorcycle gang, has been indicted by grand jurors in South Dakota with two felonies and a class 1 misdemeanor for the shooting of Joseph McGuire, 33. The shooting occurred at the Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis about 1 am on August 9, 2008. The Iron Pigs gang is composed entirely of policemen and firemen. It has numerous chapters throughout the United States.
After the shooting, Smith was briefly detained by local police then allowed to leave the state with other members of the Iron Pigs gang.
Smith faces charges of aggravated assault, perjury and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
Smith shot McGuire, of Imperial Beach, California in the belly and the leg. McGuire is a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Witness have testified that Smith objected to the Iron Pigs being allowed to wear their distinctive patches, or colors, inside the bar. The Loud American Roadhouse has a “no colors” policy.
Smith’s Song And Dance
Smith claimed he was in the bar minding his own business when, without warning, he was surrounded by Hells Angels. Smith maintains he was then knocked to the floor and choked and beaten by one or more assailants. As he was being beaten he says he felt someone reaching for a handgun he carried on his hip. Acting in great fear for his life Smith then managed to draw the weapon and fire twice at one of his assailants.
Meade County South Dakota States Attorney Jesse Sondreal said the grand jury charged Smith with perjury because the jurors believed Smith’s side of the story is a lie.
Four other members of the Iron Pigs gang were also indicted: Dennis McCoy, 59, a sergeant with the Seattle police; Scott Lazalde, 38 and James Rector, 44 who are both Customs and Border protection officers; and Erik Pingel, 35, who is a civilian firefighter at an Air Force Base in Colorado.
Member of Elite Pawnshop Unit
Smith, is a pawnshop unit detective in Seattle and a member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle police union. According to published reports, Smith has embarrassed the Seattle Police at least twice before. Smith faced internal discipline from the Department for taunting spectators at a Seattle Seahawks football game and on another occasion for threatening to shoot a restaurant employee.
Smith claims he had been targeted for retaliation by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club for testimony he gave in federal racketeering and attempted murder trial last year.
In an unrelated incident in 2005, Smith filed charges against another member of the Hells Angels, Seattle motorcycle shop owner Anthony James Magnesi. Smith claimed Magnesi had threatened him in a telephone call.
The charges in the case were dropped after Magnesi’s attorney played a tape recording of the allegedly threatening phone call for Seattle prosecutors. On that tape, Smith actually threatened Magnesi. Calling the bike shop owner a “dirt bag,” threatening him with prosecution for being a member of the Hells Angels and warning him to, “watch your back.”
Union Sure Smith Will Be Vindicated
In a press release Seattle police union official Ty Elster cautioned against passing judgment against Smith and his fellow defendants until the Iron Pigs gang members have had their day in court. “We are certain that once all the facts are known… (the Iron Pigs patch holders)…will be vindicated and absolved of any wrongdoing,” Elster said.