Two hundred forty years after the midnight ride of Paul Revere, the famously timid, pacific and law abiding people of New England have been called to alarm by Rhode Island police that the Outlaws are coming.
Three members of the American Outlaws Association from Philadelphia, Thomas Severns, Andrew Forte and Andrew Niemiec were arrested Saturday after they drove a car through Rhode Island on Interstate 95. That road is the most direct route from Philadelphia to Boston. Police described the encounter as a “routine traffic stop.” Severns was driving and, for reasons that are not clear, police searched him and found a five-inch-long knife. Rhode Island State Police then found or manufactured some pretext to search the car and found a loaded, nine millimeter, Taurus Millennium semi-automatic pistol.
Severns was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun, failing to possess a license for a pistol and possession of a wepon other than a gun. He was held without bail. Forte and Niemiec were also charged with failing to have a license for a pistol and possessing a loaded pistol in a vehicle. They made bail of $5,000 each.
The AOA has four full chapters and a prospective chapter in Massachusetts and a chapter in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Yesterday Rhode Island State Police Major Joseph Philbin explained to Providence television station WPRI just how dangerous these three men must be.
“The Outlaws are one the of biggest motorcycle clubs or gangs in the country, and the fact that they are establishing a presence in Rhode Island is alarming to us because sometimes they can bring forth some violence and criminal activity. I’m not saying all the time but sometimes they can,” Philbin explained.
He called the Outlaws “a criminal enterprise” and asserted that “New England is considered to belong to the Hells Angels.”
“The Hells Angels have had a presence in Rhode Island as long as I’ve been on the state police, the last 20 to 25 years,”the Major said. “So the fact that the Outlaws are trying to maintain or create a presence here could create a problem.”
“Take what happened in Waco, Texas last year between the Bandidos and Cossacks…. Within a matter of minutes, there’s nine people shot and killed out there,” Philbin said. “You don’t want to see that happen here and you don’t want any innocent bystanders caught up in the fight between the two clubs.”
Philbin declined to say how or why police came to stop the car carrying the three men.