Cory Robert “Sonic” Howard, a member of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, pled no contest Friday to aggravated assault in the aftermath of a brawl between five Leathernecks and about 25 members of the Rebels Motorcycle Club in Rochester, Pennsylvania on October 13, 2014. Howard had been scheduled to stand trial today.
Sources have asserted that Howard acted in self defense after a Rebel brandished an AK47.
According to an informed source, Howard pled no contest as part of an agreement with prosecutors that he will be sentenced to 59 days in the Beaver County Jail. Howard is a disabled Iraq War veteran who would lose his veteran’s benefits if he was sentenced to 60 or more days in jail. The agreement also stipulates that Howard will be the only Leatherneck charged.
The Rebels is the largest motorcycle club in Australia. A man named Mike “Sawdust” Cunningham began establishing chapters of the club in the United States in 2014. At the time of the Rochester brawl, Cunningham claimed the Rebels had chapters in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia. Club members portrayed themselves as one percenters.
During Cunningham’s tenure in the club, the Rebels in the United States instigated multiple. public confrontations with the War Dogs, Pagans, Kingsmen and Leathernecks Motorcycle Clubs. Sources alleged that Cunningham personally supervised some of these confrontations from the safety of a nearby car. Rebels patch holders have cooperated with police in the prosecution of members of other clubs.
In Cory Howard’s case, at least three Rebels incriminated the Leatherneck.
Dwayne “Hobo” Bogolea, a member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club and a former member of Satan’s Syndicate, “was interviewed and gave a voluntary statement” to Sergeant Dawn Shane of the Rochester Borough Police. “Bogolea stated that Cory, a short guy with a little beard and is from Pittsburgh is the person who was shooting at him and JD.”
Rebel Scott Hartley, “identified the shooter as Cory Howard” “He supplied a verbal and written statement.”
Rebel James Lambert III told Sergeant Shane “that Cory Howard had pulled a gun and waved it around at everyone.” “Lambert…stated that Howard fired shots at his girlfriend inside her van.”
Lambert had been scheduled to testify against Howard if the case had gone to trial.
In April 2015, the Rebels Motorcycle Club in Australia stated that “Michael Varnard Cunningham also known as ‘Sawdust,’ ‘Solo’ and ‘Da Realist’ has been expelled from the club for theft of national funds, theft of club merchandise and breaking rules of club bylaws.” The Rebels also warned, “If any club accepts his membership they accept his debt, too.”
Cunningham now claims to be president of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club in the United States.