Fourteen months after the sensational, arrest event, three of the twenty members and alleged associates of the Maine chapter of the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club will finally get to argue their case in court. The men were indicted in Portland, Maine on March 12, 2008.
Richard Szpyt of Haverhill, Massachusetts and Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Roman Dellosantos of Haverhill; and Sherwood Jordan of Albany, Maine are all charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Szpyt was president of the Maine chapter of the Iron Horsemen until his arrest last year. The trial is at the Federal Courthouse in Portland.
A fourth defendant, Michael Martin of Limerick is scheduled to be tried separately for possession of cocaine. A fifth defendant, Robert Boothby of Monson, Maine died before he could clear his good name.
Fifteen other defendants have reached plea and sentencing agreements with federal prosecutors on charges of either possession of controlled substances or possession with intent to distribute drugs. Some of these men are expected to testify against Szpyt, Dellosantos and Jordan.
Only A Motorcycle Club
Szpyt, through his attorney, Robert Levine, has vehemently denied the allegations against him. He has stated in court documents that he only gradually became aware that some drug sales might have been carried out by some of his club brothers. He took steps to prevent a reoccurrence of this violation of club bylaws but he was arrested before he could be certain that all the illegal activity had stopped.
“The club is a social organization of motorcycle enthusiasts, which frowns upon, and indeed prohibits the sale of drugs by its members,” Szpyt explained through his attorney.
The indictments last March culminated a year-long investigation of the Iron Horsemen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The lead prosecutor in the case, Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Perry, told jurors Tuesday that 40 wiretapped telephone conversations, photographs, written notes and actual cocaine and marijuana seized during the arrests last March will prove the defendants guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Perry also expects to call up to 21 prosecution witnesses before resting his case later this week.
In their opening statements, defense attorneys told jurors that the government will not be able to prove that a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Maine ever existed.
If they are convicted, Szpyt, Dellosantos and Jordan all face a prison sentence of at least ten years.