Cops representing eight separate law enforcement agencies arrested eighteen people this morning who will be accused of belonging to or of somehow being associated with the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club in and around Buffalo, New York. Two more suspects are being sought by authorities.
A predominantly black motorcycle club founded in Los Angeles in 1959 also calls itself the Chosen Few. The two clubs know about each other but are separate clubs with separate patches.
The New York Chosen Few were founded in Buffalo in 1967, and wear a “Beatnik for their center patch” which symbolizes “freedom and non-conformity with modernistic society.” Around Buffalo, the Chosen Few may be most famous for the free concerts they sponsor. But, today an anonymous investigator told the Buffalo News, “They’re an outlaw motorcycle club, as far as I’m concerned.” That was obviously enough to get them investigated and to get some of them arrested.
Evidence against the Chosen Few includes, wiretaps, electronic surveillance and photographic surveillance. Federal authorities have not yet announced how much the investigation cost or what they expect the cost-benefit ratio of the arrests to be.
The Chosen Few have a long and tangled history as a comparatively small club surrounded by larger ones. At one point, the Chosen Few were offered a patch-over by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. During another moment in their history about half of the Buffalo Chosen Few joined the American Outlaws Association (AOA.)
For many years the Chosen Few have had a strained relationship with another Buffalo area fraternity of motorcycling enthusiasts, the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club. Various sources, both informed and speculative, have alleged for more than a year that the Kingsmen had “declared war” on the Chosen Few.
The two clubs have a history. Twelve years ago members of the Chosen Few and the Kingsmen were alleged to have fought a gun battle in West Seneca, New York. One man was injured as a result of that fight.
The Kingsmen have been publically alleged to maintain cordial relations with the AOA but they have repeatedly denied that they are either a support club or affiliated in any way with the Outlaws. The Kingsmen were established in Lockport, New York in 1958 and they wear a patch on their cuts that reads, “Kingsmen MC Not Affiliated.”
A year ago, shortly before the current troubles started, a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club named James “Mitch” McAuley pled guilty to conspiracy to murder members of the Kingsmen. The Chosen Few are alleged to be on cordial terms with the Hells Angels.
Last summer at a Chosen Few concert and run called “Bikes and Blues,” some unknown person vandalized a tent and tagged it with the initials “KMC.” Last August, another someone fired gunshots at the Chosen Few Clubhouse in Depew, New York. Later that month, a Chosen Few prospect was shot at and run off the road in West Seneca.
Following this morning’s roundup, anonymous federal sources alleged that long-time Chosen Few President Alex Koschtschuk had ordered members of his club to retaliate against members of the Kingsmen. Koschtschuk will be charged with federal charges of masterminding a criminal conspiracy.
The other suspects were arrested “for various criminal acts involving weapons, possible explosives and assaults,” according to a federal source.
The arrests culminate a several-months long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Erie County New York Probation Department, New York State Police and police from the Depew, Lancaster, Buffalo and Amherst, New York Police Departments also participated in the arrests.