The Federal Case against the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club in Buffalo is now entering its 27th week. The Case began when a 10 page indictment was unsealed last March 17th.
But, that indictment was superseded by 30 pages of accusations two weeks later. And, the indictment that superseded that one, on May 19th, was 57 pages long. And that second superseding indictment was superseded by yet another 76 pages of accusations two weeks ago.
And, there may be more.
The case began as an investigation into an ongoing dispute between the Chosen Few and two other upstate New York clubs named the Kingsmen and the Lonely Ones. Government prosecutors charged Chosen Few President Alex “Al” Koschtschuk with building five pipe bombs in his garage in the Spring of 2004. A “conspiracy” of six club members including men named Clyde “Butchie” Utz, James “Jimmy” Lathrop, Brion Murphy, Gerald Rogacki and Matthew Watkins then set off one of the bombs to see if it would work.
Then Utz, Murphy and two other desperados named Andy Murray and David Ignasiak threw two of the bombs at the Lonely Ones clubhouse. Koschtschuk told Murray to get rid of the two leftover pipe bombs and five years later, just in time to beat the statute of limitations, the indictment was handed down.
The Chosen Few was founded in Buffalo in 1967. The club wears a Beatnik 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.
The club has 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.)
The unsealing of the indictment last March culminated a several-months long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The federal case against the Chosen Few has grown and evolved over the last 27 weeks. Members of the club are now charged with creating a racketeering “enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.” And, more defendants have been advised of their rights. Names on the indictment now include: Alan Segool, Michael Segool, Bradley Beutler, Dane Beutler, Robert Summerville, Norman Herzog, Robert Treadway, Robert Geiger, Donald Diana, Lionel Carter, Martin Whiteford, Charles Kuznicki, Dennis Rogowski and Gary Phillians.
But, what is truly astounding about this case is that none of the indictments include a single drug charge. The entire case seems to be about the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club pushing its weight around and the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club and the Lonely Ones Motorcycle Club pushing back.
Or, as one of the indictments puts it, “Beginning sometime in 2003, the exact date being unknown, the Chosen Few and a rival motorcycle club, the Lonely Ones Motorcycle Club of Blasdell, New York had a dispute which the officers and members of the Chosen Few attempted to win.”
As a result of that dispute the Department of Justice now accuses members of the Chosen Few of:
Outlaws Versus Angels
• “Representing the local interests of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club by providing an area of operations free from clubs loyal to the Outlaws primary national and international rival, namely the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club by engaging in criminal conduct intended to remove the Lonely Ones Motorcycle Clu, a club loyal to the Hells Angels, from the Western New York area, on behalf of the Outlaws.”
• “Making money for the enterprise by running a club which ran a bar and thus sold liquor over the bar from bottles of liquor shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce and by sponsoring and charging admission to entertainment events designed to attract members of the public, including members of other motorcycle clubs.”
• “Protecting its turf and its reputation from the actions of other motorcycle clubs by committing acts of violence against members and associates of (other) clubs.”
Playing With Fire
• Throwing Molotov Cocktails at the Lonely Ones clubhouse.
• Throwing pipe bombs at the Lonely Ones clubhouse and attempting to murder Lonely Ones patch holder Theodore C. Sparks who was in the clubhouse when members of the Chosen Few threw pipe bombs at it.
• Intentionally damaging “a building located at 100 Main Street, Depew, New York, namely, a vacant house at 100 Main Street by spreading accelerant in the house’s interior and lighting it with a time-delayed fuse thus starting a fire causing…damage to the vacant house.”
• Stealing a man named Kevin McHenry’s motorcycle “by instilling fear in McHenry.”
• Stealing $9,300 from a man named Jason Macken “by instilling in Macken fear.”
• Stealing a set of mechanic’s tools from a man named Matthew Witnauer “by instilling fear in Matthew Witnauer’s father, Robert Witnauer, and brother, William Witnauer.”
Assaults and Conversations About Assaults
• Trying to shotgun a man named David Carine twice, in December, 2003 and March, 2004.
• Shooting a Kingsmen named William Slater in May, 2005.
• Conspiring to shoot a man named David Ignasiak. Then trying to run over Ignasiak with a pickup truck last April.
• Beating a man named Jason Stucke with baseball bats in October, 2006
• Hitting a Kingsmen patch holder named Eugene Siminski in the back of his head with an axe handle while he was stuck in traffic in August, 2008.
• And, threatening to murder a Kingsmen named David A. Koch.
And, although it is not yet included in a federal indictment a Chosen Few patch holder named Chad Koschuk, who spells his name differently than his father, club president Alex Koschtschuk, was arrested a week ago today on September 14th by the FBI for threatening to sexually assault a male witness in the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bruce told the Associated Press that Koschuk also threatened to cut the witness’ hair.
And, Alex Koschtschuk’s attorney, Paul Cambria, replied that the government witness started it.
A trial date in this case has not yet been set.