Four of the 55 members and associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club indicted late last month and arrested three weeks ago have agreed to cooperate with the prosecution.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have based most of their case so far on information provided by, “a confidential informant (CI) who (had) direct access to PMC leadership, members and support club members” and who reported “to law enforcement on the PMC for over four years.”
According to an affidavit signed October 1st by “Desiree Smith, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Frederick, Maryland” the confidential informant’s
“information has been extensively corroborated through the use of consensually monitored and recorded conversations, physical evidence, other corroborating interviews, and public records.”
Now four of the defendants have agreed to reinforce the government’s case.
According to court papers filed late today, Tuesday, October 27th, Eric Lyttle, 30, James Lyttle, 55, William Hankins Sr., 54, and Edward Parsons, 29, have all pled guilty and agreed to “be forthright and truthful with (prosecutors) and other law enforcement agencies with regard to all inquiries made pursuant to this agreement and will give signed, sworn statements and grand jury and trial testimony upon request of the United States.”
The loaded phrase in the agreements is “grand jury and trial testimony.”
The agreements also ensure the four cooperating witnesses “use immunity.” As explicitly stated in the agreements, “nothing contained in any statement or testimony provided by (the witnesses) pursuant to (the agreements) or any evidence developed therefrom will be used against (the witnesses) directly or indirectly in any further criminal prosecutions or in determining the applicable guideline range under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.”
The main targets of last month’s 44 count indictment seem to have been Pagans National President David Keith “Bart” Barbeito and National Vice President Floyd B. “Diamond Jesse” Moore.
The most serious charge against David Barbeito is that he profited from raffling off an imaginary motorcycle. One of the newly confessed felons is expected to help the government make that charge.
William “Wild Bill” Hankins, Sr. has admitted bringing the proceeds from that motorcycle raffle across state lines in April 2008. Hankins had faced up to five years in prison for “interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.” Under the terms of his agreement, Hankins pled guilty a base level 12 charge of “illegal gambling.” Base level 12 offenses usually result in a prison sentence of 12 to 18 months.
Two of the new witnesses may help to convict Moore of an alleged violent kidnapping of “several” unnamed victims near South Charleston, West Virginia in June 2003.
Eric Wayne “Tree” Lyttle, who was named in the indictment as a participant in that abduction, has pled guilty to “threatening to commit a crime of violence in aid of racketeering activity.” According to his plea agreement, Tree Lytle will serve 60 months in prison.
James Edward “Big Jim” Lyttle pled guilty to the same charge and has also agreed to serve a 60 month prison term.
The Drug Conspiracy
Edward “Fat Ed” Parsons had been charged along with six other “conspirators” of distributing cocaine. Parsons faced a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Under the terms of his plea and sentencing agreement, Parsons will chat with a grand jury and the Government will drop six of Parsons’ drug charges.
Parsons is now guilty of a base level 18 offense which normally carries a penalty of 30 to 36 months in prison.
All four men have been released on bond and are scheduled to be sentenced in March.