The mostly secret government case, or cases, against various members of the Invaders Motorcycle Club staggers on.
The Invaders legal situation is probably easier to comprehend when it is seen as a single case. The “case” results from three drug related indictments in two Federal District Courts.
Last May, a major newspaper speculated that the case is really about a double murder discovered in Saint Charles County, Missouri in November, 2007. But, since it is a Federal case against a motorcycle club there is also a strong possibility that the case may be about nothing, or hardly anything, at all.
The First Indiana Indictment
On June 19, 2008 a Grand Jury in Hammond, Indiana returned an indictment against 19 members and associates of the Invaders. This case appears to have been principally investigated by unnamed Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agents “in Chicago.” The principal spokesman for the DEA in the Hammond Case has been a comparatively novice DEA Special Agent named Michael Burke. At the time of the arrests Burke had been on the job less than five months and was assigned to the Merrillville, Indiana Field Office.
Although he was a novice cop, Burke was an experienced prosecutor. He had worked for more than six years as a state prosecutor and more than three years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Anchorage before moving south. In multiple sworn affidavits, Burke testified that the Hammond indictments began with information learned from a wiretap on the phone of an Illinois marijuana dealer named Steven R. Campbell. Although, the first two indictments did not include the word “marijuana.”
The first Indiana Indictment charged Campbell and Richard “Tricky” Kasper, Timothy “Beefy” Bartruff, Stacy L. “Weirdo” Judd, Kathleen “Kat” Conley, Bonnie S. Bol, Koni E. Burgess, Kelly J. Elston, Kenneth W. Harris, Thomas J. Kerbs, Christopher P. Krug, Tawnee L. McCluskey, Richard W. “Scooter Boy” Mote, Stacy C. Simpson, Daryl D. “Noodle” Taylor, Jeri L. Wright, Jason G. White, Jeremy Joseph and Amanda Cooper with numerous drug crimes.
The 67-page indictment elaborated virtually all the crimes that can be associated with methamphetamine: Making the drug, using the drug, possessing the precursor chemicals that are needed to manufacture the drug, selling the drugs that were not consumed and talking about it all on a telephone or by text message.
The Superseding Indictment
A lurid, 50-page, superseding indictment returned on July 17th explained how ten of the 19 accused would transport crank from Indiana to St. Louis and Denver where the drug was “sold for profit.” The Invaders, who like to say they are “the biggest club of its size in the world,” claim ten chapters in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Colorado.
It was a conspiracy, the government charged and, “The object of the conspiracy was to obtain methamphetamine, secure monetary profits and satisfy controlled substance addictions….”
The Missouri Indictments
The word “marijuana” finally showed up in a third indictment filed in a separate federal case in St. Louis on January 15, 2009.
That indictment Edward John “Special Ed” Boroughf, Robert Allen “Silver” Turner, Victor Dwayne Ashworth, William Arthur “Will” Bellmore, Gerald Wayne “Breaker” Dragich, Donald Steven “Donnie” Emory, Stephen Patrick “Sticky Steve” Morris, Michael Shawn “Hoosier” Ashworth, Daniel Charles “Doctor Pepper” Inman, Timothy James “Rap” Rappleano, Raymond Edward “Nipple Head” Bodway, Gary Wayne “Treeman” Null, Ronald A. Young, Shane L. Rohlfing and again, in a third indictment Timothy Jay “Beefy” Bartruff.
These defendants were accused of importing more than “fifty kilograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana.”
The Unsolved Murders
The Invaders case, or the multiple Invaders cases, hardly seem to make much sense when taken out of context. About the only thing that is clear is that Timothy Jay “Beefy” Bartruff is the odd man out. Bartruff is the lone defendant remaining in the Indiana case. He is now scheduled for trial in Hammond in April 2010.
One curious detail about the Missouri case is that every single defendant there except Bartruff has made a sealed plea and sentencing agreement with the prosecutor. None of the pleas will be unsealed until next month. And, that suggests that Bartruff, a former National President of the Invaders, might have lost his game of musical chairs.
Published reports about both cases have described the Invaders as a “white supremacist gang” and “major methamphetamine supplier throughout the Midwest.” Although, there are published reports of a great many “white supremacist gangs” and “major methamphetamine suppliers” so it is hard to see what makes the Invaders special. But, the Department of Justice obviously thinks the Invaders deserve a good public smearing.
There have also been published reports that federal agents have been trying to infiltrate the Invaders for at least a decade. Defendant number two in the January indictment, Robert Allen “Silver Turner, contested his indictment on the grounds of double jeopardy. According to Turner’s motion:
“On June 6, 2006, Mr. Turner pleaded guilty to Count I, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana on August 26, 2005, and to Count III, knowing possession of a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime in Count I,” in an earlier marijuana trafficking indictment.
Turner pled guilty to something on October 23rd but what he said he did is still a secret. The “Plea Agreement, Guidelines, Recommendations and Stipulations” are all “Filed Under Seal as to Robert Allen Turner.”
Last May the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which is often correct – as a broken clock is often correct – reported that the government suspects that members of the club killed two men named Randy Greenman and George Whitter. The two men were lasted seen in a bar in St. Louis County, Missouri in the early morning hours of September 1, 2007. Whitter phoned his wife and said he was riding home with his friend Greenman and that he would be home in a few minutes. He did not make it. Skeletal remains of the two men were discovered later that autumn.
The Post-Dispatch also reported that Invaders were suspected of the 2007 disappearance and presumed murder of another Invader named Alan Henry Little. Little, the paper suggested, had been “cooperating with law enforcement.”
Last Spring, defense attorneys said they believed the drug cases were only filed as a way to coerce Invaders into aiding the murder investigations. As of mid-December 2009, no murder charges have yet been filed.