Pagans Informants Still Singing

January 6, 2012

All Posts, News

The foul stink of the Pagans racketeering case, US v. Barbeito et al., lingers in West Virginia.

The case began in October 2009. The principal accusation against the defendants was that the Pagans Motorcycle Club held a lottery. Charges against many of the 55 defendants were dismissed. The lead defendant, former club President David Keith “Bart” Barbeito was sentenced to 30 months in prison in December 2010.

Two of the defendants, Elmer Luke Moore and Richard Timothy Weaver, still face racketeering charges. Both men reluctantly signed plea agreements in July 2010 despite maintaining their actual innocence. Key to the prosecution’s case was the legal fiction that both men were “employees” of the “Pagans racketeering enterprise” rather than members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club.

Then, as prosecutor Steven Loew put it, “Rather than fulfilling their obligations under the plea agreement, both Defendants maintained their innocence and affirmatively stated on the record that they did not intend to plead guilty as they had previously agreed to in their written plea agreements with the United States.”

The Confidential Informant

Much of the federal case against the Pagans was based on information provided by a confidential informant named James “Pagan Ronnie” Howerton.

In an interview with the Frederick County Maryland Daily News-Post, Howerton explained that he became a government informant because he was concerned about drug use within the club. “I was concerned about being part of it,” Howerton said, “so I went to the FBI and I told them ‘Charge me. Let’s get this over with.’”

“They told me, ‘We’re not going to charge you. Have a seat.’ They told me to stay in the club and report back to them about crimes and things that were going on.”

In late August 2011, Howerton filed a complaint of misconduct against Richard Timothy Weaver’s lawyer, Deirdre Purdy, with the West Virginia Lawyer Disciplinary Board. Among other things, Howerton complains that Purdy falsely accused him of being paid by the federal government, of creating crimes and stealing motorcycles. The accusations were reported in two, small West Virginia newspapers and Howerton claimed they ruined his good reputation and employability.

Lawyers Yes, Citizens No

The documents which support Purdy’s allegations about Howerton have been sealed by the court. Purdy requested that the protective order sealing the documents be lifted because: “1) there is a presumption that judicial proceedings are open to the public; 2) the Protective Order is no longer necessary for the protective purposes set forth in the original order; and 3) counsel needs protected documents to defend a judicial ethics complaint made by James R. Howerton (a/k/a Pagan Ronnie, FBI-CI, Sutar).”

On October 27, the judge in the case, Thomas E. Johnston, refused to lift the protective order but did allow the Lawyer Disciplinary Board to view the sealed documents.

The Cooperating Witness

One of the Pagans charged in the indictment was James Richard “Bones” Claypool II of French Creek, West Virginia.

Claypool was charged in the indictment with six criminal violations: Obstruction of Justice; violent crime in aid of racketeering; criminal conspiracy; working as a bodyguard for a violent felon; possessing a firearm after being convicted of domestic violence; and distribution of cocaine. If convicted, he faced up to 30 years in prison.

Claypool entered into a cooperation deal on December 2, 2009 in which the government agreed to drop all charges against him except for one count of obstruction of justice. In return, Claypool agreed to “be forthright and truthful with this office 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. In complying with this provision, Mr. Claypool may have counsel present except when appearing before a grand jury. Mr. Claypool further agrees to be named in future indictments or informations as an unindicted co-conspirator or an unindicted aider and abettor where appropriate.”

Claypool was released from custody on September 14, 2010 and sentenced to time served three days later. He remains under court supervision.

Don’t Share Too Much In Jail

Earlier this week, Claypool was still holding up his end of his plea bargain. Wednesday he testified against an accused murderer named John Eugene Anderson in Parkersburg, West Virginia. According to Claypool, Anderson volunteered information to him about the murder of Willard Rex Wright while Claypool and Anderson were both in the Washington County (West Virginia) Jail.

“He asked me to talk to him,” Claypool told the jury about Anderson. “He told me he killed someone and he said he had it coming.”

“He asked about what would happen if something happened to witnesses,” Claypool said. “He asked me if I could do something and if he couldn’t pay if he could do me favors in jail or out of jail.”

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22 Responses to “Pagans Informants Still Singing”

  1. WV Fritz Says:

    Thanks for posting this Reb
    L&R Fritz 1%er

  2. KK Says:

    Rebel, Lying snitch rats everywhere. Thanks for giving some ink to the east coast. PFFP

  3. RVN69 Says:

    Sad that worthless lying snitches like howerton and claypool are still sucking air while good men like Derek Hale and James Hicks are lying in their graves.

    Much Respect to the Pagan Nation.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare.

  4. RASH Says:

    So, this guy, Ronnie. His story is he joins Pagans MC and then becomes concerned there may be some recreational drug use, in WV? I reckon he never saw The Wild Wonderful Whites of WV, or White Lightnin’, etc and is either is not from WV or is that guy who gives folks a reason to look down their nose at hillbillies.

    I was born there, in Parkersburg at St. Joe’s but grew up in Wash. DC. Which, I suppose some people, who display their ignorance in disparaging WV, probably see my family moving to The District as some sort of watershed deliverance.

    I respectfully disagree. I was in the Navy for 25 years and have been traveling all over the world working for The Corps for another ten years now. I have been everywhere about twelve times, seen and done everything and would jump at the chance of trading all that to have remained back home. Except for my wife; she’s the reason I remained in CA after retirement and happily so. And now my club.

    I envy my cousins and siblings who remained, who were able to spend their lives there. It is rugged, but there is no shortage of good conversation and good times. All the slender of the Canopy of Heaven visible at sea is on display in West Virginia’s inky night as well. All things considered, it really is the next thing to Heaven.

    West Virginians are Virginians, basically, from Western Virginia. So, growing up in the District suburbs of Northern Virginia and Tidewater MD was not all the cosmopolitan by comparison back in the day. I spend one full school year in WV public schools, in Grantsville and it was the most academically Socratic year of my high school experience.

    Point being, there nobody in WV who fits the stereotype propagated by elitist morons so well as to buy Ronnie’s alibi for snitching. Talking out of school about others will get you confronted in WV. Chivalry is not dead there, regular citizens will throw down over honor… Informing is not socially expedient. It could get you hurt.

    The lines are pretty clearly demarked; you know when you’re crossing over a familial, clannish or community line – and the norms are surprisingly universal throughout the state as well; as opposed to say, Alexandria VA.

    Alexandria is just one township in VA. But there was a time that the patchwork of socio-economic-ethno-centric neighborhoods were such that one was well commended to construe; to ask around, before setting out across familial domains; lest one be regaled a face lift and body-scalp massage, compliments of the local gentry.

    WV, on the other hand, is more homogenous in its norms. The interdictions of one locale apply pretty much everywhere. So, it’s not hard to figure out. Sort of like the motorcycle outlaw community. Matter of fact, I’ve been going to Parkersburg and Calhoun Co where Grantsville is for over 40 years and haven’t witnessed the level of naïveté it would require to buy Ronnie’s story.

    I’ve noticed in all these tragedies; motorcycle club persecution tragedies; there’s always a Ronnie, or a few. To hear “Gangland” and all the “experts” tell it, the number 13 means something totally different than it means to me: 13 steps, 13 loops.

    And, unlike Ronnie, I am not surprised to find human foibles occur in motorcycle clubs, just as they do in society at large. What does amaze me is, that just because people something happens in the context of an MC, that also occurs widely throughout society, in families (the Whites of WV), or a neighborhood, or a school, or any social clique – it is therefore a threat to the very fabric of the society that begat it in the first place.

    That, I do not get. Guess I am just an ignorant hillbilly after all.

  5. BigV Says:

    Howerton saw a way to profit from getting out, seeing himself with book and movie deals and having people see him as a hero like a lot of idiots started seeing JimmyD as a hero after the GL episode and the old Philly magazine article. He then sold out and proceeded to try to sell out everyone he could by trying to gather information on every current and ex-Pagan- living or dead- under guise of writing an “authentic History of the Pagans”. He supposedly did it as his response to John Hall’s book that he slammed on every review site he could. He did it to my friend ex-Pagan(Myrtle Beach) Wahoo, and Wahoo told me when I stopped to shoot the shit about Mopars that he knew it was awfully damn strange that Pagan Ronnie started leaving him messages and trying to contact him asking questions and selling his bullshit story.

    I’d give anything for Wahoo to still be here and Ronnie where Wahoo is.

    It’s a hell of a lot easier to sing, I can tell you that right now personally, because I’m going through it and I haven’t done a damn thing. And I don’t know anyone who’s done a damn thing. Doesn’t matter. If I was willing to sping some bullshit story, I’d be in the clear.

    Pilate and Iscariot burn in the deepest level of hell and men like Howerton, Tate, Wolf, and Yanotta all will join them.

    Hell with being “Anonymous”. They know who I am.

  6. Hose-a 1% Says:

    D-CON F.T.F.

  7. Martin 1% Says:

    Mr. Howerton didn’t approach the FBI because of some moral dilemma , he got arrested and they approashed him . Why would he say ” Charge me , Let’s get this over with ” There a contradiction right there in his statement. There was nothing in the indictment about mass drug distribution on behalf of the club as a whole. and as far as Claypool and this other douche bag , What kind of favors are they going to do for each other in and out of jail , Blow each other ,

  8. RVN69 Says:

    Big V,
    Sorry to hear you have been caught up in the never ending persecutions by law enforcement. As you have already found out, it ain’t what you know, it’s what they can get to you lie about knowing that is important to a cop or fed.

    Respects to you.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare.

  9. RVN69 Says:

    “Martin 1% Says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 6:50 am
    Mr. Howerton didn’t approach the FBI because of some moral dilemma , he got arrested and they approashed him.”

    I guess he thinks they believed his bullshit in court, he can say what he wants now and people will believe him. Saying he had some higher moral calling for becoming a rat must make him feel better about himself than admitting that he is a lying thieving scumbag rat cocksucker that soldout much better men than him.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare.

  10. babygirl78 Says:

    What Howerton forgot to put in there that he was pulled in for murder 1st degree, Then starts snitching and Committing more Murders and other illegal activities. So I don’t even see where he’s a credible witness? The Government needs to get better information and do at least a background check if he’s gonna have control of peoples lives when he talks. Much respect to Bikers and 1%.

  11. GODS WARIOR Says:

    I knew there was a rat within the pagans m.c. a dam shame, you took an oath and you chicken out to keep your fat mouth shut, so that makes you a bitch for ratting out the pagans mc. now you better run and hide n a hole, maybe up the f.b.i. asshole is a good spot for you for turning on your brothers, they didn’t get much time like the baddest pagan I ever saw was CONAN, who kept quiet when he got some serious time, a true warior of the pagans m.c. who was the baddest national sargent and arms ever, he just finished 15 years and was released march 2012, a year ago.. GOD BLESS HIM, now he is in retirement and all yall new pagans should be sending him money for his loyalty toward the club, that’s one thing about my brothers in my little club, we all believe n rules.. rule #1 never discuss anything we did in the past or the future to anyone, no talking on phones, computers, or in public… whats rule #2 NEVER FUKING FORGET RULE #1 M.F.

  12. GODS WARIOR Says:


  13. Snow Says:

    @ Chop
    All new and sometime posters are held in moderation, it’s to prevent spammers from getting in.
    With all due respect, you were rude to our host so he responded in kind. I don’t speak for anyone else here but it’s fair to assume most all would have done the same.
    My 2 cents, respect sent to the true, Snow.

  14. Frequent Flyer Says:


    No one here thinks you’re rude or stupid. It was just a typical internet snafu/communication breakdown/misunderstanding.

    Respect and Peace.

  15. Hose-a 1%er Says:

    Ron you need to chill.Do you not remember A.R.G.O….N.U.N.Y.A.
    Hose-a 1%er Pagan’s M.C. retired F.T.F.

  16. Frequent Flyer Says:

    I spoke out of line when I said “no one here”. What I meant was I don’t think you were rude or stupid. Shoulda stayed outa it just didn’t want to leave you hanging.

    Respect and Peace.

  17. nunya Says:

    It’s in the past. Snitches will get whats coming. Club or regular people snitching on regular people. But that is whoevers business and problems. Unless ur involved it don’t concern you. No point discussing it especially on here.


  18. MEEEEE Says:

    Conan was and is a great guy having been involved with the club during his rise on long island he was a leader unfortunately his downfall lead us to the hands of Vinny who ran the club in to the ground for his own gains!! it went from a group of brothers to a bunch of scum bags running drugs and girls and shaking down bars . It was a terrible time and if CONAN would have stayed in place NONE of it would have happened . He may not be around any more but I’m glad I had that time with him .

  19. MEEEEE Says:

    Oh and BTW under Vinny there were more than a dozen rats in the club …I could literally name them ! The lawyers for Richie Bigfoot 13 called us and asked us to charachter witness and gave us a list of informants BOBBY D being one of the biggest and funny enough TARZAN was a rat the whole time and that bitch got his colors in prison !! This is what happens when leadership doesn’t see a club but a way to make his own money !!SAD!!

  20. general witenitemare,n.c. Says:

    Grew up around pagas, n Md., know the president of md. Pagans, and something I learned, never be a ratt, because one day someone might blow your ass away for it, they might wait 20 30yr.s from now, you will get your paybak, they might come after your grand kids, your family, you never know, I did time in va. Because three people ratted me out on some illegal bus.and they will get whats coming to them, see these computers can possiblely track u down in less than five min.s, I found people from 15 yr.s ago, so just keep your mouth shut, and request for a Fuking lawyer or die in the future

  21. baddelia Says:

    Conan was my cellie in the big house..great dude…a real dude…one of my former cellies at another joint was big bad vito bandito,franklin frank and he w as a rat who helped jail his brother pagan brother conan..glad Keith got out..his farts were the worst..

  22. Sweet LaRaine Says:

    Meeee and I must know each other, I remember when Conan began prospecting. He was as impressive then as he is today. He rose in the club during a change in the upper echelon and a period of great violence, rip, Lockjaw. He took 2 bullets at close range and recovered like fucking Wolverine. Drugs were not the problem with his leadership. Ever try and polish a turd? How about a whole bunch of coked out drunken turds??? The man represents honor, integrity and the brotherhood that shaped my adult life. A true soldier who I loved sharing a fohole with, he sets the standard by which active members should measure themselves.

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