The trial of the two remaining defendants in the Pagans case in Charleston, West Virginia ended suddenly today when the men agreed to plea and sentencing agreements offered by the government. The pleas were offered and accepted during a long break after a juror was dismissed. The plea negotiations began around noon and took about two hours to complete.
According to a story by Zac Taylor in the Charleston Gazette (linked here), Elmer Luke “Tramp” Moore “struck a deal with prosecutors in which he would admit to gun-possession charges.” As of 5:45 p.m. Pacific Time, details of the plea agreement had not been filed by the court reporter. The Judge in the case, Thomas E. Johnston, must approve all plea agreements.
According to court documents, Richard Timothy “Lucky” Weaver agreed to a plea deal about 2:15 p.m. Weaver pled guilty to Count 19, conspiracy, of an indictment filed against members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club in February 2010. Weaver was accused of acting as an armed bodyguard for former Pagans Vice President Floyd Moore. Floyd Moore is Tramp Moore’s father. A federal law prohibits anyone from acting as an armed bodyguard for a convicted felon.
Weaver’s agreement specified that he was guilty of a level 12 federal offense. Weaver had no criminal history and he faced 10 to 16 months in prison, supervised release of at least two years and a fine of up to $30,000.
At a sentencing hearing late Thursday afternoon, Johnson sentenced Weaver to three years probation with no fine. Weaver was charged a $100 “special assessment.”
The Back Story
If accepted by the court, Moore’s plea agreement will conclude a racketeering case that began with a sealed indictment in September 2009. Fifty-five members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club were charged with racketeering in that indictment. The prosecution was largely unsuccessful.
David Keith “Bart” Barbeito, the former Pagans President for whom the racketeering case, U.S. v. Barbeito et al. was named, pled guilty to weapons charges late in 2010 and spent two years in prison. Floyd Moore pled guilty to racketeering in February 2011 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Eighteen defendants pled guilty to misdemeanor gambling and were fined $5 each. One defendant was tried and acquitted. Numerous defendants agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges that had nothing to do with the Pagans Motorcycle Club. Last week, charges were dismissed against four other defendants.