Nineteen members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club were arrested earlier today. The arrests and 23 searches were simultaneous with the unsealing of an 91 count, 80 page federal indictment that charges the accused with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, federal narcotics crimes, Hobbs Act robbery (which is robbery that affects interstate commerce), money laundering and firearm crimes.
Most of the raids were in York County, South Carolina which is near Charlotte, North Carolina. Until they patched over in 2008, the charter was God’s Few Motorcycle Club.
The lead agency in the raids was the Federal Bureau of Investigation but the case was actually made by a stew of state, local and federal police called the South Carolina Hells Angels Task Force. Participants in that included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Lexington County Sheriff’s Department; Lexington Police Department; Rock Hill Police Department; York County Sheriff’s Office; Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office; State Law Enforcement Division; Gastonia, Police Department; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; Gaston County Sheriff’s Office; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as well as the FBI.
The accused are Daniel Eugene “Diamond Dan” Bifield; Mark William “Lightening” Baker; David Channing “Gravel Dave” Oiler; Bruce James (Briuce-Bruce” Long; Richard “Little Mark” Thrower; David “Yard Owl” Pryor; James Frederick “Big Fred” Keach, Jr.; Frank “Big Frank” Enriquez, Jr.; Donald “Brooklyn Donnie” Boersma; Lisa Ellen Bifield; Johanna Looper; Kerry Chitwood; Carlos Hernandez; Ronald Dean “Big Ron” Byrum, Jr.; Trent Allen Brown; Bruce Ranson “Diesel” Wilson; Thomas McManus “Uncle Tom” Plyler; Jamie Hobbs Long; and Somying “Ying”Anderson.
In the press release that announced the case FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas said, “The significance of the extensive and long-term investigative efforts that resulted in the arrests today represent the FBI’s continuing commitment to the dismantling of organized criminal organizations. By working in a joint environment with federal, state, and local counterparts, we send a clear message that such pervasive criminal activities will not be tolerated.”
United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina Columbia Division Bill Nettles was quoted as saying, “Today’s arrests and seizures are an important step in our ongoing fight against criminal gangs operating in South Carolina. This investigation is also another example of what can be accomplished through a close partnership among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”
The indictment calls the charter, “a criminal enterprise whose members and associates engaged in criminal activity, including narcotics distribution, arson, trafficking in stolen property, money laundering, extortion, prostitution, firearms violations, and conspiracy to do the same.”
The case may be aimed at the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club as a whole. The indictment also references “dues and assessments” paid “to the national Hells Angels” and the club’s “East Coast Officer Meetings.” The indictment states, “The ECOM agenda items included, but are not limited to: Hells Angels Chapter updates, Hells Angels world events, Hells Angels world votes, and Hells Angels financial matters. In addition, Hells Angels Chapters were required to pay Chapter dues to the Hells Angels national officers for the Hells Angels worldwide organization.”
In addition to many other interesting facts, the indictment alleges:
“The Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter also raised money from the sale of support gear at parties, including items such as t-shirts and stickers. These funding techniques were used to fund the continued operation of the Chapter and the international Hells Angels organization. Funding from members was also used to create a legal defense fund to cover members’ criminal legal fees resulting from prosecutions for conducting club business, including acts of violence. Funding for the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter was also generated through illegal activities, as members and associates engaged in illegal activity pay a percentage of proceeds of, or surrender some of the assets derived from, criminal activities to the Chapter and leadership. Additionally, individuals engaged in illegal activity with members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter paid kickbacks to the Chapter and its leadership in exchange for conducting illegal activity with members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter.”
The indictment accuses this charter of:
“Assisting, supporting, and obtaining assistance and support from, the regional, national, and international Hells Angels in their activities, including: legal matters, rivalries (such as the rivalry with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club), exchanging information about current membership, exchanging information about criminal investigations, relying on other Hells Angels Chapter members to assist the enterprise in furthering its criminal conduct, and aiding and protecting other Hells Angels’ members in their criminal activity. Using the enterprise to facilitate the possession and use of controlled substances. Funding the operation of the Hells Angels. Promoting a climate of fear and keeping victims, potential informants, witnesses, and others in fear of the Enterprise and in fear of its members and associates through violence and threats of violence.”