The Southern District of Indiana unsealed a 70 page, 37-count indictment this morning that charges 42 members and associates of the American Outlaws Association with federal offenses including “racketeering, mail fraud, money laundering, extortion, drug charges, wire fraud, witness tampering and operating an illegal gambling operation.”
More than 300 local, state and federal police including 11 Swat Teams served the arrest warrants and 17 search warrants. Among the locations searched were the Outlaws club houses in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Count One of the indictment calls the “Outlaws Motorcycle Club” an “international criminal organization.”
In a press release issued after the early morning raids Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney for the Southern District, thundered “If you are operating an organized criminal gang in this city, the clock is ticking. It might be tomorrow, it might be weeks from now, but it is only a matter of time before you wake up to the sound of law enforcement at your door.”
“For more than three years, a volatile mixture of guns, drugs, and motorcycles allegedly fueled a dangerous criminal organization in Indianapolis as sophisticated as any business in this city,” Hogsett added. “This morning, we closed down that business. For good.”
In the same release, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Allan Jones was quoted as saying, “This enterprise-based investigation and today’s takedown focused on disrupting and dismantling what the indictment alleges to be a violent, criminal outlaw motorcycle gang by targeting its senior leaders and key members.” Jones’ comment refers to the “enterprise theory of investigation” which underlies most biker RICO cases. He continued, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and our partner agencies are committed to making the streets of Indiana safer by the disruption and dismantlement of gangs like the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.”
The indictment was returned July 3 and unsealed this morning. It has not yet been filed on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records website. The Aging Rebel has legally obtained a copy of the indictment. The case is officially titled United States of America v. Joshua N. Bowser et al.
The investigation underlying the indictment began in May, 2009. This page has been unable to substantiate a connection between this case and the sprawling investigation of the Mongols Motorcycle Club titled Operation Black Rain. Three undercover ATF agents named Jeff Grabman, Rick Hankins and Mark Kelly were patched into the Mongols by two Mongols officers named Coconut Dan Horrigan and Lars Wilson. After the Black Rain indictment was unsealed in October 2008, those three agents joined the Outlaws and that investigation led to a federal indictment against AOA members in Virginia. Horrigan was a paid Confidential Informant. He died last year. It is a matter of public record that Wilson was cooperating with federal prosecutors in Indiana in the summer of 2009.
The press release simply states that the “arrests are the culmination of a lengthy investigation as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Indiana State Police, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.”
The defendants arrested this morning are Joshua N. Bowser, Michael A. Knoll, Kent D. Whitinger, Michael E. Hamilton, James W. Bain, Edward J. Bolen, Dominic R. Mangine, Michael Medlin, Michael A. Schlicher, Jamie A. Bolinger, Stephen M. Whitinger, Vance Canner, Lawrence Gregory, Bryan E. Glaze, Stephen D. Duff, Richard C. DeMarco, Jr., Steve A. Reynolds, Mark A. Bisel, Joseph Alarcon, Charles N. Ernstes, II, David L. Whitinger, Joseph Maio, Ronald P. Taylor, Jr., Pamela K. Cummins, Jose Diaz, Rigo Rocha-Lopez, Justo Rojas, Carlos Mena, Hector Nava-Arrendondo, Jorge Daniel Ledezma-Cruz, Jorge Sedeno-Callejas, Cesar Granados, James Stonebraker, Brian T. Peacock, Norvel Terry, Russell Pryor, Thomas Swan, Steven Lecclier, Anthony Leach, William Anderson, Terrell Adams and Scharme L. Bolinger.
The indictment alleges the accused “engaged in criminal activity including the use and distribution of controlled substances, the use and threatened use of violence, extortion, firearms violations, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling and insurance fraud.” As is common in biker RICO cases the indictment charges defendants with “being persons employed by and associated with the OMC (Outlaws Motorcycle Club), an enterprise engaged in and the activities of which affected interstate commerce” and that they “did knowingly and unlawfully conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the OMC enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity within the meaning of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961 (1) and (5).
The allegations include using the US Mail in a scheme to make false or contrived insurance claims; laundering the money obtained from the false insurance claims by buying a motorcycle and a Van; extorting the repayment of a loan; extorting a bar owner, distributing cocaine, morphine, methadone and Vicodin; discussing club business on the phone ( the charge is Unlawful Use of a Communications Facility); threatening an unnamed person who may have been a confidential informant; and running an illegal lottery.
As of 3 p.m. Pacific Time, no public documents had been filed in this case.