The Eastern District of Michigan unsealed a massive, dense, 38 count, 83 page racketeering indictment against the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club this morning and arrested at least 41 people in Michigan and Alabama.
The document indentifies 24 unnamed persons who are differentiated with the letters “A” through “X.” A cursory examination of the indictment indicates that various members of the motorcycle club including National President Jeff Garvin Smith and National Vice President Paul Anthony Darrah have been the subject of extensive electronic surveillance since at least July 2007.
It is a shock and awe indictment that lists hundreds of alleged overt criminal acts including the 1993 murder of a man named Charles Isler, his burial, disinterment and reburial and several drug deals from the 1990s. The indictment also alleges that “On or about April 28, 2003, DDMC members Person N, Person S and others cleaned up the DDMC Tucson Chapter clubhouse and attemoted to dispose of evidence related to the kidnapping, robbery, assault and attempted murder of Person H, Person J, Person L and Person W and the kidnapping, robbery, assault and extortion of Person V.”
The Devils Diciples indictment is the second RICO indictment against a motorcycle club unsealed this week. Members of the American Outlaws Association in Indiana were indicted for racketeering two days ago.
Where Did This Come From
The case began with the indictment of Devils Diciple Scott William “Scotty Z” Sutherland in March 2011. Sutherland was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. A superseding indictment in May 2011 charged Ronald Raymond “Rockin’ Ronnie” Roberts with the same crime. Today’s superseding indictment added 39 names. The case is now called United States of America v. Sutherland et al.
The complete list of defendants includes: Scott William “Scotty Z” Sutherland; Ronald Raymond “Rockin’ Ronnie” Roberts, David Thomas “Detroit Dave” Roberts, Patrick Michael “Magoo” McKeoun, Jeff Garvin “Fat Dog” Smith, Paul Anthony “Pauli” Darrah, Cary Dale “Gun Control” Vandiver, Vincent John “Holiday” Witort, Michael William “Iron Mike” Mastromatteo, Vernon Nelson “Vern”Rich, John Renny “”Bear” Riede, Victor Carlos Castano, Gary Lee Nelson, Michael Kenneth “Tatu” Rich, Raymond Charles “Romeo” Melioli, Timothy Paul “Space” Downs, David Randy “D” Drozdowski, Smiley “SA” Villa, Dean Edward “Jesus” Jakiel, Tony Wayne “Trouble” Kitchens, Sylvester Gerard “Sly Dog” Wesaw, Ronald Nick “Polar Bear” Preletz, Howard Joseph “44” Quant, Scott Thomas “Scotty P” Perkins, Clifford Chansel Rhodes, II, David Roy “Reverend” Delong, Christopher Raymond “Damien” Cook, Michael John “Utica Mike” Palazzola, Danny Russell “Thumbs” Burby, Jr., Ronald Leon “Crow” Lambert, Jason Joseph “Cookie” Cook, Edward Allen “Big Ed” Taylor, Salvatore “Bando” Battaglia, William Scott “Buckwheat” Lonsby, Wayne Russell Werth, Lauri Ann Ledford, Jennifer Lee Cicola, Dean Anthony Tagliavia, Alexis Catherine May, Paula Mileha Friscioni and John Charles Scudder.”
Blah, Blah, Blah
Most of accusations that date from 2007 and beyond allege that the motorcycle club sold drugs, committed assaults and owned slot machines.
An FBI press release (here) states:
“For years, according to the indictment, the Devils Diciples have spread fear in cities throughout Michigan and around the country,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.( Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division) “This violent criminal enterprise allegedly profits from drug trafficking and illegal gambling and uses intimidation and violence to silence its adversaries and maintain control over its members. Today’s arrests of the Devils Diciples’ top leaders and 39 of the gang’s members and associates are an important step in our efforts to dismantle violent criminal enterprises across the country.”
“Removing violent criminal organizations from our community is essential to attaining the quality of life we expect and deserve,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade. (U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan.) “Federal law enforcement is using all legal tools available to prosecute violent criminal enterprises like this one.”
“Today’s law enforcement action takes violence off the streets,” said FBI Acting Assistant Director Valerie Parlave. “The FBI appreciates the strong law enforcement partnerships leading to this activity and will continue its commitment to state and local communities to address this violent, and often brutal, criminal threat across the U.S.”