The government of the United States outlined its penny dreadful case against the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club in a court filing last week. The filing was titled “Government’s Written Proffer In Support Of Its Request For Detention Pending Trial of Jeff Garvin Smith aka ‘Fat Dog” Defendant. The document was written by Assistant United States Attorney Saima S. Mohsin and it reads like the voice over narration for an episode of Gangland.
Smith has been the National President of the Devils Diciples for about 25 years. The club has about 150 members. It started in California in 1967 but its mother chapter is now in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. The club has chapters in Michigan, California, Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, and Ohio.
The Devils Diciples became nationally famous last year after the arrest Stephen Kinzey. Kinzey was both the President of the Mountain Chapter of the Devils Diciples and an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at California State University San Bernardino. Kinzey was accused of buying pounds of methamphetamine from a 30-year-old San Bernardino man named Jeremy Disney and cutting the pounds into ounces for resale. His case remains active and he is scheduled for a “Pre-preliminary Conference” in state court in San Bernardino August 21.
Government Claims Many Snitches
According to the proffer filed last week, “More than a dozen current or former DDMC members are cooperating with the FBI’s investigation and are ready to testify at trial about the DDMC’s criminal activities. This testimony will be supported by (a) Title III intercepted phone calls between DDMC members discussing these crimes, (b) drug seizures by the FBI and other law enforcement officers; (c) controlled purchases of methamphetamine from DDMC members; (d) and evidence seized from more than a dozen search warrants executed at DDMC clubhouses, DDMC methamphetamine laboratories, and other DDMC related addresses.”
The allegations in the proffer seem to contradict allegations made in the Kinzey case. The proffer states:
“The primary money-making activity of the gang is drug trafficking, mostly methamphetamine, but the DDMC also sells some marijuana and prescription drugs. The DDMC manufactures a large portion of the methamphetamine sold and uses both the red phosphorus and “shake and bake” methods for producing the drug.”
“Numerous cooperating DDMC members stated that Smith distributed large quantities of drugs on behalf of the DDMC. In fact, several cooperating DDMC members complained that Smith occasionally used his authority as National President to refuse to pay for the drugs he received. SMITH’s leadership in the drug trafficking enterprise can best be manifested by the manner in which the chapters mutually supported each other. Local chapters in different states cross supplied each other based upon supply and demand. When law enforcement activity began looking closely at one chapter, the DDMC would move the cookers and manufacturing operation to another state. When law enforcement shut down the source of supply for one chapter, other chapters stepped into that void to assist. On one occasion, when a chapter in Arizona became reckless with the drug distribution operations and its interaction with other outlaw motorcycle gangs, members from a California chapter stepped in to enforce discipline and eliminate the internal threat to the enterprise on the approval of Smith and the national leadership.”
The proffer does not reference Kinzey. However if the proffer is correct Kinzey was at odds with his club President if the charges against Kinzey are correct and he was buying methamphetamine from a small dealer in San Bernardino. Those charges would seem to refute the allegations that Smith ran a multi-state drug manufacturing and distribution racket. The proffer boldly states “According to DDMC rules and practice, the National President had direct authority over all DDMC criminal activities.” According to the government, “In April 2003, DDMC members” following Smith’s orders “brutally tortured five DDMC members, including a Chapter President, and left four of them for dead in the Arizona desert as punishment for breaking club rules.”
The proffer alleges that Smith “actively participated in and personally led the DDMC’s crime wave across Michigan and other states.”
It alleges that “Women without protection from a member (of the Devils Diciples) are fair game for sexual assault.” The proffer also states without equivocation that, “Wives, girlfriends, and female associates are required to provide financial and other support for DDMC members – typically working in bars or strip clubs. They frequently are required to participate in the club’s illegal activities, including drug trafficking and obstruction of justice. The DDMC frequently use women as drug mules. Women can aspire to earn a ‘Property Of’ vestment to signify their relationship to a DDMC member.”
Like the 2009 Pagans case, US versus Barbeito, the government also alleges the Devils Diciples earned money from illegal lotteries and it portrays DDMC club houses as virtual casinos.
Club members are also accused of “a systemic pattern of obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. DDMC members have often raised money to assist members who face criminal prosecution. It is common for a DDMC member who is under investigation or prosecution in one jurisdiction to flee to a DDMC clubhouse in another jurisdiction in an attempt to evade prosecution. DDMC members have often assisted DDMC members facing prosecution by committing perjury, intimidating or threatening prospective witnesses, or otherwise obstructing justice.”