There is not much to report on the federal case in South Carolina titled U.S. versus Bifield et al. Partly this legal void reflects the essential nature of the case which is mostly smoke and rhetoric.
Also, the prosecutors don’t have much to do at this point except sow confusion. The defendants in this case are Daniel Eugene Bifield the former President of the Rock Hell City Nomad charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Mark William Baker who succeeded Bifield as charter President, David Channing Oiler, Bruce James Long, Richard Thrower, David Pryor, James Frederick Keach, Jr., Frank Enriquez, Jr., Donald Boersma, Lisa Ellen Bifield, Johanna Looper, Kerry Chitwood, Carlos Hernandez, Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr., Trent Allen Brown, Bruce Ranson Wilson, Thomas McManus Plyler, Jamie Hobbs Long and Somying “Ying”Anderson. And, after announcing in a June press release that all these defendants were guilty and so South Carolina had been saved, all the prosecutors really had to do was stall.
The indictment alleges that this Angels charter was in the business of buying and selling drugs, particularly cocaine, for profit. In the manner of racketeering accusations it identifies this motorcycle club charter using the magical word “enterprise.” And the point of the enterprise was not riding motorcycles, getting loaded or impressing women or civilians but:
(a) Preserving, protecting, and expanding the power, territory, and profits of the Enterprise through the use of intimidation, extortion, narcotics distribution, money laundering, arson, and acts and threats of violence.
(b) Enriching the members and associates of the Enterprise through, among other things, intimidation, extortion, narcotics distribution, money laundering, arson, trafficking in stolen goods, prostitution, and firearms trafficking.
(c) Promoting and enhancing the Enterprise, the Enterprise’s reputation, and its members’ and associates’ activities.
(d) 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.
(e) Using the enterprise to facilitate the possession and use of controlled substances.
(f) Funding the operation of the Hells Angels.
(g) 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.
Buried deep in paragraph (d), the accusation that it is somehow criminal to gather and distribute “information about criminal investigations” may be the most Nixonian in the entire indictment.
None of the allegations have been proven. They don’t have to be. The defendants have already been punished – some of them more severely than others. In an age of mass media, gutless reporters and a national attention span psychologically defended against and so shortened by fire hoses of bullshit all prosecutors have to do is stall until the defendants have no choice but to give up. In the age of bullshit that’s what federal justice is. For the last two months the case has been litigated in front of a loose pack of federal magistrates. It does not appear to have been actually assigned to a federal district judge until earlier this month.
A standard prosecutorial strategy in all these cases is to simply hide the evidence – if there is evidence. Sometimes the evidence is actually secret and at other times it is concealed by hiding it as leaves hide in forests. “Evidence” usually means illusions and lies created by and uttered by informers who are either in a jam, or who have made a career of betraying anyone stupid enough to befriend them, or who are psychopaths or who are mentally ill in a less interesting way than the psychopaths usually are.
This month the lead defendant, Dan Bifield, has filed two motions to try to discover what prosecutors think they know and why they think they know it.
On August 1, Bifield’s attorney Allen Burnside asked Federal District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie “to compel the government to disclose the identities (i.e., name, address, birth date, telephone number, and social security number) of the confidential informants who allegedly provided the information used to establish that the defendant conspired with the other named defendant’s to distribute drugs and firearms and launder money.”
Two days later Burnside wrote the judge that the defendants:
“…have been charged in a 91 count indictment alleging various crimes associated with the Hells Angels organization. Mr. Bifield is the lead defendant and is named in 21 of the counts, including 10 of the RICO acts contained in Count One. The initial discovery released in this case is 4,682 pages, and per the written disclosure order, is not to be reviewed by the defendants outside the presence of their attorneys. The audio portion of the discovery has not yet been received, but is expected to come as a terabyte of recordings on a separate hard drive. Our computer expert estimates that one terabyte at CD quality will contain around 2,000 hours (83 days) of audio. Mr. Bifield has the right, and has indicated that he wishes to listen to, all of the recordings in the case. It would be almost impossible to have someone from the Federal Public Defender’s Office sit in a room at the jail while years worth of tapes are listened to and discovery read. Panel lawyers would have the same difficulty and the cost per hour to have 20 lawyers bill their time for this would be astronomical. Attorneys for the defendant request that the court direct that a designated ‘reading and listening room’ be made available at the jails or at the courthouse.”
As of August 15, the judge had not yet ruled on either motion. A discovery hearing is set for August 24. There is no trial date although it is remotely possible that a trial might begin as early as April 2013.