There were nine more arrests in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club case in Indianapolis last Thursday. The case is called US v Bowser and Others, it began last July and the most recent arrests represent the triumph of federal perception management over reality.
A superseding indictment in the case was returned by a grand jury on October 17. A press “advance” on Thursday morning announced some broad statements about the case and that United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett would be holding a press conference with more details that afternoon. It is the political season and it has been reported that Hogsett wants to be Indianapolis Mayor some day. Most papers in the Midwest followed the lead of the Indianapolis Star which headlined its story “Nine face charges in continuing Outlaws motorcycle gang probe.”
Outlaws And Friends
Of the eight men arrested Friday only one, Christian J. “Millhouse” Miller, was actually a patched member of the Outlaws. He was arrested in Sandusky, Ohio. The seven others arrested in Indianapolis were described as “associates” of the club. Their names are Tommy Sims, Abraham Flores, Thomas A. “Little Tony” Griffin, Jr., Frank Jordan, Thomas A. “Tony” Griffin, Sr., Robert Roberts and Robert “Mule” Muehlhausen. The ninth man, Dax G. Shephard was arrested too late to be smeared at the press conference.
Documents in the case, including both the entire text of the 84-page superseding indictment and the 867-item filing docket of the case remained sealed until Monday morning, 90 hours after the press conference, which is approximately 16 weeks in television news. The order by District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to unseal the case was not actually issued until the day after Hogsett’s presser. Since it was impossible to report the case news outlets reported the press conference.
The actual indictment is larded with Gangland-style surplusage. So the 51 defendants must now defend themselves against statements such as:
• “The Outlaws Motorcycle Club (‘OMC’), also known as the American Outlaw (sic) Association, is an international organization consisting of national, regional and local units. The OMC is a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in criminal acts, including the use and distribution of controlled substances, the use and threatened use of violence, extortion, firearms violations, obstructions of justice, illegal gambling and insurance fraud.”
• “OMC members must be over the age of twenty-one and possess a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or another American-made motorcycle.”
• “OMC members also display other patches and tattoos on their person (sic), their motorcycles and on their clothing including the ‘Snitches Are A Dying Breed’ patch, signifying the OMC’s commitment to expel and if necessary murder individuals who cooperate with law enforcement.”
So the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is already guilty of violating the RICO statutes and the case is basically over except for the press conference to announce who got the gallows contract.
Indianapolis Needs Joe
There is not much new in this second indictment. The accused men allegedly sold modest amounts of recreational drugs like cocaine. They were fond of guns things that go boom in general. They were rude to strangers. They assaulted people they didn’t like and they were a gambling enterprise because some members sold raffle tickets. Some of the scoundrels even used cell phones to talk to their friends so they are accused of “unlawful use of communication facilities.” It is very unlikely that the details of any of these actual charges will ever be printed in a newspaper or appear on local news.
But Joe Hogsett looked great on TV.