The Bifield case in South Carolina finally attracted coverage from two nearby newspapers, the Charlotte Observer and the Columbia State, last Friday. Both stories were based on an FBI statement released the same day.
Here is the full FBI press release and links to the stories in the Observer and the State.
The FBI Release
Hells Angels Member Diamond Dan Bifield Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney’s Office January 04, 2013
District of South Carolina (803) 929-3000
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that Dan Bifield, a/k/a Diamond Dan, of the Hells Angels’ Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter in South Carolina, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO Act-18 U.S.C. §1962). He faces up to 20 years in prison as a result of his RICO plea and will be sentenced in March 2013 by United States District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie.
Facts detailed for the court showed that Bifield agreed with co-conspirators to participate in an criminal enterprise. The enterprise’s participants, who were associated through the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter, engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity across the state from Rock Hill to Lexington, South Carolina. Among other offenses, the group engaged in narcotics trafficking and money laundering. As part of this enterprise, Bifield received kickbacks in return for illegal activity conducted by other members of the criminal enterprise.
This guilty plea arises from a superseding indictment charging 20 members and associates of the Hells Angels with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, robbery, arson, and firearms trafficking. The indictment resulted from a two-year interagency investigation by the South Carolina Hells Angels Task Force (SCHATF), which includes agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Lexington County Sheriff’s Department; Lexington Police Department; Rock Hill Police Department; York County Sheriff’s Office; and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jay N. Richardson and James H. May.
The Charlotte Observer
Read the Observer’s full coverage here.
A man believed to be a high-ranking member of a local chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who authorities say ran a criminal enterprise stretching from Rock Hill to Lexington pleaded guilty Thursday to racketeering conspiracy and faces up to 20 years in jail.
In exchange for Bifield’s guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue other charges, said Nancy Wicker, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Columbia.
Lisa Ellen Bifield, Dan Bifield’s wife, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and crimes of violence. The couple is from Batesburg-Leesville.
The suspects were accused of running a criminal motorcycle gang involved in racketeering, robbery, money laundering, drug trafficking and gun trafficking.
At buildings believed to be gang outposts, agents seized methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, pills and about 100 firearms – including two automatic machine guns. They also confiscated more than $300,000 and nine Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
From clubhouses in Rock Hill, Indian Land and West Columbia, the group sold drugs and guns and “promoted a climate of fear through intimidation, violence and threats,” the indictment reads. The group “trafficked in stolen property and engaged in prostitution.”
The Bifields originally pleaded not guilty but changed their pleas on Thursday, according to court records.
Read the State’s full coverage here.
One of 20 members of the Hells Angels biker gang operating in the Midlands has pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges.
“Diamond” Dan Bifield of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the gang faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy in federal court, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.
During court it was revealed that Bifield and fellow gang members all agreed to commit various crimes, including drug trafficking and money laundering, in areas from Rock Hill to Lexington, the release states. Bifield, the gang’s vice president at the time of his arrest in July, also received kickbacks from crimes other gang members committed.