The trial of a dwindling number of defendants in the racketeering case against members, friends and associates of the Hells Angels Rock Hell Nomads charter and the Gaston County, North Carolina chapter of the Southern Gentlemen Motorcycle Club begins in 17 days.
There are now nine defendants left in a case that had twenty when the superseding indictment was unsealed on September 20. The original defendants were Daniel Eugene Bifield, Mark William Baker, David Channing Oiler, Bruce James Long, Richard Thrower, Robert 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, James Rhodus, Bruce Ranson Wilson, Thomas McManus Plyler, Jamie Hobbs Long and Somying Anderson.
Trent Allen Brown, Daniel and Lisa Bifield, Richard Thrower, Frank Enriquez, Jr., Johanna Looper, Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr. James Rhodus and Bruce Ranson Wilson have all pled guilty. Robert David Pryor pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy on Tuesday. Somying Anderson’s case was severed the same day and she will be tried alone.
Mark William Baker, David Channing Oiler, Bruce James Long, James Frederick Keach, Jr., Donald Boersma, Kerry Chitwood, Carlos Hernandez, Thomas McManus Plyler and Jamie Hobbs Long are all scheduled to stand trial February 11.
The Government’s Case
As many as three of the defendants named in the September indictment may testify for the prosecution. The Aging Rebel has been unable to confirm the names of those potential prosecution witnesses. A source close to one of the alleged cooperators denied one of the names as recently as nine a.m. Pacific Time today.
The primary “confidential human source” in the case, Joseph Dilulio, will testify at the trial and will be paid to do so. A usually informed source said two days ago that the other principal snitch in the case, Marty Deloach, may not testify.
The government outlined much of its case in a 51-page motion filed last Monday. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Julius N. Richardson:
“In response to community concerns about the infiltration of the Rock Hill community by outlaw motorcycle gangs and the brewing violence developing between members of rival outlaw motorcycle gangs – the Hells Angels and the Outlaws – agents and officers began an effort to investigate the Hells Angels and Outlaws. Ultimately, that investigation – through cooperating individuals, surveillance, search warrants, court authorized wiretaps, consensual recordings, controlled buys, and other investigative techniques – revealed members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the Hells Angels operated a continuing criminal enterprise engaged in a variety of criminal activity, including drug distribution, firearm trafficking, trafficking in stolen goods, robbery, arson, violence, and money laundering.”
“The investigation’s initial insight into the Hells Angels’ drug conspiracy came through Dan Bifield, a/k/a Diamond Dan, supplying an informant cocaine and bath salts (with the assistance of his wife, Lisa Bifield). After arranging the cocaine deal in various calls and meetings, Bifield and Lisa supplied one ounce of cocaine on July 22, 2011. Dan Bifield and Lisa also supplied bath salts to be mixed with the supplied cocaine. By so cutting or diluting the cocaine, the resulting mixture would have a greater weight when distributed: three ounces of bath salts were to be added to the one ounce of cocaine to create a cocaine mixture of four ounces.
“After the first cocaine deal, Lisa and Dan Bifield again arranged to supply one ounce of cocaine on August 5, 2011. Lisa failed in her attempts to obtain cocaine from her cocaine supplier, so Dan Bifield arranged to have his cocaine supplier (fellow Hells Angels member, Bruce Long) supply the ounce of cocaine. Bruce Long’s wife – Somying Anderson – delivered the the ounce of cocaine to Lisa in the bar where Lisa worked, and Lisa in turn provided to the informant. After the distribution of cocaine, the informant stayed long enough to speak to Anderson and Long (who entered the bar just after Anderson).
“After Long met with the informant at the bar on August 5, Long began directly supplying informant. On August 13, Long and the informant again met with Lisa and discussed past and future dealings in cocaine (as well as discussed laundering proceeds from trafficking in drugs that were to be stolen). Thereafter, on the following days in 2011, Long supplied the informant with the following quantities of cocaine: August 30 (2 ounces); September 19 (2 ounces); September 23 (2 ounces); October 18 (8 ounces); November 5 (8 ounces); November 30 (9 ounces); and December 16 (10 ounces). Then on February 6, 2012, Long attempted to obtain a half kilogram of cocaine but subsequently returned the $18,000 in cash paid by the informant after his attempt to obtain the cocaine failed.
“In addition to Long, Hells Angels member David Oiler, a/k/a Gravel Dave, also supplied the informant with drugs. Oiler supplied both cocaine and methamphetamine of extraordinary purity on the following dates in 2011-12: December 9 (1 ounce of cocaine); December 13 (1 ounce of meth); December 23 (1 ounce of meth); January 10 (8 ounces of meth); January 31 (1 ounce of meth); February 14 (3 ounces of meth); and March 8 (3 ounces of meth). Oiler also discussed providing larger quantities on numerous occasions: for example, on January 31, Oiler explained that his supplier has 16 more ounces that were just like the 3 ounces of methamphetamine that he had supplied the informant earlier on that date. After explaining he could obtain a full kilogram of cocaine for $36,000, Oiler also made several attempts to supply cocaine that were ultimately unsuccessful, requiring Oiler to return the thousands of dollars of cash that had been paid: December 22-23 (1 kilogram of cocaine for $36,000); January 18-24 (1 kilogram of cocaine for $36,000); January 31 (1 kilogram of cocaine for $36,000); and March 1-2 (1/2 kilogram of cocaine for $18,000).
“Oiler’s primary supplier was Kerry Chitwood, a/k/a Gowilla. Chitwood and Oiler’s relationship dated back to their joint membership in the outlaw motorcycle gang, Southern Gentlemen (an outlaw motorcycle gang of which Chitwood served as an officer). Even after Oiler subsequently left to join the Hells Angels, Chitwood supplied drugs to Oiler. As captured through wiretaps and surveillance, Chitwood also supplied drugs to Hells Angels Chapter President Mark Baker, a/k/a Lightening, which Baker then distributed. Chitwood, in turn, was being supplied the high-quality methamphetamine by Carlos Hernandez (a man Chitwood had met in prison). In addition to methamphetamine, Oiler, Chitwood, and Hernandez also attempted to supply cocaine to the informant on several occasions. When Hernandez was unable to supply the cocaine, Oiler turned to another member of the Southern Gentleman, Ronald Byrum, a/k/a Big Ron. With Oiler, Byrum attempted to obtain cocaine (at one point, half a kilogram of cocaine was to be supplied to the informant and the other half of a kilogram was going to Chitwood). During that the days leading up to attempt (which was thwarted when surveillance by law enforcement was spotted), Byrum explained that he had seen multiple kilograms of cocaine, personally tested it, and sent Oiler a text message with a photograph of the cocaine.”
“Along with the cocaine and methamphetamine, members of this drug conspiracy also trafficked in prescription drugs. For example, on April 10, 2011, Frank Enriquez, a/k/a Big Frank, called the informant. After self-identifying as “Big Frank” with the Hells Angels, Enriquez asked if the informant was still interested in Percocet pills, which Enriquez could supply for $6 each. The informant agreed and Enriquez advised that he would provide the pills to Looper that night when he attended “church” (i.e., Hells Angels chapter meeting). Enriquez instructed the informant to arrange with Looper for the delivery of the pills. During a subsequent call, Enriquez explained that he had a longtime customer for part of his supply of pills but could obtain more next month. Enriquez also reassured the informant that he could trust Looper. The next day, April 11, Looper was driven to the informant’s store by Hells Angels prospect Boersma (who was Looper’s boyfriend). There, Looper supplied the pills in Enriquez’s prescription bottle and accepted $300 for the pills and $40 for her assistance. Looper also discussed that Boersma was in the car and that Boersma would supply Hydrocodone from Boersma’s prescription, by which he obtained 90 pills on the 25th of the month (Boersma’s pharmacy records indicate he had been obtaining such pills in 2010, 2011, and 2012). Looper explained to the informant that Boersma sold his pills to everyone and provided the informant with the price Boersma charged.
“Looper subsequently arranged to provide Boersma’s pain pills to the informant on April 25, 2012. After delaying the meeting to allow Boersma to pick up the pills, Looper subsequently called back and said that Dan Bifield told her she could not sell the pills to the informant. The next day, Baker agreed to find out what was going on for the informant and to determine why Bifield had forbidden the pill deal from taking place. Moreover, Baker agreed to obtain more pain pills from Enriquez for the informant, explaining that the informant could pay Baker for the pills. On May 22, 2012, Baker supplied Enriquez’s pain pills to informant in return for $540 for the pills and $60 for Baker’s assistance.”
“By April of 2012, the informant’s relationship with Bifield had deteriorated as Bifield was cut out when Baker began taking over managing the enterprise’s illegal dealings with the informant.”
Guns and Money
“The charged drug conspiracy was not limited to actually distributing cocaine, methamphetamine, and pills. The drug conspiracy also included drugs that were to be obtained from the robbery of alleged drug dealers in New York. The stolen drugs were to then be sold in Canada, creating drug proceeds that would be laundered by members of the conspiracy (including Bifield, Baker, Long, and Oiler). As part of the drug conspiracy, conspirators supplied a variety of firearms they understood were to be used in obtaining drugs by armed robbery. Of course, the FBI and the informant did not actually arrange for an armed robbery of drug dealer to take place. Such stings are a common and approved investigative techniques to ferret out criminals and criminal organizations. The first armed robbery to create cash to be laundered by members of the enterprise was represented to have taken place in November of 2011.
“Previously, Bifield, Lisa, and Long supplied firearms to be used in this robbery of methamphetamine: July 21 (Lisa and Dan Bifield supplied pistol); August 5 (Lisa supplied two pistols); and September 28 (Long supplied assault rifle and pistol). On September 28, Long supplied a SKS assault rifle and a pistol. Additionally, Plyler supplied the informant with three pistols and a shotgun in September and October of 2011; at least some of those firearms had been supplied originally by Pryor to Plyler for sale to the informant. After the alleged robbery had taken place, the Bifields, Long, and Oiler laundered the cash that was represented to be the proceeds of the sale of the stolen drugs: November 29 (Bifield laundered $20,000); November 30 (Long laundered $15,000); November 30 (Oiler laundered $15,000); and December 22 (Bifield – with assistance from James Rhodus – laundered $30,000); December 23 (Bifield laundered $15,000).The second armed robbery was described as having taken place in February of 2012. Previously, Pryor had supplied more than twenty firearms on eleven days from November of 2011 through February of 2012, to be used in the robbery of five kilograms of cocaine. On January 5, Oiler supplied a machinegun with a silencer (which Oiler indicated he had used to shoot up some people earlier) to the informant for use in robbing drug dealers. After the alleged robbery was reported to have taken place, Baker laundered $15,000 in cash he received on March 1 that was represented to be the proceeds of the sale of the stolen drugs. Bifield also accepted $15,000 to be laundered on March 1, 2012, but failed to provide the clean money before being arrested, despite efforts from Baker to have Bifield provide the money.
“Yet another armed robbery was encouraged by Baker in early March of 2012 after he received the cash to launder from the second robbery. With Baker’s encouragement, Pryor supplied an AR-15 and a pistol on March 6, and another pistol on March 19, for use in another robbery. After Bifield failed to provide the laundered funds as agreed, efforts to continue the laundering and robbery sting was stopped.”
“As described above, the Hells Angels and their associates were supplying a substantial number of firearms to the informant, knowing both that the informant was a felon and that the firearms were going to be used in a drug robbery. In total the enterprise (though the actions of Pryor, Oiler, Long, Bifield, Keach, and Plyler, with the assistance of Baker and Lisa among others), supplied approximately 47 firearms, including assault rifles with extended magazines, a machinegun, silencers, semiautomatic pistols, revolvers, a derringer, shotguns, and a high-powered rifle.”
Members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the Hells Angels, constituted a criminal enterprise whose members and associates engaged in a wide-variety of criminal activity. The enterprise’s leadership, including President Baker and Vice-President Bifield, controlled its operation. In addition to the Chapter’s leadership, full-patch members controlled the enterprise’s prospects, support club members and prospects (e.g., Red Devils), hang-arounds, and associates. The leadership and members attended regular meetings, referred to as ‘church.’
“Members and associates participated in this illegal enterprise through their continuing criminal activities (narcotics distribution, firearms trafficking, money laundering, arson, trafficking in stolen goods, prostitution, extortion, and violence). The illegal activities had common purpose of enriching the members and associates and of permitting the enterprise to maintain power in the geographic area controlled by the Hells Angels Chapter. Members utilized their membership in and association with the Hells Angels – including the fear instilled by the Hells Angels – to facilitate the illicit activity. Moreover, a kickback or cut of the illicit proceeds were paid to the enterprise and its leaders, Baker and Bifield. For example, both Bifield and Baker received thousands of dollars in cash in return for permitting and facilitating the illegal activities of the enterprises membership. Early on in the investigation, Bifield instructed the informant that the informant was to provide cash to Bifield after each deal with his guys (i.e., members of the enterprise). As Baker also discussed with the informant, members of the enterprise are supposed to pay a ten-percent cut of their profits from illegal activity (sales of narcotics, firearms, stolen property, etc) to Baker as the President of the Hells Angels Chapter.”
“In March of 2012, Bifield – along with other named and unnamed members of the enterprise – attempted to burn down Club Crush in Columbia, SC, as part of an insurance fraud scheme. During the early morning hours of March 8, the club was partially burned down after firefighters were able to stop the fire set by Bifield and his associates.”
“In a variety of instances, Long and others supplied property known to be stolen to the informant. For example, in August and September of 2011, Long received jewelry represented to be stolen property, which he then sold to the informant. Additionally, Oiler described his involvement in stolen property.”
“…Keach described to an informant the efforts he and Bifield engaged in to run a prostitution ring.”
“…in exchange for payment from a third party, Bifield called a creditor and utilized his membership in the Hells Angels to “persuade” the creditor to not collect.”
“In May of 2011, a Rock Hell City Nomad full-patch member stabbed a member of another motorcycle gang based on the belief that the victim was a member of sympathizer with the Hells Angels’ sworn enemies, the Outlaws. Bifield described the incident as one where someone got messed up because they came from out of state and went somewhere they were not supposed to go. Bifield also explained that standing orders were in effect to take a no-nonsense policy with the enemy.”
The bulk of the evidence in this case is electronic but the job of convincing a jury that this true crime tale is actually true will fall on the shoulders of the agent provocateur Joe Dilulio and the defendants who have agreed to cooperate.