One of the most inane federal complaints in the last year is about to finally go in the dumpster.
Last August 15, an FBI agent in Atlanta named Mark Sewell charged American Outlaws Association Regional President Larry “Mack” McDaniel, Outlaws patch holder Sean King and Black Pistons Motorcycle Club Georgia State President Howard Brown with “obstructing an FBI undercover investigation.”
Sewell told a poor, innocent judge named Susan S. Cole that he “received information from a concerned citizen” on July 18, 2012 that “indicated that the Outlaws were aware that the ‘Feds’ had placed either an Undercover Employee or a Confidential Informant inside the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club’s Cleveland, Georgia chapter. Furthermore, the Outlaws mentioned the suspected UCE or CI by his real name and his BPMC ‘club name’.”
“However, the concerned citizen was not aware of how the Outlaws had come to the conclusion that the Feds had an undercover employee or Confidential Informant inside the BPMC. In reality, your affiant and the FBI had placed a UCE and two CIs into the Black Pistons, as members and associates. Furthermore, the real name mentioned by the concerned citizen matched the real name of CI-1. As a safety precaution, your affiant personally met with CI-l on July 19, 2012 and advised CI-1 of the potential revelation of his identity as an FBI Informant.”
A confidential informant was subsequently expelled from the Black Pistons.
The next day, August 16, the feds threw a temper tantrum. Twenty-three people in Georgia, most but not all of whom had some connection to the Outlaws, Black Pistons, Southern Knights and Hoodlums Motorcycle Clubs, got to meet real Swat team members and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia issued a press release in which important people said inane things.
“All but two of the defendants charged in this investigation have direct ties to the Outlaw Motorcycle Club or other motorcycle clubs that are affiliated with and controlled by the Outlaws,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates announced. “The charges unsealed today allege that these motorcycle club members engaged in substantial drug trafficking and weapons offenses. This case is a big step forward in making sure that these groups don’t threaten the safety of our North Georgia communities.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Mark Sewell’s boss, wrote, “Today’s arrests of the numerous members of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club and those of several of its affiliate clubs represents the unified efforts of our region’s law enforcement in addressing a serious and very structured crime problem. The Outlaw Motorcycle Club, its affiliate clubs, and its membership are not above nor beyond the law and today’s arrests, the culmination of a two-year intensive investigation, should serve as clear evidence of that.”
Twenty of the men charged in six separate indictments last August still face charges. But earlier this week, after five months of the extra-special federal treatment, U.S. Magistrate Clay Fuller recommended that the charges that resulted from extra-Special Agent Sewell’s complain be dismissed. District Judge Richard Story, who is actually in charge of the case, will probably agree with Fuller. Sewell’s complaint was based on the patently absurd legal theory that an undercover investigation is a “proceeding” just like a hearing or a trial.
McDaniel’s lawyer, Don Samuel, told Bill Rankin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “We are delighted with the ruling and are confident it will be sustained. Not only is it legally impermissible in our opinion to charge the crime as it was charged, but he’s also factually innocent.”
King and Brown are now off the hook. McDaniel still faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.