Ten months after the case was announced and seven months after the return of a superseding indictment, sentencings have begun in the Columbia, South Carolina case against members of the Rock Hell City Nomads charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, members of nearby chapters of the Red Devils and Southern Gentlemen Motorcycle Clubs and associates of those clubs.
What may be the final trial in the case ended Good Friday with the conviction of Carlos Hernandez for narcotics conspiracy. The government alleged that Hernandez was the source for most of the cocaine and methamphetamine other defendants delivered to a government agent provocateur named Joe Dillulio. Hernandez is now scheduled to be sentenced July 10.
Two cooperating witnesses have already been sentenced. James Frederick “Big Fred” Keach, Jr., a former member of the Red Devils Motorcycle Club was sentenced to time served and forfeiture of his motorcycle on March 26 while Hernandez trial was still underway. Keach faced 20 years in prison. Keach began cooperating with prosecutors less than a week after he was arrested. The prosecutor in the case, Jay Richardson, did not detail the extent of Keach’s cooperation in writing.
Trent Allen Brown was sentenced this morning to 24 months in prison and four years of supervised release for the crime of narcotics conspiracy. Brown will remain free to arrange his affairs until May 5. The court recommended that he do his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, South Carolina.
In his motion requesting leniency for Brown, Richardson wrote, “The Government submits that Brown has provided substantial assistance during the course of his cooperation in the cases against his codefendants and his coconspirators.”
All but two of the remaining defendants in the case will be sentenced on May 9 or June 19.
The two exceptions are Dan and Lisa Bifield. Lisa Bifield fired her previous attorney, a man named John Wesley Locklair, on March 18. Locklair was replaced by Louis H. Lang who may or may not move to vacate a guilty plea and a corresponding contract with the government that his client signed on January 3. Lang has until tomorrow to ask Judge Cameron McGowan Currie for more time to review the case before proceeding. Dan Bifield moved to withdraw his guilty plea on February 19. A hearing to argue that motion is scheduled for April 11.
Richard Thrower, Frank Enriquez, Jr, Johanna Looper, Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr, James Rhodus, Bruce Ranson Wilson, Robert David Pryor and Kerry Chitwood are all scheduled to be sentenced on May 9. Mark William Baker, David Channing Oiler and Bruce James Long, who were found guilty by a jury on March 20, are all scheduled to be sentenced on June 19.