Joe Dilullio’s poison tree is about to drop its final fruit.
Dillulio was the conman turned FBI informant who entrapped most of the defendants in the federal racketeering case against members of the Southern Gentlemen, Red Devils and Hells Angels Motorcycle Clubs in and around Rock Hill, South Carolina. Tomorrow, the last three defendants will be sentenced in the case and Dillulio’s name rings out in the sentencing memoranda submitted to Judge Cameron McGowan Currie by the convicted mens’ attorneys.
The three men to be sentenced tomorrow are named David Oiler, Bruce Long and Mark Baker. The government’s case, presented at trial by Assistant United States Attorney Julius “Jay” Richardson, was extraordinarily cynical. Richardson is expected to urge Judge Currie to sentence all three men to the maximum sentences provided by law. Excerpts from the defense sentencing memoranda illustrate the extent of Richardson’s cynicism and the important role Dilullio played in the entrapments.
“David Oiler’s involvement in criminal activity was limited to his dealings with Joe DiLullio. Oiler delivered quantities of methamphetamine to DiLullio at DiLullio’s request on six occasions. The amount of methamphetamine delivered by Oiler totaled 489 grams of actual methamphetamine. Oiler had been a member of the Southern Gentlemen Motorcycle Club in Gaston County, North Carolina for many years prior to his joining the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in September 2011. As a member of the Southern Gentlemen, Oiler had been getting methamphetamine and powder cocaine for his personal use from Kerry Chitwood who was also a member of the Southern Gentlemen. Chitwood was basically Oiler’s sole source of methamphetamine and cocaine. At DiLullio’s request, from December 13, 2011, through March 8, 2012, Oiler delivered the methamphetamine that he received from Chitwood to DiLullio. Oiler was a delivery man, he did not know how to add “cut” to the methamphetamine so what he got from Chitwood he delivered to the informant. This resulted in Oiler delivering extremely pure methamphetamine to the undercover informant. Oiler did not negotiate any prices, he charged what Chitwood told him the drugs cost.”
“As indicated above, Oiler had no source of supply other than the Southern Gentlemen Motorcycle Club (primarily Kerry Chitwood). This fact led to three embarrassing “attempts” by Oiler to obtain a kilogram of powder cocaine for the undercover informant. On three separate occasions within a six (6) week period of time beginning in late December 2011, DiLullio gave Oiler $36,000 for a kilogram of cocaine (after Oiler had provided one ounce of cocaine to DiLullio in early December 2011). Each time Oiler was unable to obtain any cocaine and returned the money to DiLullio. After these three failed attempts, the FBI tried to set up a half-kilogram deal between Oiler and DiLullio in early March 2012. On that occasion, Oiler attempted to get the cocaine from another member of the Southern Gentlemen, Ron Byrum. Oiler succeeded in getting a picture of the cocaine but Byrum’s supplier was spooked by law enforcement in the area and that drug deal was not completed either.”
“An excellent example of Oiler’s role in illegal activities with Joe DiLullio is shown in Paragraph 50 of the PSR in which Oiler sold a firearm with a silencer to the informant on January 5, 2012. Oiler told Joe that he paid $300 for the firearm and Joe gave Oiler $500. Oiler did not set a price, he just handed over the firearm and received the amount that Joe was willing to pay him.”
“Oiler’s role as a delivery man to the undercover informant deserves punishment but even the minimum sentence seems harsher than necessary to achieve the goal of rehabilitation. Considering Mr. Oiler’s age, employment background, and lack of criminal history, a 180 month sentence is more than enough to rehabilitate him and allow him to return to being a productive member of society.”
“During the meeting, Dillulio discusses his current dealings with Dan Bifield. It is unclear what business he is discussing. It appears he is discussing the loan from Long. As Dillulio testified at the trial, this loan was more properly categorized as an investment in his gold business than a straight loan. Dillulio discusses with Long whether or not he wants the entire loan repaid at that time. Dillulio states the original terms of the business deal contemplated ‘everyone’ making money. After discussing Dan getting him a ‘couple of pieces,’ Dillulio mentions a deal he is doing with his ‘old crew’ in New York.
“The discussion surrounding the deal in New York does not initially relate to a robbery. Dillulio claims the deal in New York will produce a ‘quarter of a million dollars.’ Without describing the details of the ‘deal’ or the source of the alleged funds, Dillulio states the deal will provide cash and he needs checks to buy gold. After a couple of minutes complaining about Dan Bifield, Dillulio begins discussing gold deals again. Dillulio then explains he will have ‘all that cash’ right after Labor Day. After describing the monetary transaction, Dillulio says the checks are for gold and he has a license to buy gold. Dillulio plans to buy the gold and send it back to New York, which is consistent with numerous claims he makes throughout this case regarding a very profitable gold business he runs in New York.”
“It is only after this conversation regarding gold that Dillulio begins to spin his story regarding the methamphetamine robbery in New York. After Dillulio’s description of the robbery scheme, the conversation moves along to the handling of money and there is no further mention of a drug robbery. During the conversation describing the fake robbery scheme, Long does not remark on the scheme or add any thoughts to Dillulio’s plan.”
“Later in the conversation, Dillulio again discusses the gold business. Interestingly, it appears Long has as much or more knowledge of the gold market than Dillulio, which is consistent with Long being interested in gold deals with Dillulio. Dillulio claims he is buying $100,000 a week of gold in New York with his brother and sister. There is no more mention of any robbery scheme. In fact, Dillulio discusses the legitimacy of his business.”
“Contrary to the wild claims that Dillulio makes regarding criminal schemes, he clearly tells Long that he now makes his money legitimately. In the course of more than two hours of discussion, only a few seconds are devoted to the claim of a New York drug robbery. Bruce has no involvement in planning the robbery and offers no opinion, or even acknowledgement, of the robbery.”
“A Life sentence as proposed by the Pre Sentence Investigation Report is completely unnecessary and extraordinarily punitive; the jurors in the case would be aghast to learn that their verdicts had unwittingly consigned the Defendant, Mark Baker, to Life imprisonment as a result of the Guidelines. For the jurors to learn that Mark Baker received a sentence of Life in prison while Joe Dillulio was paid one hundred fifty-nine thousand dollars ($159,000.00) by the FBI, would be a factual juxtaposition that defies reason, humaneness and justice in any fashion.”
“The factual backdrop to this prosecution reflects that the FBI multi-jurisdictional task force, code named Operation Angel Bane, could not be counted a success without the indictment and conviction of Mark Baker who served as President of the HAMC Nomads Chapter. The central focus of this prosecution, for which governmental financial expenditures will never be known, was Dan Bifield. It was Bifield, the acknowledged crown jewel, who initially attracted, compelled and focused the government’s (2) two year long undercover operation. In its attempt to collect as many other scalps as possible, as noted by the chronology developed at trial, Operation Angel Bane needed a prosecution and conviction of Mark Baker to complete their ‘pro-active’ operation. This, however, was difficult due to the reluctance and lack of involvement of Mark Baker whose sole criminality up to the middle of January, 2012, was his daily consumption of meth.”
“Joe Dillulio noted in a remark to Mahoney that Mark was ‘broke.’ Accordingly on January 18th, testimony from SA Devon Mahoney was to the effect that Dillulio would make a bribe to Mark ‘to see if he would take it.’ Due to his financial penury, Mark was far too eager to take the five hundred dollars ($500.00) cash which Dillulio gave to him in an envelope at the Ruby Tuesday’s on January 18th, 2012. The financial angle of this Government inducement proved Mark’s undoing as he was in dire straits economically.”
“At trial Mark’s mother, Mrs. Feroline Loren of Fort Mill, testified that she paid the down payment for Mark’s home on University Drive in Lancaster; additionally as she testified, Ms. Loren was the actual payer for innumerable bills incurred by Mark and his family including electricity and doctor bills for years preceding and including January 2012. Trial testimony reflected that Mark, even while serving as President of the HAMC Nomads chapter, was substantially behind in his own club dues as of February, 2012. As will be testified to at sentencing and has already been testified to at trial by Ms. Loren, Mark was made more vulnerable to the Government’s financial overtures because of the down turn in the national economy which inexorably extended down to McGirt Construction in Charlotte where Mark had been employed for the past twenty-six (26) years. As testified to by Ms. Loren, Mark’s compensable time with McGirt was slowly cut down in an effort by the owners of the company to forestall employee layoffs. As a result, Mark’s hours and income dwindled. Mark was reduced on several occasions to stripping scrap wire for recycling and selling it in bulk at two different metal recycling plants in Rock Hill and Charlotte. Mark’s wife, Marissa, applied for food stamps for several months in an attempt to make ends meet. With an 11th grade education at fifty (50) years of age and a background solely as a truck and equipment operator, vocational opportunities did not readily present themselves as required by his economic circumstances.”
“With this financial reality Mark easily became a pawn in the Government’s prosecution of the Nomad Chapter. Likewise it must also be acknowledged that Mark, ever so interested in the five hundred dollars ($500.00) in cash offered by Dillulio, offered no reluctance or hesitancy to the amount of drugs allegedly reported by Dillulio; in truth Mark Baker would have taken the ensuing ‘kickback payments, or tribute’ in the words of Confidential Human Source RH, for whatever Dillulio said was going to happen in New York. In his financial predicament, Mark Baker would have agreed to the receipt of five hundred dollars ($500.00) whether the fictitious Hobbs Act Robbery involved five (5), fifty (50), five hundred (500) or five thousand (5000) kilograms of cocaine. Mark’s short sighted interest was the same: trying to assuage his ongoing financial commitment to his family and a mortgage that should never have been afforded him in the first place.”
Two weeks ago, both Dan and Lisa Bifield, served notice with the court that they will appeal their convictions. Dane Bifield was sentenced to 210 months in prison and Lisa Bifield was sentenced to 84 months.
The same day she served notice of her intent to appeal, Lisa Bifield sent a letter to Judge Currie in which she says that Richardson reneged on an earlier plea deal that would have sentenced her to no more than five years in prison because she refused to tell less than the whole truth in court.
“Your Honor,” Mrs. Bifield wrote, “I can assure you I told the truth. I told the prosecutor and feds that I could and would discredit the informant to the jury if I took the stand. My plea was then ‘breached,’ I was told.”