Two members of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Outlaws Association were sentenced last week in a case that has lingered since January 2013.
Federal district judge Petrese Tucker sentenced former chapter president Ronald L. “Bugs” Sells to 30 months in prison and five years of supervised probation. She sentenced Michael James “Maniac” Privett, a patched member of the club, to time served. Court documents describe Privett as the chapter “warlord.” Sells signed a sealed plea and sentencing agreement on May 3. Privett signed a sealed plea deal sometime before he was released from federal custody last April 3.
Privett was briefly locked up again four months later. Following a domestic dispute on August 3, a Baltimore woman named Maxine Radloff complained that Privett “stole her vehicle and assaulted her.” His pretrial services officer contended Privett had violated the terms of his release and he was back in custody August 13. Thirteen days later he was free again after a request by prosecutors. And a month after that Privett pleaded guilty in Baltimore to second-degree assault and was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence and three years probation. He was also ordered to pay Radloff $3,000 restitution.
The Philadelphia Outlaws, who were once the Philadelphia Warlocks, became the target of an federal fishing expedition after the patch over. The FBI’s Organized Crime/Labor Racketeering Squad coerced or paid a Probationary Outlaw to solicit a one kilo methamphetamine deal at the beginning of 2013. The snitch told Sells he had a buyer for the meth in New York.
Sells agreed to sell the snitch the crank but told him he wanted the deal kept secret from both his wife and his motorcycle club. According to court documents, the informant took possession of the drugs at Sell’s home in Churchville, Maryland on January 17. Sells, the snitch and two other Outlaws then drove to the Philadelphia clubhouse.
According to public documents Sells then told the informant, “This shit can’t be in the clubhouse. If the bosses find out, I’m gonna be dead and so are you…We need money. We gotta get with your guy and move this stuff.” The informant left his motorcycle and motorcycle trailer at the clubhouse as collateral. The snitch agreed to pay off his drug debt two weeks later and Sells was arrested when he tried to collect his money on January 31.
Privett Talked On The Phone
That same day the informant got a phone call from Privett who demanded “come up with my money.” Later Privett called and said “You can believe one thing. You can fuck with me all you want to, but motherfucker trust me. Your whole family is in danger. Fuck you.” The third time he called Privett told the snitch, “I’ll have the address for your son’s house in Florida this week. I got the tag numbers. I got your bike. I got your trailer. I want my money. Your whole family is going to be in danger if not. You need to pick up the fucking phone. You’re supposed to meet (Sells) today. Now he’s not answering the phone either. As far a I’m concerned, both you all in the same boat.”
Privett was arrested the next day and charged with “collection of extensions of credit by extortionate means.”
Van Smith of the Baltimore City Paper has been following this story for the last thirteen months. You can read his latest coverage here.