Two local members of the American Outlaws Association motorcycle club face charges as part of a sweeping federal grand jury indictment of 27 club members nationwide. Chris Gagner, president and treasurer of the Asheville chapter, and former chapter member William Davey are among those charged with participating "in a criminal enterprise that engaged in a wide range of crimes, including attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery, extortion, witness intimidation, narcotics distribution, illegal gambling and weapons violations."
The June 10 indictment, unsealed June 15 in the Eastern District of Virginia, charges national club President Jack Rosga and 26 other Outlaws with a variety of criminal acts, alleging that "the Outlaws motorcycle gang is a highly organized criminal enterprise with a defined, multilevel chain of command," and that "under Rosga's leadership, the enterprise is alleged to have engaged in violent racketeering activities with the intent to expand its influence and control various parts of the country against rival motorcycle gangs, particularly the Hells Angels."
Gagner, 37, is charged with conspiracy to violate federal racketeering laws, conspiracy to commit violence in aid of a conspiracy, and distribution of controlled substances. Davey, 46, an enforcer for the Asheville chapter until this year, according to the indictment, faces three conspiracy charges along with possession of firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence.
"Today's arrests of the national president and leadership of the American Outlaws Association mark another aggressive attempt by the Department of Justice to dismantle what the indictment alleges to be a gang whose entire environment revolves around violence," said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride.
The 50-page indictment details an alleged criminal conspiracy dating back to 2005 that included assaults on rival motorcycle clubs, "shows of force" at biker events, the attempted murder of a Hells Angels member, efforts to collect protection money from illegal gambling operators, assaulting an African-American man because of his race, intimidating witnesses, kidnapping an undercover Knoxville, Tenn., sheriff's deputy and trafficking in prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana. The 27 members charged are from Wisconsin, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia.
Last October, the indictment alleges, Gagner "distributed approximately 66 oxycodone pills and 6 'muscle relaxers' to an undercover agent" in Petersburg, Va. The next month, Gagner, while taking part in the annual Smoky Mountain Toy Run, allegedly "told the president of the Southern Patriots Motorcycle Club that if they continued to support the [Hells Angels], the Outlaws would come to town and shut the club down." And in April of this year, Gagner supposedly produced a map of Hells Angels' clubhouses and homes at a meeting of regional leaders in Lexington, N.C. The indictment also charges that Davey and other Outlaws planned an assault on the Desperados Motorcycle Club at a Petersburg, Va., bar last March.
One of the Outlaws has already lost his life as part of the federal sweep. Early on June 15, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives SWAT team shot and killed Thomas Mayne, 59, at his home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, after allegedly being fired upon.
In the past, federal agencies have charged members of various Outlaw chapters with racketeering, drug trafficking and violent crimes. The American Outlaws Association have chapters in 23 states and overseas.
David Forbes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 251-1333, ext. 137.
Gagner is charged with conspiracy to violate federal racketeering laws, conspiracy to commit violence in aid of a conspiracy, and distribution of controlled substances.