RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The Feds say they were a highly organized and violent motorcycle gang, and they operated right here in the Richmond area. They're called The Outlaws.
Wednesday, five of the 27 members arrested in a national crackdown on the motorcycle club go on trial in Richmond Federal Court. Expect longer lines and extra security. There will be an overflow courtroom for spectators.
Assaults, kidnapping, drug dealing, explosives, illegal gambling, even attempted murder, all of it is laid out in this 50 page indictment. And much of it was planned and or executed at a secret club house in Petersburg.
The lure of the open road wasn't the only adrenaline rush for some members of the American Outlaws Association. According to the Feds, AOA members are 21 or older, own an American made bike and are an organized crime syndicate.
The undercover two year long investigation took down members in 7 states. These are just a few of the 27 men arrested. Some are still rebelling against authority giving the camera the middle finger.
The Outlaws formed in Chicago in the 1930's. They are longtime rivals with the Hell's Angels. In 2006, after reaching an agreement with the Pagans, the Outlaws began expanding their territory from North Carolina into Virginia. They setup in Petersburg, and according to the Feds, broke the law in and around Richmond.
The Outlaws had a clubhouse in Petersburg. The location of this secret meeting place is never revealed in the court documents. But it is clear the undercover officers gathered a majority of their evidence at that secret meeting place.
According to the indictments, drugs like oxycodone, cocaine and marijuana were running through the Petersburg club house.
In March of 2006 the group planned a show of force against Hell's Angels at the cycle expo held at the showplace in Henrico County. Outlaws and Pagans were marking their territory. Local police got wind of this showdown and refused to allow the Outlaws and Pagans inside.
In March of 2009 the Outlaws set up a trap for Hell's Angels and Desperados Motorcycle Club Members at Cockade City Grill in downtown Petersburg. An undercover police officer was cut on the head and his eye was injured. The fight spilled out into the parking lot. Guns were drawn, threats were made, but before there was any more violence, local police arrived and ended the stand-off.
The indictment alleges that Outlaws national boss, Milwaukee Jack came to the Petersburg club house and told members "they should shoot" their rivals.
By February of this year the Feds say the Petersburg club was dabbling in illegal gambling. By March, the Feds say members were planning a murder, and even wanted to know how to make several different types of explosives to destroy the Petersburg area tattoo business of a rival.
14 members have already pleaded guilty. Five Outlaws, including national president Milkwaukee Jack are fighting the charges. They've asked for a jury trial Wednesday morning at the federal courthouse. That trial is expected to last two weeks.