The feds unsealed an indictment charging 41 members and associates of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club -- including the national president and national vice president -- with crimes mostly related to gambling, drugs, and violence.
The Justice Department says the crimes committed by members of the Michigan-based Diciples (that's the gang's awful spelling, not ours) spread across several states, including a few involving the gang's Tucson chapter.
There were a lot of meth transports done by the Diciples originated in Arizona, the feds allege but the most noteworthy allegation about the Tucson chapter is a 2003 attempted murder of its own members for "violating DDMC rules."
The 86-page indictment's extremely unspecific, as the hundreds of allegations included don't provide much detail, and most of the people are identified with aliases, like "Person A" and "Person B."
But in 2003, "Person V" -- a member of the Tucson chapter -- violated some of the club's rules.
For that, the feds allege Vincent Witort and nine other unnamed gangsters robbed, kidnapped, assaulted, and extorted the man in April 2003.
That was only after Witort and the same nine people robbed, kidnapped, and attempted to murder four other people, the indictment states.
This eventually became known because one of the members kept letters and emails from several Devils Disciples chapters and members -- including the national headquarters -- congratulating everyone for beating up, robbing, and trying to murder the people.
The indictment says members of the Nomads motorcycle club were also congratulated in the letters for their help.
Kenneth Roll, the gang's former vice president (before he died) ended up making some wire transfers to Witort after the crimes, too, according to the indictment.
As for the big picture, the feds are alleging a huge criminal conspiracy that's gone on for years, as the feds make it sounds like they've practically dismantled the gang.
From the Justice Department's statement on the indictments:
Thirty-one defendants were arrested today in Michigan and Alabama and five defendants were previously in custody. More than 60 firearms and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition were seized during this investigation. In addition, eight methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories were dismantled during the investigation.
The indictment alleges that the 41 Devils Diciples members and associates, including Smith and Darrah, participated in various criminal acts, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking, illegal firearms offenses, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling and other federal offenses. Eighteen of the defendants, including Smith and Darrah, are charged with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by conducting their illegal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity which included murder, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice and other federal and state offenses.
"For years, according to the indictment, the Devils Diciples have spread fear in cities throughout Michigan and around the country," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "This violent criminal enterprise allegedly profits from drug trafficking and illegal gambling, and uses intimidation and violence to silence its adversaries and maintain control over its members. Today's arrests of the Devils Diciples' top leaders and 39 of the gang's members and associates are an important step in our efforts to dismantle violent criminal enterprises across the country."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The indictment itself can be found below: