Forty-one members of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club were officially charged on Friday as part of a federal indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Michigan. According to the indictment, the gang allegedly profited from a laundry list of criminal activity including selling stolen merchandise, drug trafficking, gambling, robbery, and operating methamphetamine labs.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, thirty-one defendants were arrested on Friday in Michigan and Alabama and five were already in custody. Among those arrested are the group’s national President Jeff “Fat Dog” Smith and national Vice President Paul Darrah. The investigation also revealed that more than 60 firearms and over 6,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized. Additionally, eight methamphetamine manufacturing labs were dismantled throughout the investigation.
Of the 41 indicted, 18 members, including Smith and Darrah, are charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act due to their involvement with illegal enterprise. A federal law, RICO provides for extended criminal punishment for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. In the case of the Devil Diciples, their illegal enterprise included murder, robbery, extortion, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice, and various 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.”
Aside from providing a general overview of the group’s criminal activity, the indictment also details several specific incidents. The indictment alleges that in 2003, Vincent John Witort and several other Devils Diciples members robbed, kidnapped, and attempted to murder other members of the Arizona chapter for breaking club rules.
Federal officials also claim that in 2004, Smith had state and federal law enforcement material regarding motorcycle gangs in his possession. The material, which was labeled “For Official Use Only” and “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” consisted of police reports, search warrants, affidavits, indictments and transcripts of witness interviews.
According to the indictment, three separate assaults supposedly occurred from August 2008 to February 2009, two of which involved Smith. Most recently, the indictment alleges that in January 2012, David Randy Drozdowski and Smiley Villa assaulted an individual who they believed to be a member of a rival gang.
Devils Diciples MC
The Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club (DDMC) was founded in Fontana, California in 1967. The group is an outlaw motorcycle club, which means that it is not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association. Consequently, outlaw motorcycle clubs do not abide by AMA rules, but rather have their own sets of bylaws and values.
The DDMC national headquarters is located in Clinton Charter Township, Michigan. The Devils Diciples also have chapters in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Ohio. There are believed to be 150 full-patched members of the club.