Devils Diciples

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This article is about the outlaw motorcycle club. For other uses, see The Devil's Disciple (disambiguation).
Devils Diciples MC
Devils Diciples logo.png
Founded 1967
Location Fontana, California, United States
Type Outlaw motorcycle club
Region USA
Membership 150[1]
Website www.devilsdiciples.org
Abbreviation DDMC

The Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club (DDMC) is an outlaw motorcycle club that was founded in Fontana, California in 1967. The word outlaw carries a specific meaning which does not imply criminal intent, but rather means the club is not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and does not adhere to the AMA's rules.[2] The club originally had twelve members, and the word "disciples" was intentionally misspelled. Their insignia is a motorcycle wheel with two tridents crossing over it. In the United States, the club has chapters in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Ohio. The headquarters of the club are in Clinton Charter Township, Michigan, Port Huron, Michigan, and Detroit and there are around 150 full-patched members in the club.[1][3]

Controversies[edit]

Since 1995, a number of members of the club have been accused or convicted of selling or manufacturing illegal substances. Hells Angels member John R. Bartolomeo is serving 35 years in prison for the June 29, 1995 murder of Devils Diciples member William "Cats" Michaels.[4][5][6] US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Phil Muollo, who infiltrated the Hells Angels, said that Bartolomeo was a "prospect" (prospective member) of the Hells Angels, and that he killed the rival gang member to prove that he was worthy to be a full member of the Hells Angels.[7]

In November 2006, the U.S. District Court in Detroit closed its first major meth case with the sentencing of two Devils Diciples members and five associates in connection to manufacturing methamphetamine.[8]

In an investigation into the club begun in 2002, prosecutors have recently requested dropping the last remaining charges against the club's national president, Jeff "Fat Dog" Garvin Smith, "to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation and because the interests of justice require it." Charges against 17 other club members or associates had been dropped in April.[9] These charges included drug trafficking and other offenses, brought when 18 alleged members of the Devils Diciples were arrested on April 2, 2009 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[1][10] During the raid, 42 firearms, 3,000 rounds of ammunition, three bullet-proof vests, $12,000, 15 casino-style slot machines, 1,000 Vicodin and OxyContin pills, 1½ pounds of methamphetamine and 55 pounds of marijuana were seized.[11] The remaining charges Smith was to be tried for were being "a violent felon in possession of body armor" as well as "using a communications facility (a telephone) in furtherance of drug trafficking".[12][13]

New Baltimore, Michigan District Court Judge Paul Cassidy was investigated in April 2009 for allegedly giving Devils Diciples members preferential treatment. He is a boyhood friend of their National President Jeff Garvin Smith. Cassidy announced his retirement after his home and office were searched as part of the investigation of the Devils Diciples.[9][14] In 2011, Stephen J. Kinzey, a kinesiology professor at California State University, San Bernardino, was accused of smuggling methamphetamine while part of the gang.[15]

Duane "Dog" Chapman, now an anti-crime celebrity bounty hunter, was associated with the club during his adolescence.[16]

July 2012, 31 Devils Diciples members in Michigan and Alabama were arrested by the FBI. 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.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Egan, Paul (April 2, 2009). "Devils Diciples motorcycle club members arrested in FBI sweep". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  2. ^ Drew, A. J. (2002). The everything motorcycle book: the one book you must have to buy, ride, and maintain your motorcycle. Adams Media Corp. pp. 193–203, 277. ISBN 978-1-58062-554-8. 
  3. ^ http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/19065567/detail.html
  4. ^ Ranalli, Ralph (22 May 1998). "Hell's Angel gets 35 years for murder". Boston Herald. p. 12. "[Johnny] Bartolomeo also admitted running down and killing a member of the rival Devil's Disciples gang in Weymouth in 1995. He hit William 'Cats' Michaels so hard that Michaels' motorcycle became embedded in the grill of Bartolomeo's red Cadillac, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Hobart said." 
  5. ^ "Biker sentenced for slaying rival". Boston Globe. 22 May 1998. p. B6. ISSN 0743-1791. "A member of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in federal prison for murdering a rival biker and selling drugs to undercover federal agents. John R. Bartolomeo, 29, of East Boston, admitted killing William 'Cats' Michaels of the Devil's Disciples on Route 18 in Weymouth on July 29, 1995." 
  6. ^ Business and Legal Writers. (21 May 21, 1998). "Hells Angel Member Receives 35 Year Prison Sentence for Killing Rival Motorcycle Gang Member and for Drug Trafficking". Business Wire. New York. p. 1. 
  7. ^ Bagnall, Sam (2 January 2004). Undercover with the Hells Angels. BBC. 
  8. ^ Arboscello, Christy (November 14, 2006). "Meth makers get prison: Biker gang allies ran operations in Macomb, St. Clair.". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  9. ^ a b Egan, Paul (October 27, 2009). "Prosecutors seek to dismiss charge against motorcycle club president". The Detroit News. 
  10. ^ Coleman, Lania (April 3, 2009). "Bay City man among Devil's Diciples named in lawsuit". The Bay City Times. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  11. ^ "FBI arrests president, members of motorcycle club". Michigan News. Associated Press. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  12. ^ "Charges dropped against motorcycle club members". Guardian. AP foreign. April 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  13. ^ US Department of Justice (April 1, 2009). "Motorcycle gang national president indicted". Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  14. ^ Michigan Judge Questioned in Motorcycle Gang Probe
  15. ^ Willon, Phil (6 November 2011). "A tale of two Stephen Kinzeys". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Acey, Madeleine (June 18, 2003). "Profile: Duane 'Dog' Chapman, bounty hunter". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  17. ^ | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
  18. ^ FBI — National President, National Vice President, and 39 Members and Associates of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Gang Indicted

External links[edit]