Highwaymen Motorcycle Club
|Motto||Highwaymen forever, forever Highwaymen|
|Type||Outlaw motorcycle club|
|Region||Midwestern and Southern United States|
The Highwaymen Motorcycle Club is a one-percenter outlaw motorcycle gang that was formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1954. The club has undergone a number of large-scale police and FBI investigations, most notably in 1973, 1987 and 2007. In the early 1970s several members were convicted of bombings and raids of the homes and the clubhouses of rival motorcycle clubs.
The club is the largest in the Detroit area, with over one hundred members, and chapters in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Their insignia is a winged skeleton wearing a motorcycle cap and leather jacket, and their colors are black and silver. The club's motto is "Highwaymen forever, forever Highwaymen" ("H.F.F.H."). James Blake Miller, the "Marlboro Marine", is a member of the Kentucky Highwaymen, many of whom, like Miller, are veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. The Highwaymen are banned from the Detroit Federation of Motorcycle Clubs, which was created by the president of the Detroit Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the 1970s to resolve motorcycle gang turf wars.
In 1955, the Highwaymen were actually listed as an American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) sanctioned club, a form of mainstream respectability which outlaw motorcycle clubs would, over the course of the 1950s and 1960s, come to reject as the very definition of 'outlaw' and 'one-percenter,' just as much as the AMA rejected outlaw clubs from their midst.
On May 5, 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 40 members and associates of the Detroit chapter of the Highwaymen on a number of charges including racketeering, murder for hire, assault, police corruption, cocaine trafficking, vehicle theft, and mortgage and insurance fraud. Twenty-nine illegal firearms, including assault rifles, shotguns and handguns, were also found when FBI agents raided homes and the chapter's clubhouse. The investigation into the club lasted two years and involved wiretaps and two informants, one of whom was eventually murdered.
High-ranking Highwaymen member Randell Lee McDaniel was arrested for running a chop shop in Lansing, Michigan on June 13, 2007. The investigation by the Monroe County Auto Theft Enforcement began in October 2006 and served several search warrants on properties owned by McDaniel. He was charged with conducting a criminal enterprise, operating a chop shop, motor vehicle theft and possessing a controlled substance.
Four police officers and a member of the Highwaymen were indicted on March 12, 2008 by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges stemming from the 2007 investigation into drug trafficking. Highwaymen member Sean Donovan, who was already incarcerated on stolen property charges, was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and Vicodin. The four police officers were also jailed for corruption.
- US Department of Justice (14 May 2009), Members of "Highwaymen Motorcycle Club" Indicted on Violent Crime, Drug, and Gun Charges; Arrests Part of Ongoing Initiative Targeting the "Highwaymen"
- Egan, Paul (June 16, 2007), "FBI targets biker club; 40 indicted so far as FBI builds racketeering case against Highwaymen", The Detroit News, retrieved 2010-01-08
- Wilkinson, Mike (13 March 2008), "4 cops indicted in Highwaymen probe; Metro officers, attorney face charges from FBI's drug investigation of motorcycle gang", Detroit News (Detroit, Michigan): A.1
- Leaders Of The Detroit Highwaymen Found Guilty Of Racketeering, Drug And Weapons Charges, States News Service, 8 December 2010
- Egan, Paul (A.3), "Biker club portrayals clash; Fed racketeering trial's opening statements focus on character of accused Highwaymen", Detroit News
- Luis Sinco, Rescue operation aims to save a wounded warrior, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2007.
- Eliscu, Jenny (3 April 2008), "This Is The Face Of The War In Iraq The Mind Behind It Will Never Be The Same", Rolling Stone (New York, NY) (1049): 56 (6 pages)
- "Another list of AMA clubs!", American Motorcyclist 9 (9), September 1955, ISSN 0277-9358, retrieved 2011-01-03
- Dulaney, William L. (November 2005), "A Brief History of "Outlaw" Motorcycle Clubs", International Journal of Motorcycle Studies
- Snell, Robert (1 November 2010), "Feds may seize Highwaymen headquarters; Southwest Detroit facility was allegedly used for drug sales", Detroit News (Detroit, Michigan): A.3
- Motorcycle Gang Chop Shop Shut Down in Southeast Michigan
- Stephen J. Murphy United States Attorney, Four Police Officers Indicted In Connection With Highwaymen Motorcycle Club Investigation, US Department of Justice, retrieved 2010-01-08
- United Press International (March 13, 2008), 4 cops charged in motorcycle club case, retrieved 2010-01-08