Two Outlaws members indicted with two dozen other bikers in June on racketeering and other charges Snitched against their former gang “brothers” in federal court yesterday.
David Lowry and Brian McDermott, both 50, of the Charlotte, N.C., and Hickory, N.C., Outlaws chapters, respectively, broke the gang’s often-repeated warnings against snitching and testified at length, admitting that they hoped to win lesser prison sentences after earlier pleading guilty.
On trial in U.S. District Court in Richmond are Jack “Milwaukee Jack” Rosga, 53, the Outlaws’ national president; William “Rebel” Davey, 46; Mark “Lytnin’” Spradling, 52; and Leslie Werth, 47. In addition to the racketeering and conspiracy charges, Davey and Werth are charged with using violence in the aid of racketeering and firearms offenses.
Authorities allege the Outlaws ran a criminal enterprise that engaged in attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, robbery, extortion, witness intimidation, drug distribution, illegal gambling and weapons offenses. The trial began last week, and prosecutors said yesterday that they may call their last witness today.
Last year, not long after his parole ended for Outlaws-related federal racketeering convictions in 1998, Lowry was elected the boss of the Outlaws’ Copper region, which includes Virginia and North Carolina and is one of the club’s 10 regions in the U.S.
The runner-up in the election, and the man he replaced, was Werth, who sat a few feet away from the witness stand with the other defendants. Lowry said he was uneasy that the Outlaws had opened a chapter in Rock Hill, S.C.
“It was wrong. We had a standing agreement with the Hells Angels in South Carolina — we’d stay out of South Carolina, if they stayed out of Charlotte,” said Lowry. Many of the accusations of wrongdoings stemmed from the Outlaws’ sometimes violent rivalry with the Hells Angels.
Lowry said that on one occasion, he called Rosga and told him he wanted to get help from other regions in a possible confrontation with Hells Angels in Charlotte. Lowry said Rosga told him to “do what I needed to do.”
But, conceded Lowry, while he smoked marijuana every chance he got, “Jack [Rosga] doesn’t use drugs. To my understanding, Jack’s never taken a drug in his life.”
In testimony earlier in the day, McDermott provided insight into the gang’s strict rules and sometimes harsh discipline.
Hours after a party began to celebrate McDermott’s full membership in the gang in June 2009, McDermott testified that he was beaten at the Hickory clubhouse after falling asleep wearing his club patch and failing to “secure” his patch. Members are not supposed to lie down while wearing their patch, McDermott said.
The party celebrating McDermott’s membership was considered an important night for him, and he was told he could get drunk and didn’t have to worry about what he did or said. But two men at the clubhouse started beating McDermott after he awoke early in the morning and threw him out.
Werth was angry when he learned McDermott had been beaten and called a meeting to discuss the incident, McDermott testified. Ultimately, McDermott’s assailants were punished. Each had to be placed on probation with the club, pay a $100 fine and also be dealt “a black eye.”
A prosecutor asked McDermott yesterday why he didn’t leave the Outlaws after the attack. “Biggest mistake of my life,” McDermott replied. “I was scared.”
“Unless you are an Outlaw in this world, you are nothing,” McDermott added, referring to the world of Outlaws, their supporters and prospective members.
Before McDermott was an Outlaw, he was a member of the Black Pistons, a motorcycle club that supported the Outlaws. Later, as a prospect of the Outlaws, McDermott recalled that he learned to do as he was told. “You were told not to think,” he said.
But he was stunned when he received the beating as a full member of the Outlaws. “It was one thing doing it to hang-arounds and Black Pistons,” he said. “It was another thing to do it to a full member.”
“Outlaws,” he added, “are never wrong if they feel like there’s a reason to hit a hang-around.”