The government has unsealed an indictment charging members of a Michigan-based motorcycle gang with running a criminal enterprise that involved violence, drug trafficking, gambling and stolen goods.
Forty-one members or associates of the Devil's Diciples were indicted by a grand jury. The government says the group is based in Macomb County, near Detroit, but has chapters in at least six other states.
The indicted include national president Jeff "Fat Dog" Smith and vice president Paul Darrah. The names of their lawyers were not immediately known Friday. During the investigation of the gang, agents seized more than 60 firearms and dismantled eight methamphetamine labs.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer says members of the Devil's Diciples "have spread fear" in Michigan and elsewhere.
About the group
According to the Devil's Deciples website, the group was formed in 1967. Original members intentionally mis-spelled "disciples" to "diciples" so as to distance ourselves from religious affiliation. The name, according to the website, is no more than what a sports team makes up and uses for their name and has nothing to do with religion.
The website reads:
WE (the Devils Diciples MC); are NOT a criminal organization and do not plan or implement crimes in any form and do not condone criminal activity. We are a "Motorcycle Enthusiasts Organization", and the sole purpose of our Club as an organization is to ensure that the organization continues to exist and grow for the support and enrichment of the members through brotherhood and the love of motorcycles and the freedom associated with it. We do not eliminate members because of their backgrounds or individual ideas. WE DO encourage members to work a regular job because it benefits all. We are the essence of freedom because we support our Brothers no matter what they do individually. Our members do what "they themselves" think is right or what "they themselves" think they need to do ON THEIR OWN. We are not their conscious, Priest or Parent. Like a family; we, "the club", "their Brothers", come to their aide no matter what, even if we as a club or individually do not believe in the action taken by the member himself. This is AMERICA! THE END