FBI raids east side Indianapolis club; 42 charged

Published: .
Updated: .

FBI agents conducted a raid Wednesday morning at a motorcycle club on the east side of Indianapolis. Agents are calling it the largest federal bust of alleged gang activity in Indianapolis history.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, federal officials said they were still looking for 28-year-old Terrell Lamont Adams for narcotics-related violations.

More than 300 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, including 11 different SWAT teams, simultaneously converged on more than a dozen locations across Indianapolis. Within a few hours, 42 arrest warrants and 17 search warrants were served without injury.

Agents arrived with search warrants at the Outlaws Motorcycle Club near New York and Jefferson Avenue shortly before 7:00 am. They detained Outlaws members, and were later seen collecting evidence and removing boxes from the club, along with motorcycles.

At the news conference, federal prosecutors said the indictment charges the 42 alleged gang members with a wide variety of offenses, including racketeering, mail fraud, money laundering, extortion, drug charges, wire fraud, witness tampering, and operating an illegal gambling operation.

The FBI says they've been monitoring the group for some time. The group's base, in a modest-looking two-story home at New York and Jefferson, sports sophisticated surveillance equipment including at least two security cameras on the side of the building. One officer described the inside of the club as an elaborate set-up.

A woman who lives nearby said despite the locked-down complex, the Outlaws made her feel safe.

"I don't feel unsafe in this vicinity right here, with them being here. I take my kids to a summer program [at a church]. They'll protect us if we're walking through here. They don't let nobody mess with you," said Mary Case.

About the investigation

The FBI believes Outlaws members "used violence and the threat of force to collect personal debts from individuals in Indianapolis and elsewhere. The members are also alleged to have operated an illegal lottery scheme in Indianapolis that trafficked in thousands of dollars a day."

In a March 2010 scheme, federal prosecutors say members of OMC allegedly recruited and paid someone to "purposely drive a U-Haul truck into the rear of a vehicle containing numerous OMC members, all of whom then filed insurance claims totaling tens of thousands of dollars. In other instances, OMC members are alleged to have hidden the vehicles of other OMC members so as to allow them to collect auto insurance claims for their supposedly stolen vehicles."

Federal prosecutors say their investigation revealed an elaborate power structure within the OMC, including a long process before new members were accepted. They say this was to guard against infiltration by law enforcement. After one year of associating with the group, the person would become known as a "hangaround," and then could be sponsored as a prospective member. During that time, prosecutors say individuals had to follow orders from OMC members that often included criminal activity.

After becoming a full member in a unanimous vote, the individual would be able to wear patches or other emblems identifying them with the group, including "MC" (motorcycle club), "AOA" (American Outlaws Association), and "1%er" (meant to describe a non-law-abiding motorcycle rider). Other patches and tattoos identified within the indictment include "Snitches are a Dying Breed," as well as "GFOD," which stands for "God Forgives, Outlaws Don't."

Federal agents also raided a house across the street from the motorcycle club.

The raids Wednesday morning also included an Outlaws clubhouse in Fort Wayne. The Journal Gazette reports FBI agents boxed up evidence and searched the building with a dog.

Last year, a federal judge in Virginia sentenced the Outlaws national president to 20 years in prison on racketeering charges related to a violent turf war with the rival Hells Angels. 

Defendants named within the indictment include:

Joshua N. Bowser, age 32
Michael A. Knoll, age 47
Kent D. Whitinger, age 49
Michael E. Hamilton, age 53
James W. Bain, age 50
Edward J. Bolen, age 47
Dominic R. Mangine, age 71
Michael Medlin, age 68
Michael A. Schlicher, age 38
Jamie A. Bolinger, age 34
Stephen M. Whitinger, age 57
Vance Canner, 43
Lawrence Gregory, age 47
Bryan E. Glaze, age 20
Stephen D. Duff, age 22
Richard C. DeMarco, Jr., age TBD
Steve A. Reynolds, age 37
Mark A. Bisel, age 49
Joseph Alarcon, age 32
Charles N. Ernstes, II, age 52
David L. Whitinger, age 54
Joseph Maio, age 59
Ronald P. Taylor, Jr., age 43
Pamela K. Cummins, age 44
Jose Diaz, age 36
Rigo Rocha-Lopez, age 34
Justo Rojas, age 43
Carlos Mena, age 47
Hector Nava-Arrendondo, age 29
Jorge Daniel Ledezma-Cruz, age 26
Jorge Sedeno-Callejas, age 27
Cesar Granados, age 31
James Stonebraker, age 58
Brian T. Peacock, age 60
Norvel Terry, age 45
Russell Pryor, age TBD
Thomas Swan, age TBD
Steven Lecclier, age TBD
Anthony Leach, age 44
William Anderson, age 42
Terrell Adams, age 28
Scharme L. Bolinger, age 34

The sting was part of the U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Indiana State Police, the Marion County Sheriff's Department, as well as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.