U.S. Attorney Announces More Arrests, New Charges in Outlaws Motorcycle Club Case
Hogsett Says Investigation Continues, Announces More Properties to be Potentially Forfeited
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 25, 2012|
INDIANAPOLIS—Earlier this morning, federal agents executed a number of search and arrest warrants in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Ohio. As a result, U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon that an additional nine members and associates of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (“OMC”) have been arrested. The defendants all face charges as part of the ongoing prosecution of what is alleged to have been an extensive criminal network in Indianapolis and throughout the Midwest.
“These new arrests reflect our dedication to completely dismantling a criminal organization that pumped a deadly mixture of drugs, violence, and fraud into this city,” Hogsett said. “These charges also serve as a reminder that if you are involved in organized crime in Indianapolis, if you assist these groups in any way, you will wake up one morning soon to the sound of federal agents at your door.”
“This FBI Safe Streets Task Force investigation demonstrates the power of collaboration among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal organizations,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert A. Jones.
In July, an indictment was returned alleging that beginning in May 2009, members of Indianapolis OMC engaged in organized criminal activity in Indianapolis and across the state. The indictment at that time charged 42 alleged gang members and associates 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.
Examples of alleged criminal activities include numerous instances in which OMC 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.
This morning, an updated version of that indictment was unsealed, naming nine additional defendants and outlining a variety of new alleged criminal acts. Those named in the indictment include:
- Tommy Sims, age 33, of Indianapolis
- Abraham Flores, age 28, of Indianapolis
- Thomas A. Griffin, Jr., a/k/a “Little Tony,” age 60, of Indianapolis
- Frank Jordan, age 56, of Indianapolis
- Thomas A. Griffin, Sr., a/k/a “Tony,” age 42 of Indianapolis
- Robert Roberts, age 36, of Indianapolis
- Robert Muehlhausen, a/k/a “Mule,” age 48, of Indianapolis
- Dax G. Shephard, age 42, of Fort Wayne
- Christian J. Miller, a/k/a “Millhouse,” age 40, of Sandusky, Ohio
New allegations within the updated indictment include charges for distributing cocaine, possession of cocaine, the unlawful use of communication facilities in trafficking drugs, multiple robberies, as well as various federal firearms charges.
The indictment also names additional properties that federal prosecutors allege were part of the OMC’s criminal scheme, including 1705 and 1709 East Naomi Street in Indianapolis, and 1847 South State Street in Indianapolis. These are locations where many of the criminal acts are alleged to have taken place, and the indictment identifies one as an establishment referred to as Sidewinder’s Bar and Grill.
As with the previously named “clubhouse” facility on East New York Street, federal prosecutors expect to seek the forfeiture of the properties should the defendants be found guilty. A large portion of those proceeds would be reinvested in local law enforcement efforts.
These latest arrests are the culmination of a lengthy investigation as 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.
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Bradley A. Blackington, who is prosecuting the case for the government, these nine defendants all face up to decades in prison and substantial fines if they are found guilty.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.