Federal Grand Jury Indicts 55 Members and Associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club
Charges Include Racketeering, Kidnapping, and Conspiracy to Commit Murder
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 06, 2009|
CHARLESTON, WV—Charles T. Miller, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, Paul J. Vido, Special Agent-in-Charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Louisville Field Division, and Michael Rodriguez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI, Pittsburgh Field Division, announced today the unsealing of a 44-count indictment charging a total of 55 members and associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club (PMC) with numerous violent crimes such as kidnapping, racketeering, robbery, extortion, and conspiracy to commit murder.
As alleged in the indictment, PMC chapters operate in multiple states, including: West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Florida. The indictment charges five PMC officers, including the national president, David Keith Barbeito, also known as “Bart,” of Myersville, Md., and the national vice president, Floyd B. Moore, also known as “Jesse” and “Diamond Jesse,” of St. Albans, W.V., with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) violations, conspiracy to commit RICO, and other charges.
U.S. Attorney Miller praised the investigative work of the ATF, FBI, Putnam County, West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs assigned to the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), and the Huntington Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. “As alleged in the indictment, members and associates of this motorcycle gang have engaged in numerous violent crimes in an attempt to maintain control over other motorcycle gangs and clubs throughout the country,” Miller stated. “Collaboration between the Federal, state and local agencies that resulted in today’s indictment signals our shared, unrelenting commitment to combat organized crime.”
The indictment, returned on Oct.1, 2009, was unsealed today by the court. The indictment alleges that PMC members and associates have engaged in racketeering activities since March 2003. According to the indictment, in March 2003, PMC members, at the direction of Moore, traveled to Huntington, W.V., and restrained and beat a member of another motorcycle gang, the Road Disciples Motorcycle Club (RDMC), in an attempt to extract information from the victim in order to find the RDMC president. Moore ordered the PMC members to find the RDMC president to collect money and to threaten to shut down the RDMC if the president failed to comply with Moore’s orders. The indictment also alleges that in September 2005, Moore and other PMC members and associates conspired with a prison guard to kill an inmate suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. Further, according to the indictment, Moore ordered another PMC member to commit a murder to help out the president of a local chapter of the Avengers Motorcycle Club.
If convicted, the defendants face years in prison. A chart outlining the possible penalties for each count contained in the indictment is attached.
“Today’s law enforcement operation demonstrates what can be accomplished to insure the safety and security of our communities when we work together as one team,” stated Special Agent in Charge Paul J. Vido. “We will continue to focus our joint enforcement efforts on identifying and eliminating criminal organization that use violent crime as a tool of their trade.”
Special Agent in Charge Michael Rodriguez commented, “This multi-state operation was made possible because of the outstanding cooperation of Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. We stand together in our commitment to protect the community from violent gangs, and we look forward to even greater combined success in the future.”
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven I. Loew, Chief of the Violent Crime Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Blaire L. Malkin and Karen B. Schommer.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.