Chosen Few MC Members Dodge US Attorney Indictment In Racketeering Case
The U.S. Attorney’s Office on Saturday dropped the indictment against the Chosen Few motorcycle gang, after the government’s racketeering case against the Buffalo, New York biker club began to unravel.
Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny moved to dismiss the indictment “in light of information that recently came to light,” according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. Hochul made the announcement in a statement and left it at that. The attorneys for the club said they think the “new information” in question may well have been damaging evidence against David Ignasiak, a former Chosen Few member who turned government witness in the case against some 20 club members and associates.
The government’s case alleged criminal activity by the Chosen Few, but defense attorneys argued throughout that there were serious credibility problems with the FBI informant, Ignasiak, and that the case should have been thrown out as a result of what they called “outrageous government conduct.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy seemed to agree with the defense and called for hearings on the issue of government conduct. The judge chastised prosecutors twice in three months for their handling of the case, and eventually ruled that prosecutors improperly influenced the grand jury.
“It was a bunch of middle-age white guys talking tough…”
“My hat’s off to the magistrate,” said Paul J. Cambria, defense attorney for Chosen Few President Alex Koschtschuk.
“It really proved to be a wise move on his part, because obviously through the course of that hearing we uncovered serious flaws in the government’s case to the extent that the government itself recognized and acknowledges those flaws – at least at the higher levels of the U.S. Attorney’s Office – and took the action they did to dismiss the indictment,” Cambria said.
Cambria said Hochul and Assistant U.S. Attorney J.P. Kennedy were right in dropping the indictment.
The case was set in motion when, the FBI arrested 20 members and associates of the Chosen Few for engaging in criminal activity ranging from beatings, firebombings, a shooting and death threats against other biker gangs back in 2009.
The government alleged that The Chosen Few were at war with fellow biker gangs the Kingsmen and the Lonely Ones at the time.
Koschtschuk and Chosen Few member Bradley Beutler have been held in custody since that 2009 sweep.
“As a taxpayer, I think it was a tremendous waste of resources,” said defense attorney Paul G. Dell, Beutler’s attorney. “In my opinion it was a bunch of middle-age white guys talking tough. There were no dead bodies. There was no drug dealing going on. This is just a bunch of immature stuff by grown men.”
Koschtschuk and Beutler were released from jail over the weekend after the indictment was dismissed.
“Koschtschuk said it was the greatest Christmas present he’s ever received in his life,” Cambria said.
Insiders say the case began as an investigation into a long-running dispute between the Chosen Few and two other upstate New York clubs – the Kingsmen and the Lonely Ones – and .prosecutors charged Chosen Few President Alex “Al” Koschtschuk with building five pipe bombs in his garage in the Spring of 2004.
The government said Chosen Few members threw two of the bombs at the Lonely Ones clubhouse.
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