Site icon MotoFotoStudio

Knoxville Chapter of Outlaws MC Fighting To Get Property Returned Following Police Raid

A federal magistrate judge said the Knox County or the Sheriff’s Office does not have to return personal property seized during a 2009 raid on the Knoxville chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club’s headquarters, but it looks like the club might get some of their gear back anyway.

The effort to have the personal and club property returned comes as a result of a $6 million federal civil-rights lawsuit the club filed over a 2009 New Year’s Eve raid of the group’s clubhouse. The suit, filed in May 2010, alleges the police abused their powers during the raid. According to the lawsuit, attorney Phil Lomonaco said authorities, “broke furniture, destroyed windows and smashed in (unlocked) doors with a battering ram,”  and that deputies took grave markers of Outlaws members who had died. The suit also alleges that authorities took electronics, cash and jewelry.

Lomonaco filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the club and its members naming Knox County Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV, the City of Knoxville and Knox County, in addition to several others involved in the Dec. 31, 2009 raid of a home where the Outlaw Motorcycle Club was holding a party.

The suit also alleges that Knoxville authorities “gave the news media access to photograph and videotape the Plaintiffs while the Plaintiffs were handcuffed and in guarded custody, knowing full well that most of the Plaintiffs were not even going to be charged with a crime.”

In addition, Lomonaco said  “Jimmy “JJ” Jones slandered the Plaintiffs by telling the news media, ‘they’re a menace to our society, everyone of them, they are all criminals, they’ve all got criminal records, this is all they have ever done.’”

Authorities were seeking to arrest  Outlaws Motorcycle Club regional boss Mark “Ivan” Lester as part of the raids. Lester is facing a racketeering conspiracy indictment and headed up Outlaws chapters in Kentucky and Tennessee. Lester is accused – along with Outlaws Motorcycle Club national president Jack “Milwaukee Jack” Rosga and 20 other club leaders – in a federal racketeering indictment from Alexandria, Va.

According to that indictment, the Outlaws and Rosga planned multiple acts of violence against rival motorcycle gangs at the Cycle Expo, Dinwiddie Racetract, Cockades Bar, Daytona Bike Week, and the Easyrider Bike Expo in 2010. The prosecution says Rosga gave the orders to wage war against rival gang members, but Rosga’s attorney said the allegations are a fabrication.

“The indictment alleges murders, kidnappings, drug distribution, but none of it names him,” attorney Chip Burke said. According to the authorities, undercover agents wore wires and said they recorded Rosga as he “gave the green light” to kill rival gang members.

The indictment also alleges that members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club joined the Outlaws in the assault against rival gangs at the Cockades Bar incident.

U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley asked the defendants’ attorneys if they planned to return the items, and they agreed. While Shirley did not set a deadline, he added that he expected the items to be returned “within a reasonable time.”

The fate of other property seized in the raid is yet to be determined as Shirley said he’s uncertain if the items in question should be returned to the local, regional or national club.

The club’s national chapter is in Delaware and has regional chapters in Kentucky and Tennessee among other states.

Exit mobile version