Feds: Outlaws Club Raid Largest In Indy History

42 Indicted In Indiana

Forty-two people were indicted in sweeping raids of Outlaws motorcycle club chapters in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, federal officials said Wednesday.

The indictments involve allegations of racketeering, money laundering, illegal gambling, extortion, loan sharking, insurance fraud, tampering with witnesses and drugs going back to 2010, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

Federal and local authorities surrounded the club's building on Indianapolis' near-east side early Wednesday morning in a raid the U.S. Attorney's Office called "the largest federal bust of alleged gang activity in Indianapolis' history."

FBI agents and Indianapolis police officers entered the club at 305 Jefferson Ave. early Wednesday morning, but they didn't release details on what they were looking for.

The FBI cordoned off the street, and large trucks were brought in, possibly to confiscate motorcycles and other property.

In an afternoon news conference, U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said the Outlaws sold drugs, traded firearms, engaged in insurance fraud and tampered with witnesses.

Eleven SWAT teams served 17 search warrants, and all but one of the 42 people indicted were taken into custody. Dozens of firearms and $14,000 was seized.

The Outlaws club has several chapters in the U.S. and across the world. According to its website, the Outlaws are in 19 states, including chapters in Fort Wayne and Gary.

The clubhouse in Fort Wayne was also among sites that were raided. FBI agents boxed up evidence and searched the building with a dog as tactical officers stood watch outside, the Journal Gazette reported.

Some who live near the Indianapolis club said they haven't noticed issues.

"They protect this street. They protect this neighborhood. I've never had any problems with them," said resident Mary Case. "They're pretty cool in my eyes."

There have been frequent raids of Outlaws chapters in other cities in recent years, most of them related to drugs, firearms violations and stolen parts.

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

Fourteen gang members from Indiana and Michigan pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges including assault with a dangerous weapon, cocaine and marijuana distribution and possession of hashish.

In 2004, the former leader of the organization -- James "Frank" Wheeler, of Indianapolis -- was convicted of racketeering and drug charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Federal prosecutors have described the Outlaws as an international criminal organization.

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