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23 Georgia bikers charged in undercover weapons investigation

August 17, 2012|By David Zucchino
  • Bikers from all over the country arrive in Hollister for the 50th anniversary of the incident in the city that created the Outlaw bikers.
Bikers from all over the country arrive in Hollister for the 50th anniversary… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Motorcycle gangs, particularly the rural Southern species, are as reliable as big city mobsters  for imaginative nicknames and nefarious dealings with undercover government agents.

So let’s check in on "Outlaw Bubba,’’ "Panhead,’’ "Hoodlum Dan,’’ "Black Piston Walt’’ and "Outlaw Benny," reputed members of various affiliates of the Outlaw motorcycle gang of Georgia. They were among 23 people associated with the gangs indicted on drug and weapons charges after a two-year undercover FBI investigation.

The bikers were charged in six indictments and one criminal complaint with methamphetamine and cocaine conspiracy and possession, using and carrying firearms while selling drugs, and possessing illegal firearms.  The indictments were unsealed Thursday in federal court in Gainesville, Ga., with the charges announced by Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Twenty-one defendants were arrested Thursday, some at biker clubhouses, Yates’ office said in a statement. Two of those charged remained at large. Most were members of either the Outlaw club or its affiliated Black Pistons Motorcyle Club or Hoodlums Motorcyle Club, authorities said.

The U.S. attorney’s office was careful to note that the crimes it is alleging were committed by individuals or by small groups. The indictments "do not allege that any of the criminal acts were performed on behalf of the motorcycle gangs or as an official part of membership in the gangs.’’

"This case is a big step forward in making sure that these groups don’t threaten the safety of our North Georgia communities,’’ Yates said in a statement.

Two men, George Norwood, 48, of Cumming, Ga., and Raymond Sellers, 65, of Dawsonville, Ga., were charged with building a bomb and providing it to an undercover agent posing as a biker. The pair promised the agent they could build a bomb in a two-liter bottle "strong enough to level a house,’’ according to the indictment. The indictment did not disclose how the bomb was to be used.

Authorities said Norwood and Sellers are affiliated with the Black Pistons, an offshoot of the Outlaws.  Alas, the indictment failed to provide a nickname for either defendant.


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