New charges have been filed in the wide-ranging federal investigation into the Mongols biker gang in Clarksville.
A 75-count, third-superseding indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in Nashville on June 29 and unsealed on Friday, according to a news release Monday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
This indictment charges 21 members and associates of the Clarksville chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Gang with various federal crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, large-scale drug trafficking, and other crimes.
On Jan. 18, a 54-count superseding indictment charged 15 members and associates of the Clarksville Mongols with racketeering conspiracy, murder, drug trafficking and other related crimes, according to the release.
On March 7, a 64-count second-superseding indictment charged four additional defendants with the kidnapping and murder of Stephen Cole, an estranged former member of the Mongols.
Those indictments detail allegations of violent criminal activity and drug trafficking in and around the Clarksville area beginning in about March 2015 and continuing until the return of the indictments, the release said.
The latest indictment charges two additional associates of the Clarksville Mongols:
- Janie Lee, 22, of Owensboro, Kentucky, was charged with conspiracy to distribute large-scale quantities of methamphetamine, distribution and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and money laundering.
- Jessie Marie Decker, 33, of Trenton, Kentucky, was charged with previously indicted defendant William Nelper a/k/a “Flip,” with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, tampering with the grand jury investigation, and use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Decker is separately charged with making false statements to law enforcement relating to the kidnapping and murder of Cole and as an accessory after the fact to the kidnapping.
The third-superseding indictment also brings additional charges against other previously indicted defendants:
- Robert Humiston aka “Bric,” is charged with possession of a short-barreled rifle in violation of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and with failure to register the firearm as required by the NFA.
- Christopher Wilson is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, drug trafficking conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute several different controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Clarksville Police Department; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and the Kentucky State Police.
Look out Athens, the Vulcans are coming. The Kawasaki Vulcans, that is.
More than 200 members of the Vulcan Riders Association’s Central Ohio chapter are expected to ride into town today – unless, that is, they’ve already arrived over the weekend – for the Vulcan Riders 2018 National Rally – East. This will be the largest motorcycle rally to be hosted in Athens so far, according to Paige Alost, executive director of the Athens County Visitors Bureau.
Though the regional gathering will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle enthusiasts will be welcomed by the city this evening (Monday) with a parade up Richland Avenue, then South Court Street, down to Washington Street, down North Congress and on to West Union Street, Alost said in an email. Vulcans will be parked on the stretch of West Union Street between South Congress and South Court as their riders enjoy and explore the city.
At an Athens City Council meeting May 29, Alost explained to council members the nature of the event, which has been in the planning stages for quite some time, and its benefits for the area.
“This is the first large motorcycle association rally that we have hosted here,” Alost said.
Athens was chosen by the Columbus Vulcan Riders earlier this year, specifically for riding on Ohio’s “Windy 9,” one of the first curated collections of motorcycle trails in the Midwest and the only one in Ohio, Alost explained at the meeting. “They selected Athens after touring all over the country,” Alost said.
The VRA rally brings the largest group of cyclists to make use of the Windy 9 so far, Alost said in an email Friday, and brings 225 riders and their families to the Athens area.
“We hope our work with them will provide us with a model to host more groups this size in the coming years,” Alost said. “We certainly have the capability to do it, and we’re anticipating the notoriety of this group will bring others to us.”
Most of the riders will be in town by this evening, “and most are staying through Friday and Saturday to try to ride all nine of the routes,” Alost said. “…This represents a big opportunity for business for our county.”
Motorcycle groups tend to stay an average of two to four days each visit, and many riders travel in groups of more than four, Alost said, which brings revenue to the area. “According to the most recent tourism impact study conducted by the State of Ohio, overnight visitors generate an average of $365 per person per night, compared to just $111 per person for day visitors,” she explained. At the meeting in May, Alost said the weeklong event could generate $900,000 in local spending.
“Especially in the summer, when the university traffic and student spending slows, it’s important to create opportunities to generate local business revenue,” Alost said in the email. “Hotels, shops and restaurants – and all the things we love about our county and region – need to be supported every month in order to stay open. Visitor spending is hugely important to our region in creating revenue, supporting jobs, and casting a positive light on the culture of this area.”
Ohio’s Windy 9 launched three years ago, and Alost said it typically takes three to four years “to really begin to build consistent business in large-scale tourism projects like this.” The county just launched a website for the trail collection earlier this year. “We’re thrilled with the response and the positive comments from the riders and believe this represents a long-term, long-lasting tourism product for us,” Alost said.
She credited Patrick Shannon of the Columbus VRA chapter, who led the VRA Planning Team that helped bring the rally to Athens. “(Shannon) has been amazing to work with on this project, and I couldn’t be more proud of the (county Visitors Bureau) team and the OU Inn staff for their work in hosting the group,” Alost said. “We’re looking forward to a great week in Athens.”