VLADIMIR Putin has a secret army of Hell’s Angel-style bikers ready to die in their mission to “Make Russia Great Again.”
The west-hating Night Wolves – or Nochniye Volki – vows its 5,000 members will do anything for their beloved Putin, who they regard as an honorary member.
Their hardline manifesto rejects most laws and the self-proclaimed “warriors of the road” say they are on a mission to save Mother Russia from “gays and feminists.”
It’s been claimed their unofficial activities for the state include intelligence collection, combat operations and intimidation.
Putin, who thrives on his macho image, often dons leathers to ride with the Wolves – who only last year were involved in a deadly shootout with a rivals the Pirates of Winds in Rostov-on-Don.
He first visited the club at its HQ in western Moscow in, in 2009 – and since then has reportedly become close friends with its tattooed leader Alexander Zaldostanov.
In 2014, the Night Wolves even stormed a naval facility in Crimea, with Zaldostanov – nicknamed The Surgeon – personally coordinating “the confiscation of Ukrainian weapons.”
He was later awarded a medal for ‘The Return of Crime’ by Putin for his actions during the controversial annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine.
Whether the Wolves acted on their own initiative or on orders from Russian officials remains unknown, but it seems unlikely the Kremlin would not sanction an operation of such consequence.
In December 2014, the US even announced sanctions against the club due to their involvement in attacks on a gas distribution station in the Ukrainian naval headquarters in Sevastopol.
However, despite all the controversy the biker club has reportedly received more than $1 million in grants from the Kremlin in recent years.
In 2013, Putin awarded former bouncer and dental surgeon Zaldostanov an Order of Honour for his “patriotic education of youth” in Russia.
Zaldostanov – who once challenged a law maker to a duel – said. “We are a phenomenon – bigger than a motorbike club, something that makes presidents come to us and the Patriarch give us his blessing.
“Everytime I see the President I see sincerity in his eyes. This connection exists, despite the fact we live in completely different worlds.
“I really think our President is a great person. He’s the only one I am not ashamed of. He loves Russia for real.”
In a separate interview he pledged “to burn out all the feminism and homosexuality from our Orthodox Christian country with hot steel.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A member of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club pleaded guilty to conspiracy Monday.
Glen Stacharczyck, 53, of Buffalo, was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other controlled substances at the North Tonawanda and South Buffalo Kingsmen motorcycle clubhouses.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Starcharczyck is one of 20 Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members and associates charged in this case. 16 members, so far, have been convicted.
U.S. Attorney: Guilty verdict exposes Kingsmen as the ‘gun-toting thugs’ they are
Within the close-knit world of the Kingsmen, there were always suspicions that Andre Jenkins didn’t act alone when he killed two fellow Kingsmen in a parking lot outside the North Tonawanda clubhouse.
And then came the confrontation, just a day after the killings, between Jenkins and several angry, gun-toting Kingsmen ready to take revenge, and the unexpected intervention of then national president David Pirk.
Pirk, the Lockport native who rose to power in the Kingsmen five years ago, told the group to stand down and let Jenkins go.
On Friday, a federal court jury found the 67-year-old Pirk guilty of conspiring with Jenkins, 39, and others to kill Kingsmen Paul Maue and Daniel “DJ” Szymanski on that September morning in 2014.
The jury also found Jenkins guilty. He is already serving life without parole because of a Niagara County Court conviction for the murders, but he and Pirk face mandatory federal sentences of life without parole for the murders because the jury found they were part of a racketeering conspiracy.
Timothy Enix, 58, a former Florida-Tennessee regional president, also was found guilty of being part of a racketeering conspiracy, and faces a potential sentence of 30 to 50 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford scheduled sentencing Sept. 25 for all three Kingsmen.
“With this verdict, the ringleaders of the Kingsmen motorcycle club have been exposed as the killers, drug dealers, misogynists and gun-toting thugs that they really are,” U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said.
“It was difficult to overcome guilt by association,” said Cheryl Meyers Buth, a co-counsel on Pirk’s legal team. “Three months of testimony about violence and drug dealing from ex-Kingsmen looking for plea deals was insurmountable. By the time Mr. Pirk took the stand, he wasn’t going to be able to impact the jury’s decision.”
The other defense lawyers also expressed disappointment.
“We respect the jury’s verdict, but respectfully disagree with the result,” said Barry N. Covert, Jenkins’ attorney. “Mr. Jenkins plans to appeal.”
“We are disappointed and continue to believe that Tim Enix is not guilty, and we will be fighting to exonerate him,” said co-counsel James W. Grable Jr.
From the start of the trial, a three-month proceeding with 60 witnesses, many of them Kingsmen, federal prosecutors argued that it was Pirk who orchestrated the murders.
Although Jenkins already was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in Niagara County, Kennedy and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said it was crucial to their case to try Jenkins on federal charges.
“He still traveled from Florida to Tennessee to New York to kill two people,” Tripi said. “He was the weapon for David Pirk.”
Pirk, they told the jury, wanted the murders to serve as a message to rivals within the club. They also said Pirk, who was elected in 2013 after a bitter campaign, was promoting an effort to turn the club into a criminal organization, or “one-percent” club.
Over the course of the trial, the government called witnesses who put Jenkins at the murder scene – one Kingsmen said he saw him leave the North Tonawanda clubhouse just moments after the killings – and later in a nearby bar with blood on his pants.
A woman who was with Jenkins before and after the killings said she saw him throw a gun to the side of the road as they rode south on Route 219 to Olean. A massive police search eventually located the gun.
Over and over again, prosecutors called witnesses who testified about the rivalry within the Kingsmen, an internal feud that almost turned fatal during a confrontation at the South Buffalo clubhouse a month before the murders.
Angry over the promotion of another Kingsmen Motorcycle Club member, Filip Caruso came to clubhouse armed with a Kel-Tec rifle hidden in his pants and with Maue and Szymanski watching his back.
The three of them confronted Pirk and Enix and, although the incident ended peacefully, Caruso testified that the consequences became clear the next day when he met with Pirk in Lockport.
He said Pirk was convinced Maue, who had come armed with a small baseball bat, was behind the South Buffalo incident. At one point, he gestured with his hand to indicate what Pirk planned to do.
“He put his fingers like this,” Caruso, his hand in the shape of a gun, told the jury.
And what did you take that to mean, Tripi asked.
“That he was going to kill him,” Caruso answered.
Pirk’s defense lawyer called Caruso’s story “insane” and countered by reminding him of the numerous lies he previously told a grand jury.