Two Alabama men were among six members of a motorcycle gang called the Devils Diciples, which is intentionally misspelled, who were convicted of multiple federal crimes in Michigan, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
The men were charged and convicted for their participation in various criminal acts, including violent crimes in aid of racketeering, methamphetamine production and trafficking, illegal firearms offenses, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling and other federal offenses, federal officials said.
The convictions came after a four-month trial.
Cary Dale Vandiver, 56, of Sand Mountain, was found guilty by a jury of engaging in a RICO conspiracy, methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct justice, violent crimes in aid of racketeering and various substantive charges. Vandiver was the National Warlord of the Devils Diciples and went by the nickname “Gun Control.”
Patrick Michael McKeoun, 60, of Birmingham, was found guilty of engaging in a RICO conspiracy and methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. The DOJ called him a “methamphetamine cook,” and said he went by the nickname “Magoo.”
Others members, including Devils Diciples National President Garvin Smith, aka “Fat Dog,” 60, of Mt. Clemens, Michigan; National Vice President Paul Anthony Darrah, aka “Pauli,” 50, of Macomb Township, Michigan were found guilty of found guilty by a jury of engaging in a RICO conspiracy, methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct justice, violent crimes in aid of racketeering and various substantive charges.
Another leader, Vincent John Witort, aka “Holiday,” 64, of Fontana, California, was found guilty of engaging in a RICO conspiracy and methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy.
David Randy Drozdowski, aka “D,” 38 of Fair Haven, Michigan, was found guilty by a jury of committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Scott William Sutherland, aka “Scotty Z,” 49, of Redford, Michigan, was acquitted by the jury of various charges, but previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, officials said.
Sentencing hearings have not been set.
“For too many years the Devils Diciples spread fear and violence throughout Michigan and the country,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “This outlaw motorcycle gang thrived on intimidation and its ability to avoid prosecution – but no longer. Through these convictions, we have decimated the gang and its leadership and helped secure justice for the communities they harmed.”
The Devils Diciples headquarters are in Clinton Township, Michigan, according to evidence shown at trial. The Devils Diciples operated regional chapters in cities throughout Michigan, Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere, and engaged in criminal activities for financial gain.
Membership in the Devils Diciples is based in part on successful completion of a probationary period, followed by formal approval by one or more members or leaders. Members, commonly referred to as “full patched members,” must Harley Davidson motorcycles and follow orders from the gang’s leadership, including orders to assault, threaten and intimidate others, to transport and distribute drugs, to lie to law enforcement and to hide or destroy evidence, according to evidence shown during the trial.
Members are also required to follow the Devils Diciples by-laws and attend regular meetings referred to as “church.”
Trial evidence showed that in late 2007, Smith and Darrah were involved in the shooting of a Devils Diciples member who failed to abide by the gang’s rules. And, in August 2008, Smith violently assaulted the girlfriend of another Devils Diciples member because he believed she disrespected him and the gang.
Officials said Smith possessed state and federal law enforcement manuals regarding outlaw motorcycle gangs marked “For Official Use Only” and “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” and numerous law enforcement documents related to criminal matters involving members of the Devils Diciples. Evidence suggested those materials were used for the purposes of counter-surveillance and to identify suspected informants.
“The defendants in this case perpetrated a broad range of violent criminal activities in support of their illegal enterprise,” said Special Agent in Charge Abbate. “Today’s convictions, which targeted the leadership of this criminal organization, reflect the hard work and dedication of federal, state and local law enforcement, the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.”
In addition to the six defendants convicted today, 21 members and associates of the Devil’s Diciples have pleaded guilty to various crimes as result of this investigation. The investigation further resulted in the seizure of more than 60 firearms and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition and the dismantling of eight methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories across the country, DOJ officials said.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Michigan State Police, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the County of Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET), with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.