The Knights of Inferno Firefighter Motorcycle Club presented a substantial donation to two local charitable organizations Nov. 15 at the American Legion Hall Post 72 in Cheney. In total, the club donated about $3,000.
The Knights of Inferno club is a registered non-profit and an international organization of former military, firefighters, nurses and other like-minded civilians. The Cheney group was chartered about two years ago, and two months ago decided to work closely with the American Legion Post 72 to assist them with fundraising and volunteering.
Knights members organized a spaghetti feed and auction in October, with the fruits of their labor going to the Legion and the Cheney Food Bank. The group was able to donate $1,000 to the Legion and $2,000 to the Food Bank, which has been in existence since 1958 and serves nearly 400 families in the area.
“The Legion Hall has been having some issues with funding, so we thought we’d support them and give back to our local community,” Knights state president Jeff Witzmann said. “And with the food bank, that’s just giving to a place that helps when people have nowhere else to turn.”
Legion Commander Dave Bloshenko said that the funds they received will primarily go to the charities Post 72 supports, like Children’s Miracle Network, the local veteran’s home and the Special Olympics. Some of the money may also go to maintenance on their building, which dates back to around 1920.
Shannen Talbot can be reached at email@example.com.
(WXYZ) – The former national president of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club who is from metro Detroit was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday.
Jeff Garvin Smith, 64, who is known as “Fat Dog” and from Mt. Clemens, was convicted of several offenses after a six-month trial in 2014-2015.
After a second, four-month trial in 2015, more members of Devils Diciples were convicted, bringing the total of members convicted to eight, including Smith, the national vice president and national warlord.
They were all facing several charges including RICO and drug-trafficking, violent crimes, firearms offenses and much more.
“This brings to a close, in part, the years’ long effort of the federal government to bring down the leadership of a dangerous organized crime biker gang that terrorized innocent victims throughout the United States. For over three decades, the Devils Diciples spread fear, violence and their poisonous drugs throughout Michigan and the country,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “The extent of the crimes committed by members of this outlaw motorcycle gang is staggering, and they avoided prosecution over the years through witness intimidation and obstruction of justice at all levels. Very appropriately, the National President of the Devils Diciples will spend the rest of his life in federal prison. These sentencings help secure justice for the communities and all the individuals they harmed.”
On top of that, Devils Diciples National Warlord Cary Vandiver, known as “Gun Control,” who is from Alabama, was sentencing to life in prison. A meth cook for the club was sentenced to 372 months in prison and the leader of the Alabama club was given 360 months.
Four remaining defendants are awaiting sentencing on RICO charges, meth trafficking conspiracy and more. Three of those four are from metro Detroit: National Vice President Paul Anthony Darrah, aka “Pauli,” 54, of Macomb Township, Victor Castano, 46, of St. Clair Shores and David Randy Drozdowski, a/k/a “D,” 42, of Fair Haven.
During the trials, evidence was presented that showed membership in Devils Diciples was based on the successful completion of a probationary period. Full members were required to own Harley Davidson motorcycles and follow orders from the gang’s leadership, which included “orders to assault, threaten and intimidate others, to transport and distribute drugs, to lie to law enforcement and to hid or destroy evidence,” the release states.
According to prosecutors, Smith as the national president and Darrah as the national VP were responsible for the management of other members and chapters.
“Specifically, the evidence showed that at Smith’s direction, individuals including members and associates of the gang were beaten and robbed, and that Smith also participated in this activity directly,” prosecutors say in a release. “For instance, in late 1998, Smith shot a Devils Diciples member who failed to abide by the gang’s rules. And, in August 2008, Smith brutally assaulted the girlfriend of another Devils Diciples member because he believed she disrespected him and the gang.”
In one instance at a bar in Chesterfield in 2012, prosecutors say Drozdowski and other members assaulted a man who they mistook as a member of a rival motorcycle gang. The victim was knocked out and had multiple fractures in his face and jaw.
The FBI, Michigan State Police, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the County of Macomb Enforcement Team investigated the case with the help of the ATF and St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.