published Saturday, February 27th, 2010, updated Feb. 27th, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.

Outlaws Motorcycle clubhouse raided


by Monica Mercer
  • photo
    Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press Two members of the Outlaw motorcycle gang are led out to a waiting transport van on Thursday evening behind the Federal Courthouse in downtown Chattanooga.

Fifteen members of a local motorcycle group face up to life in federal prison after most were arrested Thursday on charges of conspiring to sell cocaine and crack cocaine and illegally possessing firearms.

Federal authorities also have charged one of the defendants, all of whom belong to the Outlaw Motorcycle Club, with possessing and receiving child pornography images.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole said the arrests came as the result of a 2 1/2 year undercover investigation into the club, located at 3014 Campbell St. in Chattanooga, but he declined to say anything else about the case.

Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the investigation with other local law enforcement agencies, including Chattanooga police and the sheriffs' offices in Hamilton and Bradley counties.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Outlaw Motorcycle Club is supported by a well-known international biker gang called the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club.

A black door and wooden fence surrounds the local compound on Campbell Street. Visible from the street is a black sign on the house with the words "Black Piston MC United States."

THE SUSPECTS

* Ryan "Lil R" Birt, 44, of Chattanooga *

* James "JP" Parker, 45, Whitwell, Tenn.

* Ronald "Snake" Howard, 58, Benton, Tenn.

* Steven "Steve-O" Tucker, 38, Rossville

* James "Smiley" Westbrook, 44, Rossville

* David Woodward, 40, Cleveland, Tenn.

* Robert "Bb" Boone, 49, Chattanooga

* Jeramy "Cracker" Rittenhouse, 36, Chattanooga

* Roger "Buddha" Roof, 46, Chattanooga

* Charles "Robbie" Kinsey, 41, Ringgold, Ga.

* Gary "Doodah" Raines, 58, Marion County, Tenn.

* Hershell Raines, 26, Marion County

* James "Dozer" Miller, 40, Chattanooga

* Kelly Adams, 32, Chattanooga

* Marcus Smith, 41, Chattanooga

* This suspect also was indicted on child pornography-related charges

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Members of the Black Pistons are known to engage in assault, extortion, fraud, intimidation and theft, according to the justice department. The group has expanded rapidly throughout the United States, Canada and Europe over the last several years, according to a description of the organization on

the department's Web site.

David McDaniel said he has lived near the group's Campbell Street clubhouse for almost a year and never had a problem with its occupants.

"They're nice people," he said. "They stick to themselves."

Other neighbors declined to comment about the location.

Federal investigators raided the club's compound early Thursday morning, arresting 13 of the 15 people charged. Mr. Poole said late Thursday that they still are seeking to arrest the last two people named on the indictments.

Those charged include one woman. All range in age from early 30s to late 50s and are known by their nicknames such as Sawgrass, Cracker, Snake, Buddha and Doodah.

Supporters of the club members, many with long hair and multiple tattoos, packed a federal courtroom in Chattanooga Thursday afternoon. They looked on as the 13 who were arrested pleaded not guilty to all charges during their arraignments.

Several family members and friends declined comment when asked questions about the motorcycle club culture.

Hearings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday will determine if the defendants will be allowed to make bond. For now they are being held in the Bradley County Jail.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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enufisenuf said...

Members of the justice department are known to engage in assault, extortion, fraud, intimidation and theft,

Include the IRS, law enforcdement from the littleist city thugs right up to national jackboots,the FBI, BATF, the SS Secret Serrvice) and Obamas czars and cronies who have forgotten who this country realy belongs too. Lets bring all of them up on charges in the peoples court.

February 26, 2010 at 6:45 a.m.
danathefly said...

I moved out of East Chattanooga a year ago after repeated vandalism to my house and car, as well as harrassment by the Neighborhood Services Department over a limb in my yard and other "anonymous" complaints by God knows who, while many other properties were vacant and in worse shape than my yard or the house of my deceased mother the city tore down. I state all that to say this is another reason I'm glad I moved out of East Chattanooga and pray for the decent people still living there...the place is a blight and forgotten by the city...unless they want to write a citation...

February 26, 2010 at 9:52 a.m.
docsangel said...

I am not associated with that club but I do know one of the members that was arrested. I have known him for about 10 years and I would never have thought that he would have been caught up in something like this. I think that it is a shame that this has happened because it gives biker clubs a bad name when most do a lot of good things.

February 26, 2010 at 9:22 p.m.
cmkinsey said...

Im the ex-wife of one of the men arrested, and this has to be the most rediculas thing Ive ever heard,my ex husband doesnt do drugs, sell drugs, or any of the things that he has been arrested for. I truly hope that for once, our justice system finds real justice and not just a scapegoat, if an innocent man can be indicted and convicted just because he rides a bike and has a few tattoos, whats next and wheres the hope for the rest of us. CKinsey

March 4, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.
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