Verdict in Devils Diciples gang case
Detroit — Jurors reached a verdict Thursday in the Devils Diciples motorcycle club trial after about three weeks of deliberations.
The verdict will be announced at 9:30 a.m. Friday in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland. Guilty verdicts against seven Devils Diciples members, including the club's national president and vice president, would help federal prosecutors obliterate what they labeled a gang that waged terror in several states and included three murders and brass-knuckle beatings.
Deliberations followed a nearly four-month trial in the first wave of Devils Diciples prosecutions. The trial was notable for the size and scope of crimes allegedly committed by more than 40 gang members charged in federal court, some of whom face up to life in prison if convicted of crimes dating to the early 1990s. The trial also was notable for the contrast between the government's violent portrait of bikers who after 20 years of alleged criminal activity and cooking methamphetamine, appeared paunchy, feeble or deathly ill.
The motorcycle club, with the intentionally misspelled name, is based in Clinton Township.
Formed in 1967, the Devils Diciples has about 150 members, rigid rules, heavily guarded clubhouses and chapters in Chesterfield Township, Bay City, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Clinton Township, Port Huron and Utica.
Prosecutors alleged the Devils Diciples was a violent, organized crime ring. The gang members allegedly generated cash by stealing and selling motorcycles, running gambling dens, selling marijuana and Vicodin and peddling meth cooked in Metro Detroit homes or imported from across the country.
Defense lawyers insisted the Devils Diciples was a disjointed club, members were not involved in organized crime and that the government's case was built on testimony from felons, liars, paid informants and drug addicts seeking leniency for their own crimes.
The seven defendants are:
■Longtime national president Jeff "Fat Dog" Smith, 60, of Mount Clemens
■National vice president Paul "Pauli" Darrah, 50, of Macomb Township
■David "D" Drozdowski, 38, of Fair Haven
■Scott "Scotty Z" Sutherland, 49, of Redford
■Cary "Gun Control" Vandiver, 55, of Alabama
■Patrick "Magoo" McKeoun, 56, of Alabama
■Vincent "Holiday" Witort, 64, of California