Federal, state and local law enforcement officers raided almost two dozen homes in North and South Carolina Wednesday in search of several members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the Hells Angels after a two-year investigation into the motorcycle club's dealings.
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles and FBI Special Agent in Charge David A. Thomas announced Wednesday morning that hundreds of officers arrested approximately 20 individuals Wednesday after the return of a 91-count indictment charging members and associates with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.
The arrest warrants were served along with the execution of 23 search warrants around 6 a.m. in North and South Carolina. During the operation, law enforcement seized methamphatamine, cocaine, marijuana, pills and approximately 100 firearms, including 2 automatic machine guns.
Prosecutors said in an 80-page indictment that members of this "criminal enterprise" engaged in money laundering, arson, and drug selling.
Federal authorities would not release exact locations of the raids. WIS confirmed that one of those raids happened in Gilbert on Summit Estates Ct. Agents on the scene would not comment, but there was significant damage to a mobile home on the property. Neighbors in that area reported being awoken by a loud blast in the early morning.
Those arrested were:
- Daniel Eugene Bifield, a/k/a Diamond Dan (Leesville)
- Somying Anderson, a/k/a Ying (West Columbia)
- Bruce James Long, a/k/a Bruce-Bruce (West Columbia)
- James Frederick Keach, Jr., a/k/a Big Fred (Pelion)
- Lisa Ellen Bifield, a/k/a Lisa Ellen Meyers, Lisa Ellen Stockton (Leesville)
- Trent Allen Brown (West Columbia)
- Bruce Ranson Wilson, a/k/a Diesel (Swansea)
- Mark William Baker, a/k/a Lightning (Lancaster)
- David Channing Oiler, a/k/a Gravel Dave (Lancaster)
- Richard Thrower, a/k/a Little Mark, Rat (Lancaster)
- David Pryor, a/k/a Yard Owl (York)
- Frank Enriquez, Jr., a/k/a Big Frank (Rock Hill)
- Donald Boersma, a/k/a Brooklyn Donnie (Clover)
- Johanna Looper, a/k/a JoJo (York)
- Thomas McManus Plyler, a/k/a Uncle Tom (Rock Hill)
- Jamie Hobbs Long (Lancaster)
- Kerry Chitwood (Gastonia, North Carolina)
- Carlos Hernandez (Charlotte, North Carolina)
- Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr., a/k/a Big Ron (Gastonia, North Carolina)
"The significance of the extensive and long-term investigative efforts that resulted in the arrests today represent the FBI's continuing commitment to the dismantling of organized criminal organizations," said Thomas. "By working in a joint environment with federal, state and local counterparts, we send a clear message that such pervasive criminal activities will not be tolerated."
The arrests follow a two-year interagency investigation by the South Carolina Hells Angels Task Force (SCHATF). Assisting in the investigation and Wednesday's operation were the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Columbia and Charlotte Field Divisions, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Lexington Police Department, Rock Hill Police Department, York County Sheriff's Office, Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, State Law Enforcement Division, Gastonia, Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Gaston County Sheriff's Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
"Today's arrests and seizures are an important step in our ongoing fight against criminal gangs operating in South Carolina," said Nettles. "This investigation is also another example of what can be accomplished through a close partnership among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies."
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson.