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W.Va. residents charged in bust

July 26, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Ten Berkeley County, W.Va., residents affiliated with an outlaw motorcycle gang dealt illegal drugs at local bars and restaurants and some armed themselves with firearms, it was charged in a federal indictment released Friday.

Ronald Carl Coleman Sr., 54, of 138 Hatchery Road, Inwood, was allegedly the vice president of the West Virginia chapter of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, and Kirk Hutzler, of 413 Cherry Run Road, Hedgesville, was the treasurer, the indictment alleges.

A 38-count sealed indictment handed up July 17 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Va., names the 10 Berkeley County residents and nine other West Virginians.

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The indictment was unsealed Thursday.

The indictment is part of a wider two-year investigation into drug- and gun-running among bikers along the East Coast. Authorities said they executed 34 arrest warrants and 47 search warrants in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, South Carolina and Florida.

The Warlocks Motorcycle Club - which has 140 members in 15 chapters in the U.S., England and Germany - is "a highly organized criminal enterprise, with a defined, multi-level chain of command," the indictment says. The leader or president is known as a "boss."

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Attorney John L. Brownlee's office in Virginia and the Shenandoah County (Va.) Sheriff's Department announced the investigation and indictments Thursday.

A detention hearing - to consider bond for the 10 Berkeley County residents and most of the other defendants - will be held Tuesday in Charlottesville, Va., Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph W.H. Mott said Friday.

The indictment details alleged drugs and weapons crimes by Warlocks in West Virginia from June 2002 to this month.

Among the allegations:

  • Ronald Carl Coleman Sr. is accused of distributing marijuana to a Warlocks member from Florida during a crab feast at the VFW grounds on W.Va. 9 in Martinsburg on June 22, 2002.

  • Timothy Paul Payne, 27, of 417 Canterbury Road, Martinsburg, is accused of selling a quarter-ounce of marijuana to an unnamed person for $40 at Payne's home on Dec. 1, 2002. Payne allegedly had two firearms and had more marijuana at the time.

  • Gerald Christopher Guynes, aka "Horse," of 37 Douglas Grove Road, Martinsburg, and Mark Jason Price, 32, of 232 Currency Drive, Bunker Hill, are accused of selling an ounce of cocaine to an unnamed person for $1,250 at Guynes' residence on April 4, 2003.

  • Payne, aka "Tattoo Tim," is accused of manufacturing marijuana at his home and possessing a Remington 870 shotgun on May 8, 2003.

  • Clyde Allen Newill, 42, of 7 Darlington Road, Martinsburg, is accused of selling two ounces of cocaine to an unnamed person for $1,800 at the Pikeside Bowling Alley in Martinsburg on May 16, 2003.


Other drug transactions supposedly took place at various homes, restaurants, bars and motels in West Virginia and Virginia.

All of those incidents are part of the first count of the indictment, which alleges a conspiracy to distribute and possess marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

The indictment alleges that gang members "carried firearms to protect their drug trafficking activities" and protect themselves from attacks by other gangs.

Other counts in the indictment allege that Payne and James Nathan McClung, 28, of 251 Appomattox Drive, Martinsburg, possessed firearms to further the drug trafficking ring and that Coleman and Hutzler organized a raffle for a semiautomatic pistol.

The remaining Berkeley County residents named in the indictment are:

  • Robert Craig Coleman, 29, aka "Craigy," of 1214 Virginia Ave., Martinsburg.

  • Lori Ann Kwek, 40, of 58 Hack Wilson Way, Martinsburg.

  • Gary Lee Murphy, 49, aka "Murph," of 1838 Fulton Road, Hedgesville.


Hutzler's age and Guynes' age could not confirmed.

In the indictment, the federal government calls for the 19 defendants to forfeit more than $307,000, vehicles, firearms, Guynes' property in Martinsburg and property in Strasburg, Va.

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