Advertisement

Four W.Va. men indicted following federal probe

December 17, 2003|by

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A federal Grand Jury in Martinsburg, has indicted two Hedgesville, W.Va., men and two Martinsburg men following a federal investigation into drug and gun activity by members of the Warlock Motorcycle Club.

Gerald Guynes, 53, and Clyde Newill, 42, both of Martinsburg, and Kirk Hutzler, 45, and Gary Lee Murphy, 49, both of Hedgesville, were indicted on Dec. 8, Joseph Mott, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney based in Roanoke, Va., said in a news release.

The men were taken into custody in July by agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in connection with a two-year investigation of illegal gun and methamphetamine distribution practices in parts of six states, including West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

An ATF spokeswoman alleged in July that all of the men taken into custody - 10 in the Eastern Panhandle - were either members of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club or associated with it.

Advertisement

Guyens was charged in the indictment with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, Mott said. If convicted, the maximum penalty would be up to 135 years in prison, a fine of $8.5 million and the forfeiture of all real-estate property, Mott said.

Newill was charged in the indictment with three counts of distribution of cocaine, Mott said.

Hutzler was charged in the indictment with making a false statement during a firearms purchase and providing a false statement to a firearms dealer, Mott said.

Murphy was charged with drug user in possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possession of unregistered short weapon made from a shotgun, Mott said.

Grand jury proceedings are conducted behind closed doors. Jurors listen to a prosecutor and prosecution witnesses before deciding whether to indict. Neither the defendant nor his attorney are present, and an indictment is not considered a sign of guilt.

On July 24, authorities executed 47 search warrants and arrested 34 people in a six-state federal drug and gun crackdown involving the Warlock Motorcycle Club. ATF officials said authorities recovered methamphetamine, cocaine, more than 120 firearms, more than $25,000 and a pipe bomb in seizure operations in West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Maryland, South Carolina and Florida. Authorities allege they found 39 weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun, during their July efforts in four Berkeley County municipalities as well as in Keyser, W.Va.

The investigation began in Shenandoah County, Va., approximately 40 miles south of Berkeley County, after the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office alleged that a large amount of methamphetamine was being distributed by a local motorcycle group, Mott and ATF officials said

During the investigation, two ATF agents infiltrated and joined the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, ATF officials said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|