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42 Outlaws charged in Indiana

| Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 6:20 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS — Forty-two members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club have been charged with crimes from mail fraud to money laundering as a result of FBI raids in two Indiana cities on Wednesday.

The Outlaws ran a “dangerous criminal operation that was as well layered and sophisticated as most businesses in this city,” U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said.

Their offenses included using violence to collect on personal debts and running an illegal gambling operation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting the case.

The gang also dabbled in less violent crime, paying someone to drive a truck into the back of a vehicle carrying several members so they could file insurance claims for thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Members also are accused of hiding each other's cars to claim they were stolen and collect insurance.

The 42 defendants each face up to decades in prison if they're convicted. The federal government also could seize assets involved in the crimes to help finance local law enforcement.

A task force of hundreds of agents brought in from across the country raided the group's clubhouses here and in Fort Wayne, Ind., and also sought out the defendants elsewhere.

The Outlaws, one of the nation's largest motorcycle gangs along with Hell's Angels, the Pagans and the Banditos, have had a strong presence here for years.

In 2009, 14 members and associates of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in Indiana and Michigan pleaded guilty to federal assault, drug and other charges in Detroit.

Prosecutors then described the Outlaws as an international criminal organization.

But not all view club members as criminals. Mary Case, who lives across the street from Outlaws Indianapolis clubhouse, said she saw FBI agents there about 7:30 a.m.

“In my eyes, they're good people. They keep this part of this neighborhood safe,” said Case, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than a year. “I feel safe within this vicinity due to them being here.”

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