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Two Chicago-area men sentenced on federal racketeering conspiracy charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that two Chicago-area residents were sentenced to federal prison for Racketeering Conspiracy charges in United States District Court in St. Louis.

THOMAS BAILEY, a/k/a “Qball,” and MAURICE THOMAS, both of Chicago, were indicted by a federal grand jury in June of 2011 and pled guilty on January 27, 2012. Bailey and Thomas were associated with the Wheels of Soul Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, a nationwide motorcycle organization claiming chapters in more than 20 states. Both admitted to trafficking in cocaine base (also known as "crack") in furtherance of the Wheels of Soul enterprise. In addition to the drug trafficking activity, Bailey, once a ranking member of the Chicago Westside Chapter of the Wheels of Soul, acknowledged that he had agreed to the killing of an insubordinate member as punishment for his repeated transgressions. Bailey also admitted to conspiring with other Wheels of Soul members to dispose of a gun that had been used in a double-murder in Chicago on January 2, 2011.

Bailey and Thomas appeared before Chief United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Bailey, who had a significant criminal history, including multiple drug-related offenses, was sentenced to a term of 188 months in prison. Thomas, who had no prior convictions, was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

The investigation into the Wheels of Soul began in 2009 after an armed robbery and a murder occurred in St. Louis, allegedly by members of that organization’s St. Louis Chapter. Investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in St. Louis later teamed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Chicago, and the investigation expanded to include targets not only in those cities, but in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Louisville and Denver. In all, 18 defendants were charged in a multi-count indictment in which it is alleged that these members of the Wheels of Soul are responsible for multiple murders, attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murder, kidnapping and trafficking in firearms.

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