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Press Release

Leader of the Pagans Motorcycle Club Sentenced to 75 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Distribution, Firearm Distribution and Money Laundering Convictions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Christopher Lamar Baker, 49, a Raleigh-based national leader of the Pagans Motorcycle Club – which is recognized by law enforcement as an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang - was sentenced today to 900 months in prison following a conviction by a jury in September for drug trafficking, firearm, and money laundering charges.

Baker was a “13” in the Pagans Motorcycle Club prior to his November 2021 arrest by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). This designation means that he was one of only thirteen national leaders in the United States.  This case is part of an ongoing operation that has resulted in the indictment of 20 individuals, including Baker.

“The circumstances of this case highlight the coordinated action that we, as law enforcement, are taking to address organized crime and the growing epidemic of methamphetamine in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “It should serve as a warning to gangs and other criminal enterprises perpetrating violence. We will prosecute you and seek sentences that fit the crimes.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Baker supplied over 268 kilograms of methamphetamine into the Raleigh area and surrounding states on the East Coast.  Baker was convicted by a jury of 17 counts, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes—including a machine gun—and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

“The Raleigh Police Department is proud to work alongside our federal partners to investigate and prosecute those who seek to destroy our community with violence and drugs,” said Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson.  “Removing this very dangerous person from our streets was an extraordinary step in making our community and state safer. By disrupting illegitimate criminal enterprises that seek to traffic guns and drugs into our community, we send a message that we will not tolerate the harm these dangerous organizations cause.  Making Raleigh the safest city in the nation remains the top priority of the Raleigh Police Department.  We can only do so through collaboration with the community, local and state law enforcement, and our federal partners.   We thank the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification, and the United States Marshals Service for their strong partnership.”

“ATF has a long history with outlaw motorcycle gangs, recognizing that these groups are often tied closely with a number of criminal acts, including gun violence, firearms trafficking, and drug trafficking.” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “This was a strategic, collaborative effort focused on disrupting a dangerous and violent criminal network.”

Through the course of this investigation, it was determined that Baker was the leader of the Pagan Motorcycle Club (“PMC”) in North Carolina, a wholly illegitimate criminal enterprise.  The PMC is recognized internationally by law enforcement as an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang ("OMG") criminal enterprise that has leaders across the United States of America and Puerto Rico. The PMC has a long history of drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, and violence in the areas where it operates.

Baker has been described as the leader of the North Carolina PMC. According to numerous law enforcement intelligence units, he is believed to have previously held the rank of President of the Raleigh chapter of the PMC prior to becoming a “13.” Baker was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of kilogram quantities of methamphetamine for the Drug Trafficking Organization (“DTO”) linked to the PMC. Baker’s DTO is responsible for the distribution of methamphetamine and firearms across multiple states, including North Carolina.

In his Pagan leadership position, Baker directed members of his organization in distributing and selling methamphetamine in Raleigh and surrounding areas.   Baker’s sources of supply for methamphetamine and firearms lived in the Atlanta area, and he would have various members of the Pagans drive him from North Carolina to the Atlanta area to pick up methamphetamine and firearms for distribution in North Carolina and surrounding states.  

Baker also routinely used and directed violence to promote his narcotics trafficking. Baker was frequently armed; examples of his violence include the directed torture of a Pagan pledge who allegedly stole from another member. In this case, the pledge’s fingers were cut off using a table saw. Baker also directed the murder of an individual who sold him fake drugs. Raleigh Police and ATF had to place that individual into protective custody.

The prosecution of Baker was a part of Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation (OCDETF) Diamond Ice. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launders, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. This investigation spanned into the West Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia areas where kilogram quantities of methamphetamine were distributed into Raleigh utilizing a complex network of Pagans in surrounding states who have also been indicted in this case. Twenty individuals, including Baker have been indicted. Seven defendants have been convicted and sentenced, and nine others are awaiting sentencing.

Michael F. Easley, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Raleigh Police Department led the investigation with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification and United States Marshals Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly L. Sandling  and Robert Dodson prosecuted the case.

Other agencies involved in the investigation include the N.C. Highway Patrol, the Virginia State Police (VSP), the Dekalb County Police Department (GA), the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office (GA), the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), the Gwinnett County Police Department (GA), the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department (NC), the S.C. Highway Patrol, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office (NC), the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department (SC) and the Reidsville Police Department (NC).

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-cr-00434-M-1.


Updated February 3, 2023

Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking