Four Kingsmen Motorcycle Club Members Sentenced For RICO Conspiracy
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - James P. Kennedy, Jr. today that announced today that four members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club (KMC), who were convicted of RICO conspiracy, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford:
• Jimmy Ray Fritts was sentenced to serve 87 months in prison;
• Filip Caruso was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison;
• Ryan Myrtle was sentenced to time served, three years supervised release to include six months home detention, and 150 hours of community service; and
• Emmett Green was sentenced to time served and two years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi and Brendan T. Cullinane, who are handling the case, stated that the defendants admitted to being members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club (KMC), a criminal organization which engaged in such crimes as distribution of controlled substances, maintaining premises for use and distribution of controlled substances, possession, use and sale of firearms, sales of untaxed cigarettes, and promoting prostitution. The KMC sought to preserve and protect their power, territory, and reputation through intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults, attempted murder and murders, and was involved in placing victims, potential witnesses, and others in fear of the enterprise, its members, and associates, through violence and threats of violence.
Defendant Fritts was at various times a KMC Tennessee Moonshine Chapter President. Fritts worked with other KMC members, including Andre Jenkins, to obtain cocaine from a bar in Deland, Florida, and he distributed cocaine in KMC clubhouses and at KMC events in Tennessee, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. Fritts also possessed a cache of firearms, to include handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
On July 15, 2015, Fritts testified falsely and evasively about material facts before a federal Grand Jury in the Western District of New York, specifically regarding: the circumstances under which he loaned his motorcycle to Andre Jenkins, a/k/a Little Bear, to travel from Tennessee to New York; what other person was with him when he loaned his motorcycle to Jenkins; where he was when he provided the motorcycle to Jenkins; the circumstances under which Jenkins traveled back to Tennessee from New York to return his motorcycle; whether Jenkins was threatened upon his return to the KMC Tennessee Chapter; and who he met with, and what was discussed, the night before his federal Grand Jury testimony on July 15, 2015.
Fritts further admitted that his participation in this conspiracy included his agreement that acts involving murder would be committed by members of the KMC. Specifically, the defendant met with David Pirk, Andre Jenkins, and "Drifter" in the Tennessee KMC Chapter clubhouse and discussed and agreed that Andre Jenkins was going to travel from Tennessee to New York to commit the murder of Filip Caruso and to investigate "leakers" within the KMC suspected of providing information to rivals. Prior to this meeting, Fritts provided a loaded 9mm Glock semi-automatic firearm to Andre Jenkins. On September 6, 2014, Andre Jenkins shot and killed KMC members Paul Maue and Daniel Szymanski behind the North Tonawanda Kingsmen Clubhouse on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda, NY. Jenkins, in committing the murders, was acting under the direction and supervision of David Pirk, who authorized the murders. Following the murders, Fritts made arrangements to help Jenkins flee New York and return to Tennessee.
When Jenkins returned to Tennessee on September 7, 2014, the Tennessee KMC members, who at that time were unaware that Pirk had sanctioned the murders of Maue and Szymanski, were armed with firearms and prepared to kill Jenkins until David Pirk, while speaking on the phone with the Tennessee KMC members, directed the Tennessee KMC Moonshine Chapter members to "stand down" and not harm Jenkins. As time went by, eventually one of the Tennessee KMC members, D.S., who was present when Jenkins returned from New York to Tennessee, was kicked out of the KMC Tennessee Chapter for using heroin, a drug prohibited by the KMC. The KMC determine that D.S. was compromised and should be killed because of the incriminating information he possessed regarding the KMC's role in the murders and Paul Maue and Daniel Szymanski. Fritts and other Tennessee KMC Chapter members agreed to kill D.S., provided Jenkins with a firearm, and instructed Jenkins to kill D.S. Jenkins agreed to kill D.S. Jenkins was subsequently arrested in the State of Georgia with the firearm provided to him by members of the Tennessee KMC Chapter on about October 10, 2014.
Defendant Caruso, a/k/a Filly, was a member of the KMC at various times between 2009 and mid to late August of 2014. In January 2014, Caruso and another KMC member from the Western District of New York traveled to Florida. While Caruso was in Florida, David Pirk and Timothy Enix, KMC Florida Regional President, wanted his help to retrieve KMC property that was in the possession of former KMC members who had jumped patch to a rival motorcycle club in Florida. KMC members, including Caruso, Pirk, Enix, Andre Jenkins, and others obtained and possessed various firearms and engaged in discussions about how to retrieve their property from the former KMC members. During the course of these group discussions, it was agreed upon that they would recover their property by any means necessary, which included killing or kidnapping the former KMC members in order to get back KMC property. In August 2014, Caruso and another KMC member punched and struck a fellow KMC member with a pool cue inside the Niagara Falls Chapter clubhouse.
On June 7, 2013, KMC forcibly shut down the Springville Chapter and stripped members of their colors because they were deemed non-compliant. Defendant Myrtle participated in the forced shutdown during which other KMC members struck a victim in the head with a blunt object and stole items from the Springville clubhouse. They then used bleach to clean areas where the victim bled and cut and removed portions of the rug which contained blood. In addition, on September 21, 2012, Myrtle participated in a drive-by shooting in order to retaliate against a former KMC member who assaulted a KMC Regional President. On that date, two car loads of KMC members, including the defendant, drove to the residence of the person in the Riverside section of Buffalo and opened fire at the residence. No injuries were reported.
In December 2014, defendant Green and co-defendant Robert Osborne, Jr., and others, assaulted a former Kingsmen for breaking club rules by punching the victim repeatedly in the body and chest and knocking him to the ground.
A total of 16 defendants were charged and convicted in this case, including KMC National President David Pirk and Andrew Jenkins who were each sentenced to serve multiple terms of life in prison.
Today’s sentencings are the culmination of an investigation led by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. Assisting in the investigation were the FBI Knoxville, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida Field Offices; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the North Tonawanda Police Department; the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office; the Buffalo Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the New York State Police; the Olean Police Department; the Lancaster Police Department; the Amherst Police Department; the Town of Tonawanda Police Department; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police; the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department; and the Hamburg Police Department.
# # # #