BUFFALO - Gary Phillians, 44, of Angola, faces charges on a number of serious crimes carrying hefty prison sentences as a result of his involvement with the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club.
On May 7, Acting United States Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter, FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Laurie J. Bennett, ATF Resident Agent-in-Charge David Dejoe, New York State Police Major Matthew Renneman of the State Police Special Investigations Unit, Lancaster Police Chief Gary Stoldt, and Depew Police Chief Thomas Domino announced - based in part on an indictment handed up in federal court on March 31 and in part on a criminal complaint filed May 6 - beginning at 6 a.m., about 200 agents and officers, assisted by SWAT teams, arrested 20 current and three former members of the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club. Among them was Phillians, who was charged on May 6, along with 17 fellow-members and a day after eight others were indicted. The Safe Streets Task Force was a major part of this investigation.
The indictment charged eight of those arrested with violations of the Federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute and violations of federal explosives statutes based on three attempted murders and two attempted arsons - including one where it is alleged members of the Chosen Few used pipe bombs in an attempt to destroy the clubhouse of the Lonely Ones Clubhouse in Blasdell, and kill an occupant of the clubhouse - committed in an internecine "war" against the Lonely Ones Motorcycle Club in late 2003. The complaint, which charges five of those charged in the indictment and additional defendants, alleges those charged were part of an enterprise - the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club - and conspired to commit Violent Crimes in Aid of the Racketeering enterprise alleged in the March 31, 2009 indictment. The violent crimes alleged are: conspiracy to commit a gang assault against two identified and other unidentified members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club and conspiracies to both assault and murder a former member of the Chosen Few.
In addition, the agents and officers taking part in the operation conducted court-authorized searches of the Chosen Few's clubhouse, 94 Main St., Depew, both the home and garage of Chosen Few President Alex Koschtschuk, 12541 Uebelhoer Road in Alden, and the home of Chosen Few Treasurer Dennis Rogowski, 664 French Road, Cheektowaga.
Arrested on the March 31 indictment were Koschtschuk, 58; Alan Segool, 48, of West Falls,; James Lathrop, 36, of Alden; Bradley Beutler, 36, of Depew; Clyde Utz, 50, of Alden; Brion Murphy, 52, of Attica; Gerald Rogacki, 47, of Alden; and Matthew Watkins, 33, Elmira Heights. Charged in the complaint May 6 were Koschtschuk; Segool; Rogowski, 43; Norman Herzog, 43, of Lackawanna; Lionel Carter, 53, of Belmont; Lathrop; Beutler; Phillians; Paul Roorda, 48, of Buffalo; Michael Segool, AKA Nino, 25, of Buffalo; Robert Treadway, 41, of Depew; Martin Whiteford, 37, of West Seneca; Charles Kuznicki, AKA Nazi Chuck, 38, of East Aurora; Robert Geiger, 42, of Medina; Donald Diana, 47, of Depew; and Robert Summerville, AKA Alden Bob, AKA Cowboy, 46, of East Aurora.
Initial appearances before Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy are ongoing. The government will be asking for 15 of the 20 defendants to be detained pending trial.
Conviction on the RICO charges carry a maximum term in prison of 20 years. Conviction on the pipe bomb charges carry a maximum prison term of 10 years. Conviction on the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering charges carry a maximum term in prison of 10 years.