Intimidation was tactic of Outlaws gang
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ People who view motorcycle gang members as intimidating can sympathize with the Kenosha County sheriff who found some bikers sitting behind him and his family in church.
“Yes, they were known as the intimidators,” Sheriff Larry Zarletti said.
They just thrived on being the intimidators, like people not to mess with. They've been messed with now and deservingly so.
Sheriff Larry Zarletti
Zarletti shared the recollection Wednesday a day after authorities cited 17 members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in a seven-year campaign of murder, arson, drug dealing and other crimes.
Authorities searched Wednesday for Randy Yager, president of the Outlaws' Chicago region that has chapters in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Two other suspects who had been sought after the arrests of 14 of the 17 defendants surrendered Wednesday in Milwaukee. They are Richard Mroch, 30, and Johnson Blake, 37.
Zarletti was a detective several years ago when some of the defendants sat in a church pew behind his family, not to pray but to show their displeasure with his investigations of their activities.
“They just thrived on being the intimidators, like people not to mess with,” he said.
“They've been messed with now and deservingly so,” he said of the charges. “No one … should have to live in fear because someone is threatening you.”
Zarletti said the U.S. attorney's office in Milwaukee asked him not to elaborate on the incidents because he might have to testify in court.
The government's racketeering indictment accused Yager, 40, of Gary, Ind., of robbery and twice conspiring to commit murder.
Fourteen members of the Outlaws were arrested in three states Tuesday on the indictment. It charges bikers with six murders, five attempted murders and trafficking in narcotics and stolen vehicles.
In Viroqua, Vernon County Sheriff Geoffrey Banta said Wednesday he gave the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms information that contributed to the indictments of some bikers, including Leslie “Krazy Jack” Jensen of La Crosse.
It involved thefts of Harley-Davidson motorcycles three years ago. The bikes were traced to Platteville, leading to the imprisonment of two men linked to a theft ring, Banta said.
Jensen, 59, was arrested Tuesday at his home.
He founded an independent motorcycle group in La Crosse in the mid-1980s. It was so popular it became a point of contention between the Outlaws and Hells Angels, La Crosse County sheriff's deputy Michael Weissenberger said.
The rivals forced Jensen and his Association of Recovering Motorcyclists to choose between them. He opted for the Outlaws and was made a chapter president last month, Weissenberger said.
Dale Crichton, police chief in Silver Lake in Kenosha County, said he charged two bikers in 1991 with threatening a witness.
Both were members of a Wisconsin bikers group called the Booze Runners.
One was Randall Miller, then of Lake Geneva. He was acquitted of the threatening charge while Mark W. Quinn was sentenced to four years in prison for threatening and beating two men in a Silver Lake video arcade.
Kevin P. O'Neill, 40, formerly of Twin Lakes, was indicted Tuesday in the 1994 slaying of a man in Rockford, Ill.
He and Miller, 37, were indicted for the 1990 bombing of the Hell's Henchmen Motorcycle Club clubhouse in Rockford.
Crichton and Zarletti said only some of the Booze Runners eventually joined the Outlaws.
The federal indictment said the Wisconsin chapter of Outlaws, with O'Neill as president, became official about Jan. 1, 1991.
After a fire in 1994 destroyed the Booze Runners clubhouse in Antioch, Ill., the Wisconsin chapter moved to a clubhouse in Janesville.
Mroch, of Lyon, Ill., is vice-president of the southside Chicago chapter. Blake, of McHenry, Ill., is a member of the Outlaw's Janesville chapter.
Judge William Callahan scheduled a Friday detention hearing for the two men in U.S. District Court.