U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Missouri
Eastern District of Missouri
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2013
Richard G. Callahan, United States Attorney
Final Members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Sentenced in Federal Court on Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
St. Louis, MO — Anthony Robinson, a/k/a "Blade," 26, formerly of the 2700 block of East 92nd Street, Chicago, was sentenced today to two terms of imprisonment of life without the possibility of parole by Chief United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry in St. Louis. Robinson was one of seven defendants convicted by a jury in December 2012 of Racketeering Conspiracy and other crimes. Also sentenced today was Jerry L. Peteet, a/k/a "Angel," 50, once a well–known criminal defense attorney in Gary, Indiana. Peteet was sentenced to a term of 276 months in prison. Robinson, Peteet, and 22 other defendants were indicted as part of a vast federal investigation into the Wheels of Soul Outlaw Motorcycle Club, a nationwide organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Wheels of Soul claim to be largest mixed–race "outlaw" motorcycle club in the United States, with some 400 members and chapters in at least 25 states.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations, St. Louis Field Division, began an investigation into the Wheels of Soul in early 2009. In August 2009, St. Louis chapter President Dominic Henley, a/k/a "Bishop" and Timothy Balle, a/k/a "T" committed an armed robbery in which they stole the motorcycle club "colors" of two local St. Louis residents. Days later, Henley and Balle were involved in an altercation at the clubhouse of another local St. Louis motorcycle club, during which they shot and killed a member of the Sin City Titans. Henley and Balle were sentenced last week to 204 and 96 months in prison, respectively. When sentencing Dominic Henley, the judge told him that he was responsible for the Sin City Titan member’s death.
The St. Louis chapter of the Wheels of Soul was part of the Mid–West Region of the organization, which included chapters in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. At one time, the Wheels of Soul maintained two chapters in the Chicago area – the Westside chapter located at 16th and Keeler, and the Southside chapter located in the 7400 block of Racine. Given the scale of the investigation, the FBI St. Louis contacted law enforcement partners in Chicago, and learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Chicago Police Department had also begun an investigation of the Wheels of Soul. The CPD and ATF immediately agreed to join their investigation with the parallel one in St. Louis.
The Chicago Police Department and ATF had identified a number of Wheels of Soul members in the Chicago area who were believed to be engaged in criminal activity. Among them was Myron Farris, a/k/a "Ghost," then the Regional President of the Wheels of Soul. On October 31, 2009, Myron Farris and other Chicago area members of the Wheels of Soul, including Anthony Robinson, attended a party. While there, Farris had an altercation with a member of the Brothers Keepers, a Chicago area social club. Farris and other members of the Wheels of Soul then convened at the Westside clubhouse, where Farris provided Robinson with a sawed–off shotgun. Later that evening, Robinson used the shotgun to shoot Brothers Keepers member Thomas Tatum in the back. Tatum, 39, an off–duty Corrections Officer, died of his injuries.
On January 2, 2011, Robinson and other members of the Wheels of Soul attended a party at the Hawks Motorcycle Club’s clubhouse located in the 100 block of West 75th Street in Chicago. Robinson instigated a confrontation with a member of the Street Soldiers, demanding his "colors." When the Street Soldier refused, Robinson displayed a gun. Fearing for his life, the Street Soldier, who was also armed, pulled his gun and fired. Robinson returned fire, striking fellow Wheels of Soul member Bryant Glass, a/k/a "Faith" in the head. Glass, 39, and Emmitt Suddoth, 38, both of Chicago, were killed. On January 8, 2011, Robinson sold a firearm to a government informant. Laboratory tests revealed it to be the same firearm that had killed Glass.
On March 6, 2011, Robinson and other members of the Wheels of Soul attended a Regional meeting in Marion, Ohio. Following the meeting, the club hosted a party, during which a fight broke out in the clubhouse. Robinson, armed with a 9 mm handgun, fired three shots. One bullet struck Javell Thornton, 32, in the back. Thornton, who was unarmed, died at the scene. Marion Police subsequently recovered a 9 mm handgun from a storm drain. The gun contained a magazine bearing the same serial number as the gun.
On June 9, 2011, a Grand Jury sitting in the Eastern District of Missouri returned a federal Indictment charging Robinson and others with Racketeering Conspiracy and other federal crimes including Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering – Murder. Robinson was arrested at his home in Chicago on July 12, 2011. ATF agents located a Tec–9 firearm in Robinson’s bedroom, along with two 9 mm magazines bearing the same serial number as the handgun found in the storm drain in Marion, Ohio.
Most of the indicted members of the Wheels of Soul pled guilty, admitting their involvement in the Racketeering Conspiracy. Some also admitted to having committed violent crimes in furtherance of the conspiracy. Other defendants proceeded to trial in October 2012. The trial lasted roughly 35 days and involved more than 60 witnesses. The jury deliberated for eight days before returning guilty verdicts to all seven remaining defendants.
"Collaboration with our law enforcement partners is crucial to disrupting criminal enterprises and ensuring the strict accountability of involved criminals," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy. "Crime and violence know no boundaries, and our partnership on this investigation sends a strong message that we will work together to fight crime and secure justice."
"The collective effort of law enforcement, corrections and prosecutors in seven states, reflects that justice has no tolerance for violent gangs and that this gang’s very existence fuels sheer violence in the community. ATF will continue to target violent gangs that are responsible for gun violence in our cities." –– Larry Ford SAC ATF Chicago Field Division.
Federal and state law enforcement agencies across the country lent their assistance to the investigation of the Wheels of Soul. The Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri extends its appreciation to the following for their invaluable contributions:
- Federal Bureau of Investigations – St. Louis Field Division
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Chicago Field Division
- Chicago Police Department
- St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
- St. Louis County Police Department
- Marion (Ohio) Police Department
- Gary (Indiana) Police Department
- United States Marshals Service
- Federal Bureau of Investigations – Philadelphia Field Division
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Denver, Colorado
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Louisville, Kentucky
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Youngstown/Columbus, Ohio
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Sacramento, California
- Office of the State’s Attorney for Cook County, Illinois
- Indianapolis Police Department
- Columbus (Ohio) Police Department
- Office of the State’s Attorney for LaPorte County, Indiana
and the Offices of the United States Attorneys for the following Districts:
- Northern Illinois
- Eastern Pennsylvania
- Northern Ohio
- Northern Indiana
- Eastern Wisconsin
- Western Kentucky