Michigan - ~Devils Disciples Motorcycle Club members arrested in FBI sweep~
Clinton Township -- The national president of the Devils Disciples motorcycle club and more than a dozen other alleged club members have been arrested in an early-morning FBI sweep today in Macomb and St. Clair counties, officials said.
Jeff Garvin "Fat Dog" Smith, 54, of Mount Clemens, identified as the club's national president, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Detroit today along with at least 13 other club members, officials said. Smith is charged with a drug trafficking offense and being a felon illegally in possession of body armor.
The Devils Disciples are headquartered in Clinton Township but also have chapters in Alabama, Ohio, other states and overseas, officials said.
Club members were being arrested this morning in the Clinton Township and Port Huron areas, an official said.
A spokesman for the club could not immediately be reached for comment.
Also today, a federal prosecutor filed court papers to seize the Devils Disciples' clubhouse at 43653 Gratiot Ave. in Clinton Township. The government also planned to seize a second clubhouse in Port Huron, officials said.
The club has been under investigation by the FBI in connection with alleged drug dealing and illegal gambling.
Last September and October, the FBI executed a series of search warrants in Macomb and St. Clair counties in connection with a drug trafficking investigation of the Devils Disciples. Agents seized a variety of pills, weapons, gambling equipment and club memorabilia, federal court records show.
A forfeiture complaint filed against the Devils Disciples' Clinton Township clubhouse in U.S. District Court in Detroit today made no mention of alleged drug dealing but gave more details on illegal gambling allegations against the club.
Agents watching the clubhouse saw "casino-style slot machines" moved into the clubhouse on Aug. 1, 2007, the federal complaint said. Another search warrant, executed on Nov. 15, 2007, discovered two slot machines and two video poker machines in the clubhouse, the complaint said.
Today's Devils Disciples arrests come as the FBI continues an extensive investigation of the Detroit-based Highwaymen Motorcycle Club.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also is investigating the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the Detroit area.
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