New York - ~Kingsmen member: Club not involved in illegal activity~
In August of 2005, two members of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club traveled from Rochester to Fulton with the intent to murder members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club because they believed that the Kingsmen were affiliated with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, a rival of the Hell's Angels, according to court documents.
After the news broke last week that a Hell's Angels member was sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with the conspiracy, the president of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club in Fulton said Tuesday that the Kingsmen are not affiliated with any other motorcycle group.
"We are not affiliated with anyone," said the Kingsmen president nicknamed "Red Bear," who requested that his real name to not be published. "People are saying or alleging that we are either a support club or affiliated with the Outlaws. If you read some of the stuff on the Internet, you would think that we were affiliated with the Hell's Angels.
"At no time have we been affiliated with, a support club of, or anything to that effect with anybody," he added. "I'm not going to tell you that we don't get along with any other clubs; we certainly do. Because you get along with any other club doesn't mean that you are a support club of theirs."
Red Bear emphasized that the 14 members of the local Kingsmen club wear a patch on their vests that reads, "Kingsmen MC Not Affiliated." The Kingsmen Motorcycle Club was established in Lockport, N.Y. in 1958.
Clubs like the Hell's Angels and the Outlaws consider themselves to be "one-percent clubs," the Kingsmen member noted. "Basically, they're one percent of the population that kind of do what they want," he said. "The federal government, through some special gang statute, has decided that all motorcycle clubs that wear a three-piece patch are considered one-percent clubs."
Red Bear added, "We are not a one-percent club. Our priorities are different. We do things differently. We are not involved in any illegal activity. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that members of the Kingsmen, over the past 50 years, haven't been arrested, but it was generally non-club related stuff that they were arrested for."
Earlier this month, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Norman Mordue sentenced Hell's Angel member James "Mitch" Henry McAuley Jr., 59, of Rochester, to eight years in federal prison for participating in a conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.
According to court documents, McAuley and Patrick Lawless, another member of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, armed themselves with two .357 magnum revolvers and a shotgun Aug. 23, 2005 and drove to Fulton where they planned to shoot and kill members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club who had gathered at a Fulton bar.
Both men, however, were apprehended at a New York State Police DWI checkpoint in the Town of Granby. An informant alerted the FBI and, working closely with local authorities, the scheme was derailed before any shots were fired.
Lawless also pled guilty to participating in the scheme. His sentencing is scheduled for June 3, at which time he faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
"I guess I was pretty lucky in August of 2005 because we were at Gorman's," said Red Bear. "They are the big guys on the block-there's no question about it."
The local club, said Red Bear, is more of a family with a focus on the community. Often, members of the club hold family barbecues at their West Fourth Street clubhouse.
"We have been over there for three years," said Red Bear. "On any given Sunday, we are there having a cookout. Neighbors come over and kids are there. There is no illegal activity. When we moved into our clubhouse, we had neighbors tell us how well we cleaned up the place."
In the last few years, the Kingsmen have held at least four benefits for the community. All of the money was donated to the residents' fund at Seneca Hill. This year, the club is planning to donate the money to a children's group in Fulton.
"That's what we do," said Red Bear. "When we do a benefit, regardless of who it is for, all the money goes toward that benefit. We don't hold back anything. It doesn't support us and it doesn't pay our light bills. For a lack of a better word, we're a self-supporting chapter."
According to Red Bear, there are 11 or 12 additional Kingsmen chapters in New York State; however, the Fulton chapter is the only one in central New York.
"The worst thing is that the only thing (the public) know about motorcycle clubs is what they see on TV, what they see in the movies," he said. "It's only a small population. Not all clubs are like what they see on TV."
Red Bear was once the vice president of the Daytona Beach chapter of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club. In Florida, he was part of the Confederation of Clubs, which began in California.
"Instead of everybody fighting amongst themselves, we worked towards common causes-whether it be a charitable thing or trying to get helmet laws overturned," said Red Bear. "The clashing doesn't work anymore, but I guess for some people it does."
He stressed. "We are not in any competition with anybody, unless you consider getting members competition. Business-wise, we are not in competition with anybody."
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World.
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