Fort Wayne, Indiana – Federal authorities seized a Near-Eastside compound of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club three years after agents arrested 42 club members in a massive raid.
The seizure of the group’s clubhouse — three connected properties at New York Street and Jefferson Avenue — completed a long process of civil forfeiture that followed the July 2012 bust that led to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, charges against some members.
A sweeping federal indictment at the time of that raid accused members of the Indianapolis chapter of the club of violent loansharking, fraud and illegal gambling, among other charges related to organized crime. More than 40 Outlaws’ members were arrested. All of those cases have since been adjudicated, officials said.
One of the four largest motorcycle gangs in the country, the Outlaws have called themselves “1 percenters,” or the small percentage of people who live out of the mainstream. The gang has been connected to violence and criminal activity in major cities across the country.
Neighbors said 50 to 60 U.S. Marshals swarmed the compound Friday morning with canine units and agents in SWAT gear.
U.S. Marshal Kerry Forestal said a SWAT team and a bomb unit checked out the property in the 2200 block of New York Street as a precaution, but found nothing.
Forestal said the club members took down the Outlaws name from the front of the residence when authorities warned them that they had to vacate.
Club members who had still lived there after the raid in 2012 vacated the premises over the past weekend, taking everything of value from the property, neighbors said.
Neighbor Danny Waggoner said he initially thought club members’ activity the previous weekend might have been related to Labor Day “because they were removing smokers and grills.”
Waggoner said the property seizure Friday brought 20 to 25 police cars, dozens of officers and several canines to the area. But no Outlaws members remained, he said.
The neighbors said they had even gotten used to the parties and meetings of club members, who have occupied the compound for about 20 years.
But in the years since the 2012 raid, the commotion from the property had quieted somewhat, they said, with many of the Outlaws now in jail.