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Buffalo Kingsmen member pleads guilty on RICO charges

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- Jack Wood, 47, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi and Brendan T. Cullinane, who are handling the case, stated that the defendant was a Kingsmen Motorcycle Club (KMC) member, and served as the Sergeant at Arms of the Arcade KMC Chapter. KMC members and associates used and distributed marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances at the Delevan/Arcade KMC Chapter Clubhouse. KMC members, including Wood, maintained access to firearms on their person and inside KMC Chapter Clubhouses, including the Delevan/Arcade KMC Chapter Clubhouse.

On August 3, 2013, KMC Nomads used the defendant’s van without his knowledge to drive from Wood’s house in Delevan, NY to Springville, NY, to conduct a drive-by shooting. In 2015, when the defendant was questioned about the shooting, Wood made evasive and misleading statements. When the defendant was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury, Wood once again made evasive, incomplete, and misleading statements in an effort to prevent apprehension of those responsible. There were no injuries as a result of the shots fired.

Wood is one of 20 KMC members and associates charged in this case. To date, 18 have been convicted, including National President David Pirk, who was recently convicted following a four-month jury trial. Charges remain pending against two other defendants. The fact that the defendants have been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert. Assisting in the investigation were the following: the FBI Knoxville, TN, and Jacksonville, FL Field Offices; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office; the Buffalo Police Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the New York State Police; the Olean Police Department; the Lancaster Police Department; the Amherst Police Department; the City of North Tonawanda Police Department; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police; the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department; and the Hamburg Police Department.   

Sentencing is scheduled for October 24, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.