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Kingsmen member sentenced on RICO charge

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jack Wood, a/k/a Snake, 48, of Athens, TN, formerly of Delavan, NY, who was convicted of RICO conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi and Brendan T. Cullinane, who handled the case, stated that between 2009 and 2016, the defendant was a member of the Delevan/Arcade Chapter of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club (KMC). Wood admitted that during the RICO conspiracy, KMC members and associates used and/or distributed marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances in and around the Delevan/Arcade Chapter Clubhouse. The defendant also admitted that he possessed firearms, and that KMC members maintained access to and sold firearms.

On August 3, 2013, KMC members used the defendant’s van to conduct a drive-by shooting in Springville, New York.  During the incident, KMC members fired shots at former KMC members who were at odds with the current KMC members.  Following the drive-by shooting, the KMC members returned the van to the defendant and instructed him not to use the van.  The defendant learned that KMC members used the van in a drive-by shooting and, based on their instructions, did not use the van.  In 2015, law enforcement approached the defendant about his knowledge of the van’s use in a drive-by; the defendant repeatedly made evasive and misleading statements in an effort to hinder and prevent the investigation. Later that year, the defendant again made evasive and misleading statements before a federal Grand Jury regarding this investigation.

Wood is one of 20 KMC members and associates charged in this case. To date, 19 have been convicted, including National President David Pirk, who was convicted following a four-month jury trial. Wood is the second defendant to be sentenced. Charges remain pending against Brian Witkowski. The fact that the defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Today’s sentencing 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: 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, the Hamburg Police Department.