National and local leaders of the Kingsmen motorcycle club are being charged with using violence and murder to protect an array of criminal enterprises. A two-year probe growing out of the execution-style murders of two members of the club has led to 16 members of the group being indicted.
The 46-count indictment says the murders of Daniel Szymanski and Paul Maue in North Tonawanda were ordered by national president David Pirk in a recorded conversation. The enforcer said to carry out the murders is Andre Jenkins, who was convicted in the killings of the two men.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul, in a news conference Tuesday, said the Kingsmen operated in a wide area.
"The criminal organization had activities that ranged across Western New York, from Niagara Falls to Olean, from the north to the southern part of this western district, but even outside New York. The indictment alleges criminal activities that occurred in Pennsylvania and and in multiple areas across the state of Florida," Hochul said.
Charges say the 16 defendants ran a criminal enterprise relying on drug, weapon and untaxed cigarette sales as well as prostitution and gambling, using violence and intimidation to protect their activities.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Caleb Petzoldt says the murder grew out of dissension in the North Tonawanda club.
"During the course of the events leading up to September 2014 in North Tonawanda, there was a mass defection of Kingsmen to the Nickel City Nomads. That was one of the driving forces behind the national president ordering the executions of Paul Maue and DJ Szymanski," Petzoldt said.
North Tonawanda police say the Nomads now control the former Kingsmen clubhouse.
All but one of the 16 defendants are in custody and two were brought from prison for initial appearances, including Jenkins. They all face long prison sentences.