Feds raid motorcycle club

July 31, 2008 2:16:56 PM PDT
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents raided a motorcycle club on Division Street on the city's West Side.On Wednesday afternoon at several Outlaws venues in the Chicago area, federal agents arrived with search warrants.

According to authorities, a series of coordinated raids from Kankakee County to the north suburbs were led by federal agents. At least two other radis took place in Kankakee and Elgin. Numerous Outlaws bikers were arrested during the federal raids, that have in the past, targeted a variety of suspected illegal activities from drugs to weapons trafficking, burglary and murder.

The Outlaws have an extensive history with law enforcement. A sign on their front door even asks police serving warrants to call first rather than break down the door.

Nevertheless, heavily-armed federal SWAT officers aided in the club. It is part of an ongoing, nationwide law enforcement initiative targeting violent gangs.

It was a major show of force with heavily armed ATF and FBI officers surrounding the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the 3700-block of West Division.

They had a federal search warrant looking for evidence of illegal activity inside, although the feds have refused to specify exactly what type of illegal activity they were looking into. They did, however, have a couple dozen officers and a military-style Humvee in the back alley just in case things got out of hand.

Neighbors say all of this is a big surprise to them.

"We have good neighbors. But you never know what is behind the good neighbors, you know what I mean? There are closed doors so they don't know what's going on over here, and we don't know what's going on over there. But they are looking for something," said neighbor Frank Delgadillo.

It is apparently one of several locations that officers were looking into as part of the warrant. It is not clear and they have not said what, if anything, they were able to find during the investigation.

In Kankakee, heavily armed agents also searched the Outlaws club and arrested at least two suspects. Similar raids last year in Boston and Detroit led to numerous arrests for alleged cocaine and marijuana trafficking.

The club has 86 chapters in 20 states and an estimated 700 members.


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