Motorcycle gang raids in Chicago part of area sweep

CHICAGO The U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois has filed a memorandum requesting that Mark Polchan and Samuel Volpendesto's bond be denied saying they are a flight risk and danger to the public. "POLCHAN and VOLPENDESTO have been indicted for crimes of violence carrying a minimum of 35 years incarceration. … these serious charges result in a rebuttable presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of defendants and the safety of the community."

Polchan, 41 of Justice and Volpendesto, 84 of Oak Brook are responsible for detonating a pipe-bomb outside a building housing several stores at 6508 W. 16th St. in Berwyn on Feb. 25, 2003, according to the FBI. A detention hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club motto is: "God forgives, Outlaws don't."

On Wednesday afternoon at several Outlaws venues in the Chicagoland area, federal agents arrived with search warrants, not forgiveness.

A series of coordinated raids from Kankakee Country to the north suburbs were led by FBI agents and investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to a high-ranking federal source in Chicago.

Numerous Outlaws bikers were arrested during the federal raids that have in the past targeted a variety of suspected illegal activities from methamphetamines and other illegal drugs to weapons trafficking, burglary and murder. Heavily-armed federal SWAT officers were seen in camouflage and were backed up by local police in some raid locations.

It is part of an ongoing, nationwide law enforcement initiative targeting the violent gang. Similar operations were conducted last year in Detroit and Boston. Dozens of indictments followed the raids there, charging racketeering, illegal drug distribution and firearms violations.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club has been identified by the FBI as an international criminal organization whose members engage in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault, narcotics distribution, and firearms and gambling offenses. The Outlaws are a structured and hierarchical gang, much like the Chicago Outfit, divided into multiple regions in the United States. The Outlaws also have members outside the U.S. in Europe, Asia and Canada. The organization, which began in the Chicago suburb of McCook 75 years ago, have a long-standing violent history with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, including assaults/batteries, shootings and fatalities.

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