After more than 30 days of trial and the testimony of 60+ witnesses, seven members of Wheels of Soul -- a nationally-known outlaw motorcycle gang -- were convicted by a jury today of conspiracy to run a criminal enterprise.
They'd been in indicted
in July 2011. Wheels of Soul is an organized, hierarchical gang with about 400 members. "Prospects" must perform a task in order to take an oath and get their "colors" (or membership patch). In order to get "one-percenter" or "diamond" status, you have to do some dirt. And dirt these guys definitely did.
The gang's local chapter president, 34-year-old Dominic "Bishop" Henley of St. Louis, has been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder last year.
In that incident, Henley and his associates went to East St. Louis on
January 29, 2011 to murder members of the rival Outcast gang at a
holiday event called Black New Year. They decided not to go through with
it after arriving and seeing a bunch of law enforcement officers at the
entrance to the event.
Another St. Louisan, Timothy "T" Balle, of St. Louis, was also convicted
today. The 58-year-old was found to have sold a Norinco SKS assault rifle and some boxes of ammo to a fellow member who
was a convicted felon in 2009. Balle sold the weapon because he'd recently been shot by a rival gang and wanted to equip his colleague to get revenge on his behalf.
Other guilty verdicts on the racketeering conspiracy charge were returned today against the following individuals:
- James C. "Animal" Smith, age 66, of Philadelphia (the gang's national president)
- Jerry "Shakka" Elkins, age 49, of Aurora, Colorado
- Marshall "Bo" Fry, age 34, of Lewisville, Texas
- Anthony "Blade" Robinson, age 26, of Chicago, Illinois
Robinson was convicted of two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of tampering (throwing away evidence, namely guns).
Elkins and Fry were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the January 2011 incident in East Boogie.
Back in April, two Chicago members of Wheels of Soul were sentenced
after pleading guilty to cocaine trafficking charges.
To read all of the accusations against the gang, check out superseding redacted indictment below, which includes tales of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and drugs. Wheels of Soul Superseding Indictment