Thug Riders Motorcycle Club: What is the gang accused in organized crime raid?

More than a dozen members of an international motorcycle group called the Thug Riders Motorcycle Club were indicted in federal court last week in connection to multiple incidents in the Dayton and Miami Valley region.

Juan Robles, Joey Marshall, Jared Peters, Brandon Fisher, John Smith, Norman Beach, Michael Henry, Daniel Hutten, Michael Reese, Matthew Hawkins, Joseph Rader, Justin Baker, Cody Hughes and Brent Egleston are facing a combination of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, violent crimes in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit assault and attempted assault with a dangerous weapon, according to court records.

The 14 defendants are accused of participating in various crimes in Ohio and Kentucky, including a homicide in Harrison Twp., gunfight in Springfield, bar fights in Dayton and the explosion of a former member’s truck in Huber Heights. They also reportedly were in a shootout involving a rival motorcycle club in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Thug Riders Motorcycle Club was founded as a motorcycle gang in 2003 and has chapters in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Morocco, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Germany and United Kingdom, according to court records.

Each chapter has a president, vice president, treasurer, road captain, sergeant at arms and enforcers. There are also regional bosses, who are reportedly elected by members of the chapters within that region. Each region falls under the national president, who is at the “mother chapter” in Newark, New Jersey, according to investigators.

The Thug Riders Motorcycle Club Midwest Region is made up of chapters in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

Robles is the current boss of the Midwest Region, according to court records. He was reportedly instrumental in the creation of the Dayton chapter in 2019 and was its initial president.

Marshall served as the Midwest Region’s sergeant at arms, and Peters, Beach and Smith were the former president, vice president and enforcer of the Dayton chapter, according to investigators. Egleston, Fisher and Reese are reportedly the current president, sergeant at arms and enforcer of the Dayton chapter.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The Dayton chapter had a clubhouse on Lodge Avenue in Harrison Twp. and then on Stanley Avenue in Dayton. The clubhouse is where meetings, called “church,” were held and where the club hosted events and parties.

Potential members undergo a vetting process followed by a probation period, according to court records. To become a full member, or to be “patched,” a majority vote of patched members is required.

Members and associates of the Thug Riders must comply with a code of conduct and pay monthly dues to their local chapter. Members who make money from outside criminal activity are reportedly expected to contribute a portion.

Those who fail to follow club rules are subject to punishments. Infractions included missing club meetings, failing to pay dues on time, being disrespectful to patched members and missing organized trips.

Punishments ranged from fines, returning a member to probate status, assaults and being removed from the club, according to court records. When a former member failed to pay an exit fee of $1,000 and surrender their motorcycle, Thug Riders allegedly went to his Huber Heights home and detonated an explosive device in their pickup truck.

The club protects and increases its authority and reputation through threats, violence and extortion, according to court records. Members are accused of resorting to violence — including assaults, shootings and murder — to defend the club and its members.

Thug Riders also have support clubs that are required to pay protection money as monthly dues. The dues allow the support clubs to operate within the Thug Riders’ territory and receive the club’s protection from rival motorcycle gangs, according to court documents.

The club also reportedly raised money through illegal alcohol and drug sales and stripper shows. Funds benefited different club leaders and also went toward travel and hotel expenses for out-of-town events and trips.

Members also have trafficked firearms and other weapons, which were used in connection to attacks on rival gang members and other third parties, according to court records.

Thug Riders reportedly formed alliances with other clubs to bolster their ability to fight rival gangs.

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