Feds Sweep Up Chicago ‘Outlaw’ Biker Gang
Federal prosecutors say seven members of an outlaw biker gang from Illinois are now facing racketeering charges, after being caught up in a multi-state sting operation Tuesday.
In all, federal officials say they rounded up 18 members of the "Wheels of Soul" motorcycle gang. A grand jury indictment alleges that 15 of them employed various criminal activities, including murder, arson, and kidnapping, while jockeying for power against rival gangs.
The government says the Wheels of Soul gang was strictly hierarchical. The seven defendants from northern Illinois have nicknames like Big T, Q-Ball, and Thundercat, according to the indictment. Federal prosecutors say members were always required to carry a sort of survival kit with them, including a weapon, a flashlight, a needle and thread.
Some were allegedly dubbed "one-percenters," and received a diamond patch to put on their motorcycle vests that identified them as select members who routinely committed crimes for the gang.
Several of the defendants have hearings scheduled before a federal judge in Chicago later this week.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)