Thirty defendants were arrested throughout metro Detroit and Lansing; four turned themselves in and one already was in custody. The arrests come after a three-year investigation. The 35-count indictment alleges racketeering, attempted murder and drug trafficking among other charges.
An adviser to the mayor and two former police officers were among dozens of members and associates charged with attempted murder, cocaine and steroid distribution and other crimes. Attorney Hatim “Tim” Attalla, a member of newly elected Mayor Dave Bing’s volunteer crisis team, was named and federal prosecutors said he acted “as general counsel” for the Highwaymen MC, and accused him of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, controlled substances. William Swor, an attorney for ex-Garden City police sergeant David “Stifler” Tomlan, said his client liked to ride motorcycles and had “done nothing wrong.” Richard Convertino, attorney for former Hamtramck police officer Randell Hutchinson, said his client was not a member or an associate of the Highwaymen.
The indictment caps a long-running investigation of the Highwaymen by the FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office and state and local law enforcement agencies. Of the 74 people charged, 16 men were accused of being leaders of the gang and of directing others to carry out crimes. Some defendants were accused of conspiring to kill members of another motorcycle club and others were charged with transporting stolen motorcycles into Michigan. If convicted, the defendants could face prison sentences that include up to 40 years for cocaine distribution.
Specific crimes alleged in the indictment include:
The Sept. 10, 2003, armed robbery and attempted murder of Ruben Guzman.
A February 2006 robbery of a member of the Liberty Riders Motorcycle Club.
Conspiracies in 2006 and 2007 to murder two other men.