Detroit Highwaymen Clubhouse shut down (video)

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CINCINNATI (Rich Jaffe) -- For the last few years we've been telling you about problems involving the Detroit Highwaymen motorcycle gang. The local chapter is now basically now out of business. This is a story you'll see only on Local 12 News. The highwaymen set up shop here in Cincinnati around 2009, but for the last few years they were in a turf war with the Iron Horsemen. We've reported on assaults, shootings, robberies the kinds of things you'd expect. Late last week, Cincinnati city officials filed a lawsuit declaring this place a public nuisance and on top of it the Highwaymen honcho's out of Detroit came here and shut the place down. Saturday evening, Cincinnati Police showed up at the Detroit Highwaymen's clubhouse and served them with a nuisance complaint from the city. It's a move aimed at shutting down the clubhouse. Sergeant Bill Halusek with Cincinnati Police tells us, "Any building, place, property used for gang activity and you have two felony offenses that start at that property, can be abated under Ohio Nuisance Law." One of those felony offenses was when Roger Sadler allegedly shot at rival Iron Horsemen right outside the clubhouse last year. The second offense came in February when Highwaymen were captured on camera attacking an Iron Horseman and stealing his motorcycle. Halusek says in his 30 years with Cincinnati Police and ATF, it's the first time the city has used this approach on a bunch of bikers. For the Highwaymen, Saturday night was a one two punch. One from the city and one from their Detroit headquarters. Halusek says, "We also learned the national Detroit Highwaymen chapter revoked their charter as well." Ironically just a week ago, the biker's Detroit office sent one of their national musclemen, John Duffey, to Cincinnati to help this troubled local chapter clean up its act. Duffey though didn't exactly get a warm welcome from the Queen City. According to Halusek, "We knew there was a national officer coming to town, we knew he was on parole, we knew some other things about him as well. When he left here he committed a traffic violation, speeding across the viaduct , one thing lead to another and he was subsequently arrested for a firearm. He was here to fix the problems that were occurring, he was elected Vice President that night." Duffey served federal time after he and dozens of other Detroit Highwaymen were arrested by the FBI in Detroit, following massive raids in 2009. Investigators believe the Cincinnati chapter had simply brought down too much heat and attention on the national organization. Heat that could have lead to racketeering charges on members of their Detroit hierarchy. Again, Sergeant Halusek, "We were playing a game of chess with people who were playing checkers. Our moves were pretty thought out and we're gonna continue down that path. We're not gonna tolerate the gun violence. I'm not gonna have people out here shooting in the middle of the street." John Duffey was indicted by a Hamilton County Grand Jury last week. If convicted on the gun charge he's undoubtedly looking at resuming his federal sentence in prison. In 2011 the Highwaymen's national President got 37 years in prison following the same raid that caught Duffey. As for the future of what used to be the "Cincinnati Highwaymen" it's uncertain. It's expected they might reinvent themselves as members of a different club. The city case against the owner of the Highwaymen's clubhouse is set for a trial date later this month.

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