Defense using diversion tactics, finger-pointing in Kingsmen trial

In the hours after the murders of two of his fellow Kingsmen, Roger Albright found himself inside the Olean clubhouse with Andre "Lil Bear" Jenkins.

Albright said he was in the midst of calling other Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members, warning them about the killings and the possibility a rival biker club might be involved, when Jenkins interrupted and said, "I'm here."

When asked what Jenkins meant, Albright told a federal court jury last week that Jenkins was confessing to the murders.

"He said he had shot them," Albright said. "Basically he was saying there was no threat."

Later, Jenkins would claim that the two slain Kingsmen – Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski – had informed on him to another club he was trying to infiltrate, and that the "hit" was ordered by national club president David Pirk, Albright said.

"He said, 'Pirk said to take care of it,' " he told the jury.


'I can't count that high,' Kingsman says of members' cocaine use

To hear David Masse talk, cocaine was the Kingsmen drug of choice.

He used it and, within the confines of Kingsmen clubhouses in Buffalo, North Tonawanda and elsewhere, so did dozens of other motorcycle club members, he told a federal court jury last week.

Drug use was so prevalent that everyone knew it was part of the biker culture, said the former club member, who's been in the public eye before.

"A hundred percent," he said when asked how many Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members knew about the widespread use of cocaine, methaphetamine and other drugs.

Over the course of three days last week, Masse – also known as "Weirdo" – sat on the witness stand and looked at photos of his former "brothers" and, one by one, identified them as drug dealers or users, sometimes both.

Often, his testimony was filled with accounts of how many times he and other Kingsmen shared cocaine at a clubhouse in New York, Pennsylvania or Florida.


Kingsmen Motorcycle Club trial gets under way

BUFFALO: Federal racketeering case triggered by double murder in North Tonawanda.

BUFFALO — First there were 16. Then there were 20

Now just three remain.

And in a courtroom in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on Tuesday, federal prosecutors began laying out their case that two top officers and a hardened enforcer of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club, ran an organized crime enterprise out of clubhouses from stretched from Lockport, the Falls and North Tonawanda all the way to Florida.

The federal racketeering case was triggered by the slaying of two North Tonawanda Kingsmen Chapter members in September 2014.

Andre Jenkins, who is currently serving a sentence of life without parole for the murders of Paul Maue and Daniel “DJ” Szymanski, is one of the five remaining federal defendants. He's joined by the Kingsmen’s National President David Pirk and Kingsmen Florida/Tennessee Regional President Timothy Enix.


The Kingsmen, in the eyes of New York State, are no more

For more than six decades, the gold knight's helmet with the red plume on top – a frequent sight on local streets and highways – served as a reminder of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club's dominating presence here.

No other biker club enjoyed deeper roots in the community.

But earlier this month, a yearlong legal fight over the Kingsmen name and organization resulted in a court-approved agreement requiring the club's two factions to form new clubs under new names.

In short, the Kingsmen, at least in the eyes of New York State, are no more.

Not surprisingly, in an organization whose motto is "Live Kingsmen, Die Kingsmen," both sides are disappointed in the outcome.

"That is as important, if not more important than, the ownership of any property," said Charles J. Marchese, a lawyer for the previous leadership, of the Kingsmen name and history.


Dramatic Kingsmen clubhouse showdown described in federal bail hearing

Andre Jenkins was eager to distance himself from his murder of two fellow Kingsmen in North Tonawanda on a late summer day in 2014, when he hopped on his motorcycle and returned to the gang's clubhouse in Tennessee, according to prosecutors.

But what greeted Jenkins was far from a welcome home party.

Inside, the Kingsmen also known as Little Bear discovered a scene right out of "Sons of Anarchy": a room covered in plastic and several Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members pointing guns at his head, prosecutors say.

Jenkins pleaded for his life.

"He kept saying, 'Call Pirk, call Pirk, call Pirk," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said during a court appearance last week.

The call was made, Tripi said, and Kingsmen President David Pirk, the man accused of orchestrating the double murder in North Tonawanda, ordered the Tennessee chapter members to back off.


Cheektowaga man arrested by FBI on RICO charges for activities with Kingsmen

CHEEKTOWAGA – A Cheektowaga man was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday morning in connection with his involvement in The Kingsmen Motorcycle Club.

Brian Witkowski, of S. Colby Street, was arrested after Cheektowaga Police and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force executed an arrest warrant at his home around 6 am according to an FBI spokesperson.

He faces federal RICO conspiracy charges for his involvement in The Kingsmen Motorcycle Club.  Two other club members were arrested in Tennesee, and more arrests are pending.

The United State’s Attorney classifies The Kingsmen Motorcycle Club as a criminal organization which engages in such crimes as the distribution of controlled substances, maintaining premises for the use and distribution of controlled substances, possession, use, and sale of firearms, sales of untaxed cigarettes, and promoting prostitution.


A second Kingsmen pleads guilty in racketeering case

Less than a month after the first member of the Kingsmen admitted his guilt, a second gang member is taking a plea deal.

Thomas Koszuta, 53, one of 16 Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members charged with running a criminal enterprise, pleaded guilty Wednesday to racketeering and weapons charges.

Koszuta will face a recommended sentence of up to 147 months in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford.

The charges against the former New York State regional president stem from a federal indictment that accuses the gang of running a criminal organization that sold drugs and guns to make money and used murder, robbery and kidnapping to protect its operations.

The indictment also charges Andre “Little Bear” Jenkins, the gang member found guilty of killing fellow Kingsmen Daniel “DJ” Szymanski, 31, of Getzville, and Paul Maue, 38, of Buffalo, and alleges that Kingsmen President David Pirk told him to murder the two men.


Breaking from his gang, Kingsmen member agrees to cooperate with feds

There are few things more cherished, more valued, in the Kingsmen motorcycle gang than loyalty, allegiance and brotherhood.

The first crack in that armor appeared Monday when a former Kingsmen leader admitted his guilt and became the first gang member to cooperate with federal prosecutors looking into a double murder.


Biker club president pleads not guilty in Kingsmen murders

The national president of the Kingsmen motorcycle club pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges that he ordered the executions of two Buffalo-area club members in September 2014.

With the parents of one of the victims sitting about 15 feet away, David John Pirk, 65, made his first Buffalo court appearance. Pirk and 15 other Kingsmen members were indicted five weeks ago in a gang violence case involving claims of murder, intimidation, drug dealing, gun trafficking and other crimes.

Pirk, a resident of Eustis, Fla., who grew up in Niagara County, has been assigned two attorneys because his case is a potential death penalty prosecution. Taxpayers will cover the expenses for both attorneys because Pirk has told authorities he cannot afford to hire an attorney.