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Kingsmen defendents found guilty after 2014 murders

All three defendants in a trial involving members of a North Tonawanda motorcycle club have been found guilty of charges relating to two murders in 2014.

A jury found 67-year old David Pirk, who at the time was the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club's national president, conspired with others to kill rival members Paul Maue and Daniel Szymanski.

FBI Special Agent Gary Loeffert said motorcycle gangs have evolved over 70 years from bar room ballers to somewhat sophisticated criminals.

“The Kingsman leadership not only voiced a desire to turn their club into a one percenter gang, but they acted on that desire,” said Loeffert. “With their intent to become one percenters, they were telling everyone that they do not want to be included in the 99 percent of riders who are law abiding citizens.”

Loeffert said outlaw motorcycle gangs have a reputation for crimes such as assault, robbery, and homicide and that’s what the Kingsman were all about.

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Kingsmen president offers surprise testimony, denies ordering murders

When David Pirk talks about the murders of Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski, he is quick to suggest his fellow Kingsmen were working for him, not against him, when they were shot execution-style outside the North Tonawanda clubhouse.

Pirk, the former Kingsmen president accused of orchestrating the killings, acknowledged taking part in a plot Wednesday but said it was a plan that included Maue and Szymanski and targeted another member of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the murders, Pirk denied any involvement in the 2014 killings and instead pointed the finger at former Kingsmen Filip Caruso.

"My suspicion was that it was Filly's crew," he told a federal court jury. "That it was Filly or his crew."

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Kingsmen biker to jury: 'He was scared. I would be, too.'

With three of his fellow Kingsmen sitting just a few feet away, it's a safe bet Jimmy Ray Fritts wanted to be anywhere but on a witness stand in Buffalo.

He didn't want to testify that Andre Jenkins, one of his "brothers" on trial, admitted to the double murder at the core of the case.

And Fritts certainly didn't want to tell a jury that former Kingsmen President David Pirk ordered the 2014 killings.

At the constant prodding of prosecutors, Fritts, a Kingsmen Motorcycle Club member from Tennessee, testified that Pirk's involvement became evident during a near-fatal confrontation between Jenkins and four Kingsmen angry over the assassination-style murders in North Tonawanda.

"He walked in and we pulled our weapons," he told the jury. "He was scared. I would be, too."

Now 68, Fritts said that Jenkins, upon seeing the drawn guns, claimed the killings were in self-defense and begged them to make one phone call before killing him.

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Kingsmen 'tough guy' accuses club president in murders

Filip Caruso admits to being a tough guy and a hot head, and the former Kingsmen would be the first to tell you his violent reputation earned him immediate status in the biker club.

Within the Kingsmen community, Caruso, a convicted felon five times over, may be best known for his role in a gun-toting confrontation outside the South Buffalo clubhouse just weeks before the murders of Kingsmen Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski.

Caruso, angry over the promotion of another Kingsmen Motorcycle Club member, came armed with a Kel-Tec rifle hidden in his pants and, with Maue and Szymanski watching his back, confronted then national president David Pirk and regional president Timothy Enix.

"The talking just went to screaming and yelling," Caruso told a federal court jury this week. "There was about 200 people standing and watching."

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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.

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'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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Four more arrested in Kingsmen motorcycle case following 2014 murders

When the leadership of the Kingsmen Motorcyle Club was indicted and eventually jailed, Brian Witkowski found himself leading the club's New York State chapter.

The promotion, according to prosecutors, was a reward for Witkowski's loyalty to former Kingsmen President David Pirk and Witkowski's lies to federal agents about Pirk's role in the execution-style killings of fellow club members Daniel “DJ” Szymanski and Paul Maue.

Prosecutors also claim Witkowski's rise through the ranks can be traced to a Kingsmen directive that he stay close to Szymanski's family in order to monitor the federal investigation.

"I would argue that is organized crime at its best," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi.

On Tuesday, Witkowski, former head of the club's South Buffalo chapter, appeared in Buffalo federal court, one of four additional Kingsmen arrested in connection with the 2014 double murder.