Wed
11
Jul
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Phila. Jury Awards $9.7M in Fatal Motorcycle Club Brawl

A Philadelphia jury has awarded nearly $10 million to the family of a woman killed during a scuffle with members of a motorcycle club outside of a Reading-area restaurant.

A Philadelphia jury has awarded nearly $10 million to the family of a woman killed during a scuffle with members of a motorcycle club outside of a Reading-area restaurant.

According to court records, a jury last week awarded $9.7 million to the estate of Tonya Focht, who had been fatally struck by an SUV during a melee that occurred in June 2015. The fight involved several members of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club.

Although the club had been one of several defendants sued, the club had been let out of the case at the end of trial after it filed a motion for compulsory nonsuit. That decision has been appealed.

Thu
14
Jun
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Conviction upheld for one-time leader of Pagans, Hempfield resident

In a 6-to-2 ruling Thursday, state Superior Court reversed a prior appellate court panel's decision and upheld the 2014 conviction of a former head of the Pagans motorcycle club from Westmoreland County on multiple drug charges.

 

A three-member panel in December 2016 had granted Dennis “Rooster” Katona, 52, of Hempfield, a new trial in Westmoreland County citing problems with the validity of the search warrant used in the years-long investigation.

 

The court previously ruled that police cannot use a single search warrant to repeatedly send a wired informant into someone's home. As stipulated in previous court rulings, “a separate finding of probable cause was required for each in-home intercept,” the court had stated in a 2-1 decison.

 

Mon
11
Jun
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Threats, spit prompt charges for alleged biker gang member

WILKES-BARRE — An intoxicated member of a biker gang threatened his father with a meat tenderizer and spit on police officers as they arrested him Sunday night, according to police.

Justin Martin, 30, of Rear 291 Parrish St., repeatedly threatened officers and warned he would see them again when they didn’t have their badges on, police said.

Officers responded to Martin’s home around 10:25 p.m. Sunday to a report of a fight between Martin and his father, Frank Maloney Sr., who told police Martin was out of control and needed to be arrested.

Another man, Frank Maloney Jr., told police Martin asked him for marijuana or cocaine. When Maloney Jr. told Martin to sober up, Martin began slapping him repeatedly, police said.

Maloney Jr. also reported that Martin threatened kill him and that he would “get my boys after you” — a reference to his membership in the Pagans Motorcycle Club, according to police.

Tue
03
Apr
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Meth dealing charges leveled against false rape suspect, husband

WILKES-BARRE — The woman accused of falsely blaming two state troopers of rape and the husband she says abused her showed up in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon and left together in handcuffs.

State troopers allege Donald Richard Cromer, 43, and his wife, Christine A. Cromer, 37, both of 237 Maffett St., conspired to deal crystal methamphetamine while they were both out on bail in separate cases.

They were arrested after appearing in court for Donald Cromer’s preliminary hearing in another case. Magisterial District Judge Donald L. Whittaker denied bail for the couple after a county detective revealed in court that Donald Cromer, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, has a tattoo on his forearm of the Pennsylvania State Police logo riddled with bullet holes.

“He’s definitely a threat to society,” Detective Chaz Balogh said in court. “I feel it’s only going to escalate from this point.”

Mon
26
Mar
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Motorcycle gang member loses appeal of conviction for rival biker's murder

A motorcycle gang member convicted of fatally shooting a rival biker during a melee outside a Philadelphia convention hall is fated to keep serving his 18 1/2- to 37-year prison sentence for the crime.

A state Superior Court panel guaranteed that by rejecting what Judge Alice Beck Dubow called Stanley "Stizz" Newell's "significantly underdeveloped" appeal of his third-degree murder conviction.

It didn't help Newell's case that the September 2014 shooting of Michael "Country" Baker was filmed by surveillance cameras at the Nifiji Event Hall on Chew Avenue in North Philly.

Investigators said the gunfire erupted during an anniversary ceremony for the Twisters Motorcycle Club. Newell, now 48, was a member of the rival Byrd Riders club.

Dubow cited an opinion by Philadelphia Judge Barbara A. McDermott in the state court ruling tossing Newell's appeal.

Sat
10
Feb
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Why members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club gathered in Northampton

(9 photos)--More than 100 members of the notorious Pagans Motorcycle Club gathered Saturday morning in Northampton to say goodbye to one of their own.

Ronald S. "Rocky" Bedics Jr. was a long-time member of the club, according to his obituary. He died Monday at St. Luke's University Health Network. No cause was given in his obituary. He was 54.

Bedics was also a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Injured Workers, whose activities include raising money to help those who get hurt on the job.

A graduate of Whitehall High School, Bedics had worked in construction.

Sat
26
Aug
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Philadelphia Pagan sentenced to 15-years

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (YC – Gov.) – Yesterday, a federal judge sentenced Joseph Mehl, a/k/a “Joseph Montanero” to 180 months in prison for his role in a prescription pill mill that trafficked oxycodone and other dangerous and addictive opioids. In addition, the Honorable Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, United States District Judge, ordered the defendant to serve three years of supervised release upon release from prison, and pay a special assessment of $100, as well as entering a judgment of forfeiture.

Sat
19
Aug
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Brawl charges against two Pagans withdrawn

MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> The commonwealth has withdrawn charges against two members of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club for an alleged assault against a fellow club member in April.

 

 

Assistant District Attorney Christopher DiRosato told Delaware County Common Pleas Court President Judge Kevin F. Kelly that he was unable to secure the presence of the complaining victim – though he noted the charges were initiated more by police – and was therefore withdrawing charges against 48-year-old Brion Phillips and Joseph E. Meehan, 44, of Ardmore.

 

 

Phillips and Meehan were charged with conspiracy, harassment, and aggravated and simple assault for the April 13 incident that resulted in Phillips being shot in the leg. Meehan was also charged with reckless endangerment.

 

 

A third club member was also initially charged, but those charges were dropped at the magisterial district judge level.

 

 

Wed
21
Jun
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Motorcycle gang melee reported in Taylor

A reported melee in Taylor between more than two dozen motorcycle gang members prompted deluge of police to the Downvalley on Tuesday night, borough police said.

A caller to 911 said a group of “one-percenters” — a term that applies to motorcycle gang members associated with criminal activity — started a “pushing and shoving match” at Oak Street Express, 601 Main St., shortly before 10 p.m., Police Chief Stephen Derenick said.

A Taylor bar had hosted a “bike night” Tuesday and was packed with motorcycle enthusiasts, the chief said. A few reportedly started a fight and fled before police arrived. No charges have been filed. One person was arrested on unrelated drug charges, the chief said.

The fight, which reportedly did not involve weapons, drew a police response from the Downvalley communities, Scranton and the state police.

Mon
24
Apr
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Bikers Taken Into Custody After Incident That Closed Carson Street

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — East Carson Street was shut down Sunday night after a young man reported being robbed and assaulted, allegedly over the shirt he was wearing, by a large group of men outside of a South Side bar.

Police responded to the area of Carson Street near South 14th Street after 7 p.m.

Several people spent more than an hour handcuffed as officers checked drivers’ licenses and registrations.

“The victim ran and called police. The motorcyclists left the bar and our officers spotted them, pulled them over right here. The rest played out right in front of you,” Pittsburgh Police Spokesperson Sonya Toler said.

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