July 7, 2015
The Infidels Motorcycle Club, a group made up of troops, veterans and military contractors in Colorado Springs, drew attention recently with its pig roast to protest the holiest of Muslim holidays.
While some people decried the club’s gathering as tantamount to a KKK cross-burning, the group is not classified as an outlaw motorcycle group by authorities.
But other, less-law-abiding motorcycle gangs are actively recruiting troops in the Pikes Peak region and worrying federal agents, a federal report obtained by the Gazette says.
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Denver spokesman Chris Amon said his agency’s concern over the interaction of troops and outlaw motorcycle gangs is obvious.
“It always concerns us when people with specialized training in weapons and explosives is involved in a criminal enterprise,” he said.
Other experts say outlaw motorcycle life appeals to some troops.
“I think it makes a natural draw for them,” said Steve Cook, who heads the Midwest Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. “You have to look at people in the military and fresh back from deployment — they are into a warfare mentality.”
Even as the number of crimes involving troops and veterans continues to decline in the Pikes Peak region, the rising number of troops in the ranks of outlaw motorcycle gangs is setting off alarm bells.
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A May report from the ATF says outlaw motorcycle clubs — clubs known for criminal behavior — including the Sin City Deciples and others with chapters in Colorado Springs are pushing efforts to add troops to their ranks.
“Since 2007, ATF and its law enforcement partners, domestic and abroad, have discovered that documented OMG (outlaw motorcycle group) members have been employed as federal employees and contractors, active-duty military, reservists and National Guardsmen,” the report says.
Colorado Springs Police Lt. Mark Comte said local authorities are well aware of ties between the military and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“There are some that cater to the military that are of and for military,” Comte said.
The Infidels are a growing club that has drawn the wary gaze of ATF.
The agency says the club founded in 2006, with chapters near military bases nationwide, has been seen riding at events alongside notorious outlaw groups including the Hells Angels and Pagans in other states.
Police say the gang isn’t considered outlaw, and isn’t suspected of criminal ties.
The Infidels, who didn’t respond to numerous calls for comment, portray themselves as something far removed from outlaw gangs.
“Infidels Motorcycle Club is a veteran-formed and -based MC for patriotic Americans and our supporting allies,” the group says on its website.
Sources familiar with the club say its leaders include several prominent Air Force Space Command contractors and a soldier from Fort Carson’s 4th Combat Aviation Brigade — people in positions of trust who carry security clearances.
The group advertised the June barbecue as “in defiance of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan” on a flier that included comparisons of Muslim men to pedophiles.
The anti-Islam rhetoric coming from people who appear to be on the Pentagon’s payroll upsets Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim rights group.
“It would be great concern if these were members of the military or contractors, not because of the barbecue, but because of the extremist views it represents,” Hooper said.
The pig roast, while offensive, doesn’t bother Hopper as much as the people behind it. It was a private, extremist party, he explained.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office kept a close eye on the event at the Infidels clubhouse near Peterson Air Force Base. A few dozen people gathered behind a guarded chain-link fence. The fence had a scrawled cardboard sign attached: “Private Party No Media Beyond This Point.”
Sheriff’s Lt. Rick McMorran said deputies were concerned that the party would draw protests from Islamic groups, or worse, from terror organizations.
The barbecue’s theme wasn’t a law-enforcement concern, though.
“From the standpoint of the Sheriff’s Office, we don’t get into the politics,” McMorran said.
Other motorcycle groups in the Pikes Peak region have drawn closer scrutiny from police and deputies. Chief among them are the Sin City Deciples.
One of the most serious recent tangles between the Deciples and law enforcement happened last year. According to a police report, the Deciples and another motorcycle group called Hells Lovers got into a brawl at a Dayton Street clubhouse in Aurora and a member of the latter group was shot and injured.
Fort Carson Sgt. 1st Class Larry Morrison was arrested and charged in the shooting, but the case was dropped after witnesses refused to testify, authorities said.
Morrison is now battling an Army discharge and claims he was never affiliated with the Deciples. In discharge paperwork the Army accused Morrison of a pattern of misconduct including affiliation with a banned group.
Peter Page, an Aurora police detective, wrote in court papers that Morrison identified himself to officers as “President of the Colorado Springs Chapter Sin City Deciples.”
A 2012 killing outside the Deciples’ Colorado Springs clubhouse is described in ATF’s 40-page report on troops in outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Virgil Means was shot and killed outside the building just west of downtown after he’d been thrown out and went back to retrieve his wallet.
“Christopher ‘Stone Cold’ Mountjoy, an Army soldier and Sin City Disciples sergeant-at-arms, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment,” the report said.
Three of the four men charged in Means’ death were active-duty Fort Carson soldiers, including John Burrell and Eric Bartholomew. Several Deciples called as witnesses in the case were soldiers, too.
The ATF says more biker gangs nationwide are recruiting troops.
The gangs, the report said “court active-duty military personnel and government workers, both civilians and contractors, for their knowledge, reliable income, tactical skills and dedication to a cause.”
Disclaimer: This article was not written by Silent Soldier.