ROCK HILL Several people connected to the Rock Hill chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club arrested last year on charges including drug sales, armed robberies, prostitution and other crimes are set to go to trial Monday, the U.S. Attorneys Office said Friday.
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles alleges that the members of the gang were involved in drug and weapons trafficking, arson and money laundering.
The trial will involve many of the defendants from the June arrests from the Midlands through North Carolina, said assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, who declined to comment further.
A June raid across South Carolina and North Carolina led to allegations of cocaine and narcotics conspiracies and violence centered on the Rock Hill chapter, called Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter.
At least three of the 20 people arrested in June already have pleaded guilty, including Dan Bifield, known as Diamond Dan, vice president of the Rock Hill chapter. Bifield and his wife, Lisa Bifield, have pleaded guilty but have not been sentenced.
A brief filed with the federal court Feb. 4 alleges widespread drug activity.
An investigation by local, state and federal authorities that used wiretaps, controlled drug buys, surveillance and more was launched to combat the infiltration of the Rock Hill community by outlaw motorcycle gangs and the brewing violence between the rival Outlaws Motorcycle Club and Hells Angels, prosecutors claim.
Members and associates of the Rock Hill chapter were involved in violence and drug trafficking that included armed theft from other drug dealers to sell the drugs as far away as Canada, then launder the money back to members here, court papers allege.
Dan and Lisa Bifield sold cocaine to an informant in July 2011, court papers show.
Further drug deals involving others and cocaine and prescription narcotics followed, prosecutors allege. In June, police seized more than $300,000, about 100 weapons, nine Harley-Davidson motorcycles and drugs.
Because the allegation involves an alleged ongoing criminal enterprise, prosecutors are seeking racketeering convictions, which are generally called RICO crimes.
Those crimes are often used against organized crime elements, including many in the Mafia, gangs and other groups.