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File | The Journal Gazette
The FBI raids the Outlaws MC Fort Wayne Chapter at the 1200 block of West Main Street in July.

Outlaws member gets 70-month term

A Fort Wayne man was sentenced to five years and 10 months in federal prison for his role in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

In January, Steve A. Reynolds, 38, pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion for his activities in the gang. Reynolds and Dax Shephard, 42, of Fort Wayne were arrested in connection with the gang’s activities in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis after an investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton-Pratt sentenced Reynolds to 70 months in prison and five years on supervised release.

“This office is committed to ending organized crime in Indianapolis, and Judge Walton-Pratt made clear today the serious consequences of participating in gang activity in this city,” Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. attorney for Indiana’s southern district, said in a written statement.

“We hope these sentences send a loud message across the state: If you are peddling guns, drugs and violence on our streets, federal law enforcement is coming for you.”

In July, 42 people connected to the motorcycle gang were arrested at locations in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne on charges including drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, witness tampering and illegal gambling.

Reynolds was accused of robbery, extortion, and using a telephone to arrange an illegal prescription drug transaction, according to the indictment.

In court documents, Reynolds admitted to working alongside Shephard and other Outlaws to “expel” a former member who had taken money from the treasury. The Outlaws took all his jewelry and clothing that had the club logo on them and then a tattoo artist blacked out all the former member’s tattoos, causing him to bleed extensively.

Shephard is charged with specifically participating in a pair of robberies in August and September 2011. The August robbery is alleged to have occurred in northern Indiana.

Examples of alleged criminal activities include numerous instances in which motorcycle gang members used violence and the threat of force to collect personal debts from people in Indianapolis and elsewhere. The members are also alleged to have operated an illegal lottery scheme in Indianapolis that trafficked in thousands of dollars a day.

The case against Shephard is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.