By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- In a precise and coordinated raid, the FBI searched buildings associated with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in several cities Wednesday. Agents scoured a fenced compound in Arlington for hours.
With help from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the FBI searched a compound on Holland Street, near State Road 9A and Merrill Road.
As morning traffic buzzed by on the Southside Connector, the feds and their friends flooded the wooded side street. They stormed at least two large sheds, a house, and other buildings.
Signs hanging on the fence out front read "Outlaw" and "Clubhouse."
Neighbors -- too worried about retribution to talk on camera -- say agents banged on buildings in the back of the compound at about 7 a.m. Other officers and agents swarmed the main house.
The search that followed stretched into the afternoon.
The FBI wouldn't say what it seized inside the 1.5 acre compound of buildings and sheds.
Neighbors said agents brought out bags full of evidence and even hauled away some plants -- but they neighbors weren't sure what kind of plants.
The Arlington raid started at the same time as one in Daytona Beach and another in Citrus County, an hour north of Tampa.
"The indictment paints a picture not of a harmless group of motorcycle enthusiasts, but of an international, organized, and violent criminal gang," said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales was in Detroit, where another raid snagged eleven Outlaws members who've been indicted for a range of crimes involving extortion, drugs, and guns. Five more Outlaws members from the Detroit area are still at large, Gonzales said.
"The indictment alleges that the defendants committed, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence to protect and expand the gang's criminal operations," Gonzales said.
Around six o'clock Wednesday, driving cars and a van stuffed with evidence from an eleven-hour search, the feds rolled out.
Then the Outlaws rolled in. A group of bikers roared down the road and pulled back into the fenced complex.
The FBI did not announce any arrests from their day-long Arlington raid, but Gonzales did promise more prosecutions in the future.
First Coast News