U.S. Judge Limbert jails cycle gang member in US sweep
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
The only Mahoning Valley man indicted on charges in a national sweep of a motorcycle gang will be kept in jail without bond until his scheduled court date in Missouri.
Frederick Morgan of Youngstown, who uses the alias Low Rider, appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert in the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse for a detention hearing.
Judge Limbert found Morgan not to be a flight risk but a danger to the community based on Morgan’s criminal record and weapons found in his home during his arrest.
Federal authorities did not say what jail would keep Morgan. He was not booked into Mahoning County jail.
Morgan, who is a bail bondsman and owns Ohio Bail Bonds, is named in a multicount indictment against members of the Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Gang. The indictment says Morgan serves as the regional vice president of the organization.
Others indicted come from Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Milwaukee and Louisville.
According to the criminal complaint against the gang, members and associates of the organization have been involved in murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. The complaint also says the organization is engaged in extortion and in the distribution of crack cocaine.
The counts of the indictment pertaining to Morgan deal, in part, with an incident at a Market Street motorcycle club in January 2010.
Special Agent Nathan Honaker of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under questioning from David Toepfer, office of the U.S. attorney, told the court that Morgan ordered a member of the Sin City Disciples Motorcycle Club restrained at gunpoint when the man came to Youngstown to speak with Morgan and other members of the Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club.
He said the man was not released until club members could negotiate his release and not before his wallet was taken and information copied.
Honaker said threats against the man’s family were made during his detention.
Atty. Jacqueline A. Johnson, representing Morgan, questioned Honaker on the extent of Morgan’s involvement with other allegations in the criminal indictment.
Honaker admitted there was no evidence of illegal drug activity against Morgan or anything in the indictment pertaining to Morgan and murder.
Johnson also stressed that the only witness to the reported kidnapping is the victim with no one to confirm the incident actually happened.
William Boldin of the U.S. Marshals Service told the court officers eight firearms, body armor and hundreds of bullets were found in Morgan’s home at the time of his arrest. He said the firearms were a point of concern because Morgan is a convicted felon.
Toepfer said Morgan has been convicted of theft, burglary and receiving stolen property.
Johnson pointed out that officers did not determine if the firearms belonged to Johnson’s wife who also lives in the home.
Three witnesses testified on Morgan’s behalf, saying that releasing Morgan would not be in any way a danger to the community. All three people knew him from years of working together in the bail bonds business.