Youngstown motorcycle gang leader gets 7 1/2 years

By Peter H. Milliken


A former Youngstown man and regional vice president of the Wheels of Soul national motorcycle gang has been sentenced to 71/2 years in federal prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

Frederick Morgan, 47, who used the alias Low Rider, drew the sentence Thursday from chief U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry in St. Louis.

The U.S. attorney dropped charges of tampering with an informant and kidnapping as part of the plea deal.

Morgan also was a bail bondsman, who owned Ohio Bail Bonds in Youngstown.

Morgan was the only Mahoning Valley resident among 11 defendants indicted in the national law- enforcement crackdown on the gang. Others indicted were from Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Milwaukee and Louisville.

Members and associates of the gang engaged in murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, and the gang was engaged in extortion and crack cocaine distribution, according to the criminal complaint.

On Jan. 22, 2010, Morgan and another defendant “kidnapped a member of a rival motorcycle club by holding him against his will in the clubhouse of the Joker’s Wrath Motorcycle Club in Youngstown,” threatened to kill the victim and members of his family and “demanded that the victim relinquish his motorcycle club colors to secure his release,” according to the indictment.

The case against Morgan unfolded in a July 2011 detention hearing in federal court in Youngstown, after which U.S. Magistrate George J. Limbert found Morgan a danger to the community because of his criminal record and weapons found in his home and jailed him without bond.

A U.S. marshal testified authorities found eight firearms, body armor and hundreds of bullets in Morgan’s home when he was arrested.

Morgan has prior theft, burglary and receiving stolen property convictions.

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