Six Mongols Motorcycle Club members found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, including murder

Mongols Motorcycle Club News Graphic

A federal jury convicted six Tennessee men Friday for racketeering conspiracy and other charges involving murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and other crimes, all stemming from their involvement with the Clarksville chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Club (Clarksville Mongols).

The seventh man from Kentucky, who was not a member of the Mongols, was also convicted by the same jury of participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy with the Clarksville Mongols.

A federal jury convicted James Wesley Frazier, 34; Aelix Santiago, 34; Michael Forrester, 34; Jamie Hern, 43; William Boylston, 32; and Jason Meyerholz, 48, all of Clarksville, Tennessee, for charges including racketeering conspiracy. Also convicted was Derek Leighton Stanley, 48, of Owensboro, Kentucky, for engaging in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

“The Clarksville Mongols terrorized communities in Tennessee and Kentucky for far too long,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “These convictions underscore the Justice Department’s dedication to disrupting and dismantling violent criminal enterprises.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the Clarksville Mongols were a violent motorcycle gang operating in and around the city of Clarksville. The Clarksville Mongols were a self-described “outlaw” motorcycle club with ties to Mongols chapters nationwide. Members and associates of the Clarksville Mongols engaged in a host of violent criminal activities, including murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, money laundering, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and large-scale drug trafficking.

In addition, the Clarksville Mongols engaged in widespread violence and, from spring 2015 to spring 2017, they distributed more than 50 pounds of nearly 100% pure methamphetamine, worth approximately $1 million, through their drug trafficking enterprise, in an effort to establish themselves as the area’s dominant motorcycle club.

Evidence at trial demonstrated that the Clarksville Mongols were responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Stephanie Bradley, as well as the separate kidnapping and murder of Stephen Cole. Prior to Bradley’s kidnapping and murder in May 2015, the Clarksville Mongols believed that she had information relating to stolen drugs, money, and guns, and had been disparaging the Clarksville Mongols. Members and associates of the Clarksville Mongols interrogated Bradley, threatening her and demanding that she should not mention the Mongols again. When the Clarksville Mongols learned that Bradley had failed to accede to their demands, she was kidnapped and murdered in the woods behind a cemetery in Bumpus Mills, Tennessee.

Then, in November 2017, Stephen Cole was kidnapped, brutally beaten, and murdered by the Clarksville Mongols. Cole, who had been a member of the Clarksville Mongols, was believed to have stolen motorcycles belonging to William Boylston, a fellow gang member. Boylston felt disrespected by Cole and was concerned about maintaining his standing and reputation among the Clarksville Mongols. Cole was kidnapped and transported to a shed in Trenton, Kentucky, where he was interrogated, tortured, and beaten for hours prior to being murdered.

“This verdict officially ends an era of drug trafficking, violence, and intimidation inflicted on the people of Clarksville by the Clarksville Mongols,” said U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee. “I commend the investigation and prosecution teams for the enormous amount of time and resources they dedicated during the past seven years to bring every member and associate of this ruthless gang to justice. We look forward to the sentencing phase and seeking lengthy and life sentences for these defendants convicted today.”

“The criminal activities and horrendous acts of violence are dangerous and damaging to everyone involved,” said Special Agent in Carge Mickey French of the ATF’s Nashville Field Division. “We will use all of ATF’s resources to disrupt the illegal possession of firearms, distribution of narcotics, and other violent crimes. We will continue to work tirelessly with our local, state, and federal partners to combat violent crime and maintain public safety within our communities.”

Those convicted were:

Name Age Charges Max Penalty
James Wesley Frazier 34 Racketeering conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; money laundering conspiracy; kidnapping; kidnapping in aid of racketeering; the murder of Stephanie Bradley in aid of racketeering; firearm offenses; and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. Life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison for murder; 10 years for drug conspiracy; and up to 10 years for the firearms offense to be served consecutive to all other sentences.  
Aelix Santiago 34 Racketeering conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; money laundering conspiracy; firearm offenses; and kidnapping. Life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison for murder; and 10 years for the drug and firearm offenses to be served consecutive to all other sentences.
Michael Forrester 34 Racketeering conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; money laundering conspiracy; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce and robbery affecting interstate commerce; kidnapping; and firearm offenses. Life in prison, and up to seven years for the firearms offense to be served consecutive to all other sentences.
Jamie Hern 43 Racketeering conspiracy; conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; money laundering conspiracy; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; firearm offenses; conspiracy to tamper with a witness and witness tampering; and kidnapping. Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for the drug offense and seven years for the firearms offense to be served consecutive to all other sentences
William Boylston 32 Racketeering conspiracy; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; kidnapping resulting in the death of Stephen Cole; kidnapping of Stephen Cole in aid of racketeering; and the murder of Stephen Cole in aid of racketeering. Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of life for kidnapping and murder, and seven years for the firearms offense to be served consecutive to all other sentences.
Jason Meyerholz 48 Racketeering conspiracy; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; kidnapping resulting in death of Stephen Cole.; kidnapping of Stephen Cole in aid of racketeering; and the murder of Stephen Cole in aid of racketeering Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of life for kidnapping and murder, and seven years for the firearms offense to be served consecutive to all other sentences.
Derek Leighton Stanley 48 Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; money laundering conspiracy; distribution of, or possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. Life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for the drug offenses to be served consecutive to all other sentences.

A federal district court judge will separately determine each defendant’s sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Clarksville Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Kentucky State Police investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Matthew P. Mattis of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Risinger and Chris Suedekum for the Middle District of Tennessee are prosecuting the case.