CASE RESULTS: MASTANTUONO LAW OFFICE IN RICO CONSPIRACY TRIAL FOR TWO WEEKS IN FEDERAL COURT IN VIRGINIA, RESULTING IN HUNG JURY AND MISTRIAL.
Milwaukee Outlaws Leader Escapes Conviction in VirginiaNovember 3, 2010By Tom Held, Journal Sentinel
Months after a raid on the Milwaukee clubhouse of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, federal authorities in Virginia failed on Wednesday to win a conviction against the gang’s president, Jack Rosga.
The indictment issued against him in Virginia alleged that Rosga, the head of a trucking company based in Milwaukee, had ordered Outlaw subordinates to ambush members of the Hells Angels and declared war on the rival motorcycle club.
A jury of five women and seven men deliberated over several days but was unable to reach a verdict on the charges against the club leader: conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit violence in aid of racketeering.
The jury acquitted two other Outlaws members and convicted Leslie Werth, a leader in the club’s Rock Hill, S.C., chapter.
Authorities plan to retry Rosga, according to Neil H. MacBride, the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia.
“We respect the jury’s verdict,” MacBride said. “We will continue to pursue any allegations of organizations that engage in violent criminal activity as a way of doing business.”
Craig Mastantuono, a Milwaukee attorney who served as co-defense counsel for Rosga, said the prosecution provided no evidence to tie the 53-year-old to any acts of violence. He is the president of the Outlaws, but not the leader of a criminal conspiracy, Mastantuono said.
“Like any other organization, the club is not necessarily responsible for the actions of its members, much like corporations and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
During the weeklong trial in Richmond, witnesses for the prosecution testified that Rosga had directed them to seek revenge on rival Hells Angels members for an assault of two Outlaws in Connecticut. The club leader known as “Milwaukee Jack” allegedly directed Outlaws to shoot Hells Angels members, strip them of their vests or kill them.
The defense argued that those allegations were false, ridiculous accusations made by an Outlaw who had sought to pad his own reputation.
Mastantuono said much of the testimony for the prosecution was based on second and third-hand accounts of statements supposedly made by Rosga.
The Outlaws leader remains in federal custody, pending a new trial.