A man believed to be a high-ranking member of a local chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who authorities say ran a criminal enterprise stretching from Rock Hill to Lexington pleaded guilty Thursday to racketeering conspiracy and faces up to 20 years in jail.
Dan Bifield, known as Diamond Dan, of the Hells Angels Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter, will be sentenced in March in U.S. District Court.
As part of this enterprise, Bifield received kickbacks in return for illegal activity conducted by other members of the criminal enterprise, according to U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.
In exchange for Bifields guilty plea, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue other charges, said Nancy Wicker, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorneys office in Columbia.
Lisa Ellen Bifield, Dan Bifields wife, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and crimes of violence. The couple is from Batesburg-Leesville.
Federal agents arrested the Bifields and 18 other people last June in sweeping raids across the Carolinas.
The suspects were accused of running a criminal motorcycle gang involved in racketeering, robbery, money laundering, drug trafficking and gun trafficking.
At buildings believed to be gang outposts, agents seized methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, pills and about 100 firearms including two automatic machine guns. They also confiscated more than $300,000 and nine Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
The arrests followed a two-year investigation resulting in a 91-count federal indictment that claims the men and women are members and associates of the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club.
Those arrested include men and women from Rock Hill, Clover, York, Lancaster, Columbia, Charlotte and Gastonia, N.C. They face a variety of charges, including arson, narcotics distribution, money laundering, attempted robbery and firearms possession.
The indictment alleges that Mark William Baker, known as Lightning, of Lancaster and Bifield ran the Rock Hell City Nomads and directed criminal activities.
David Allen Pryor, known as Yard Owl, of York was president of the Red Devils Motorcycle Club, which authorities believe worked with the Nomads.
Investigators say the Nomads are among several S.C.-based Hells Angels chapters. They were most active in Rock Hill and Lexington.
From clubhouses in Rock Hill, Indian Land and West Columbia, the group sold drugs and guns and promoted a climate of fear through intimidation, violence and threats, the indictment reads. The group trafficked in stolen property and engaged in prostitution.
Members and their associates claimed territories for the Hells Angels and barred other motorcycle clubs from operating or displaying colors there without consent, the indictment reads.
The Bifields originally pleaded not guilty but changed their pleas on Thursday, according to court records.
Another suspect, Trent Allen Brown of West Columbia, has pleaded guilty to narcotics distribution.
The other suspects have until Jan. 16 to seek to change their not-guilty pleas, Wicker said. Those who dont are expected to stand trial on Feb. 11.
FBI agents worked with Rock Hill Police, the York County Sheriffs Office, Lancaster County Sheriffs Office and the State Law Enforcement Division in South Carolina; as well as the Gastonia Police Department and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina.
Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072