Saturday, June 19, 2010



The alleged leader of a local motorcycle gang was ordered jailed on Friday after his arrest on charges of possessing an AK-47 that he took home from the Iraq war.

Prosecutors said Justin Wilson of Virginia Beach is president of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, a gang responsible for a number of attacks on rival gangs. The case is also linked to a large-scale investigation into East Coast motorcycle gangs that netted 27 arrests of members earlier this week.

Wilson, known as "Itchy," was arrested Monday on a complaint filed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

ATF special agent Theresa Merhige testified Friday that undercover agents had infiltrated the gang, gathering evidence of firearms and drug use and attacks between rival gangs such as the Hell's Angels.

Wilson told an undercover operative that he had taken the machine gun as a "souvenir" during his tour of duty in Iraq several years ago, according to a court document.

Merhige also said that the gang members were involved in motorcycle thefts and insurance fraud.

Magistrate Judge F. Bradford Stillman found enough evidence Friday to send the case to a grand jury. In ordering Wilson jailed, the judge called him a danger to the community. His case will be handled in the Alexandria federal court.

Wilson has been in the Navy since 1998 and is currently a petty officer first class working as a machinist at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth. His boss, Navy Chief Gilbert Gifford, testified Friday that Wilson "has been a top performer for the Navy" and never had any problems.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Everhart noted that Wilson was caught stealing grenades and other weapons while with the service.

Tim McGlone, (757) 446-2343,

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