The Bay City, Michigan chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club was birthed in blood. In 1977, chapter founders Ron (Runner) Wiltse, Don (Trigger) Hall, David (Frenchy) Wells and Rusty (Wishbone) Miller were convicted in the triple murder of three rival Devils Diciples as the pair of infamous biker gangs tussled for power in Michigan’s Tri-City region – Bay City, Saginaw and Flint – a cluster of smoggy, socioeconomically struggling factory towns roughly 90 miles north of the longtime Midwest Outlaws hotbed of Detroit.

Members of the Bay City Outlaws were indicted ten years ago this week as part of a multi-state federal crackdown on biker gang activity in the club’s so-called “Black Region” made up of Michigan and Indiana. The lead defendant in the August 2007 bust was Outlaws bigwig and Bay City native Leroy (Black Region Roy) Frasier, the club’s one-time Tri-City chapter president and overall Black Region boss. Frasier, 59, pled guilty to conspiracy charges and did two years in prison, getting sprung from the can in the winter of 2011.

On December 11, 1975, Wiltse and Hall shot and killed Manny Almaguer, Merle Behmlander and Earl Brown in Almaguer’s home in the Flint area and stole their respective Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club vests and colors. Wells, Miller and Wiltse had previously been affiliated with the Devils Diciples before deciding to jump ship and revive a prior incarnation of the Outlaws in the region. Both groups were originally founded in the wake of the dissolution of the Tri-Cities’ Hell’s Henchmen MC chapter in the late 1960s. Wiltse was once the president of the Devils Diciples chapter in Flint.

Part of the rivalry between the Devils Diciples and the Outlaws in the Tri-Cities stemmed from the Devils Diciples allowing African-Americans to join their club’s ranks. For decades, the Tri-City area has been a hardscrabble racial and cultural melting pot of black, white, Irish, Polish, German and Hispanic residents.

According to state court records, in the early 1970s, Wiltse, Wells and Miller teamed with Hall, a member of the first Outlaws chapter in the region back in the 1960s, to revive the club’s presence in Bay City and the men all traveled together to Detroit to visit the state’s “mother chapter” in order to get the okay. The Outlaws and Devils Diciples clashed in a Detroit bar in the summer of 1972 and then again outside a Saginaw truck stop two years later, with gun shots being fired in both altercations.

Rusty Miller and his girlfriend turned state’s evidence in the triple-homicide case involving the Devils Diciples in December 1975. So did Devils Diciples vice president Henry Flues. Miller testified in open court in February 1977 that directly following the murders, Wells was showing off Manny Almaguer’s Devils Diciples vest to a house full of people, boasting “Look what I got myself today.”

Flues testified that he ordered Runner Wiltse to shutter his Flint Devils Diciples chapter and upon Wiltse refusing to do so he dispatched Almaguer to go and deal with the situation by force. This led to a fist fight between Almaguer and Wiltse where Almaguer physically removed and took possession of Wiltse’s “DD” vest rocker and Wiltse seeking out Trigger Hall’s help in bringing back a local Outlaws chapter. Wiltse, 70, Wells, 68, and Hall, 73, are all serving life in prison for the triple murder.

Although the Devils Diciples were first started in Fontana, California, the club has recently housed its national headquarters out of Port Huron, Michigan. “DD” national president Jeff (Fat Dog) Smith and a number of his lieutenants were convicted at a racketeering and drug trial in 2015. The Outlaws international headquarters was in Detroit throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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