The Devils Diciples biker gang in Detroit was done in a decade before the indictment hit. As soon as the club’s Westside Detroit chapter boss William (Billy Wadd) Smith flipped in early 2003, the highest level of the Devils Diciples were on borrowed time. Billy Wadd joined Team America after learning “DD” national president and Michigan overlord Jeff (Fat Dog) Smith — no relation — had ordered his murder for reporting his crazy-eyed felon of a nephew John (Solo) Wolfenbarger to police for the senseless December 2002 massacre of the Pesce family.

The 64-year old Fat Dog Smith was smacked with a life prison sentence in federal court last week for a 2015 conviction on drug and racketeering charges. Because of Billy Wadd’s cooperation, the DEA and ATF were able to bug his bar, The Copa, in Detroit’s Brightmoor section, which served as a frequent gathering spot for DDs in the Motor City and other biker gangs as well. The tiny watering hole lining a busy highway acted as a sort-of no-man’s land location where bosses from different gangs could hold sit downs and conduct business on neutral ground. The bugging of The Copa proved the catalyst for three separate federal racketeering investigations launched at highly-feared Michigan biker contingents.

The Outlaws MC went down in a 2007 bust. The Highwaymen MC followed in 2009. Finally, Fat Dog Smith and 50 DD members and associates were indicted in 2012. Billy Wadd, 51, is currently tucked away in the Witness Protection Program.

The Devils Diciples MC (intentionally misspelled) were founded in Fontana, California in 1967 and soon spread east. Fat Dog Smith grabbed the club’s presidency in 1993 and moved the national headquarters from out west in San Bernardino County to his hometown of Detroit in the heart of the Midwest. The state of Michigan has eight DD chapters (three in Macomb County, two in Detroit, one in Bay City, one in Grand Rapids and one in Port Huron). Other chapters reside in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.

Billy Wadd joined the DDs in the 1990s. He had risen through the ranks of the rugged Motown underworld as a member of the Seven Mile Dawgs, a mostly African-American drug and street gang on the city’s Westside, getting the reputation as an earner, someone who could generate money from a diverse array of illegal income streams. His nickname Billy Wadd came from the stacks of cash he was known to flash, the wad of hundred-dollar bills he always had on him. Shortly after “patching in” with the Devils Diciples, Fat Dog named him the president of the DDs’ Westside Detroit chapter.

William “Billy Wadd” Smith

In the spring of 2002, Billy Wadd’s nephew, his sister’s son, “Johnny Solo” Wolfenbarger got out of state prison from an 8-year stint for armed robbery. Wolfenbarger held the rep of a cowboy, a reckless criminal with a wicked mean streak. Billy Wadd hooked Wolfenbarger up with a job working in a collection agency owned by Anthony (Mad Anthony) Clark, a Westside Detroit boss of The Highwaymen. By the fall, Wolfenbarger was back to his old tricks and doing home invasions.

That December, Wolfenbarger recruited his prison cellmate, Dennis Lincoln, a safe-cracking specialist, to pull a job. On the afternoon of December 21, 2002, the pair stalked Metro Detroit jeweler Mario Pesce from his store to his home in suburban Livonia, Michigan, where they took him, his elderly mother and three young children hostage, robbed the place of tens of thousands of dollars in cash and valuables and then finally cold-bloodedly killed all of them execution style.

An ecstatic Wolfenbarger showed up at his uncle Billy Wadd’s house in the early-morning hours of December 22 to brag of his dirty deeds and hide some of the loot. Hanging around The Copa in the days that followed, Wolfenbarger told at least a dozen more people of his heinous act, boasting of his prowess as a thug and how the murders he committed were getting coverage on the cable-TV news network CNN.

Billy Wadd was disgusted and dropped a dime on his nephew — he contacted a local cop he knew to tip him off that Wolfenbarger had mastered minded the Pesce family massacre. When Fat Dog Smith found out that Billy Wadd was the reason Wolfenbarger was arrested, he declared him a rat and put a murder contract on his head. After letting the feds put audio and video surveillance equipment inside his bar for six months, Billy Wadd left the Devil’s Diciples, went into the Witness Protection Program and eventually testified at Wolfenbarger’s trial. Wolfenbarger, 48, was convicted and sentenced to five life terms.

John Wolfenbarger

Billy Wadd talks about the situation:

“Johnny came out of prison talking that ‘I want clean up my life’ business, but come on, who are you kidding, game recognize game, The kid had been stealing since the time he was five, ten years old. He’s been locked up since before he was 21 and become totally institutionalized. Life on the outside is hard for a convict. He didn’t want to put in a day’s work, he couldn’t cope, so he went back doing what he knew how to do, breaking into peoples’ houses and stealing. It never surprised me that he went back and turned crooked again. But I never saw him going off and starting to murder old ladies and little kids.”

Discussing the night of the murders when Wolfenbarger came to his house in Dearborn, Michigan:

“I walked down the stairs and opened the door and he’s grinning, he comes in and throws all this jewelry and all of these bags of money on to my living room floor. He looks at me and says ‘Five dead’ and laughs. I thought he was bullshitting me. Then, a few hours later, I see it on the news.”

Discussing the reaction of Fat Dog and the DDs:

“Those guys smelled blood and saw the whole situation as an excuse to move on me,” said Smith. “They wanted to knock me off my pedestal because they were jealous. I had money and businesses on the street they wanted for themselves. It was that simple. Brotherhood meant nothing to them. I wasn’t telling on them, I was helping solve the murders of three little kids and a man and an elderly woman who never had any reason to have their lives taken from them whatsoever. But when you start threatening me and my family, then it’s on and I don’t care what I have to do to set things straight.”

Discussing life today:

“I’m just trying to live my new life in peace and quiet and keep making changes for the better. I can’t change the past and I don’t live with regrets. I did things on my own terms and when I made the decision to leave the “Life,” I left it for good and have never looked back.”

 

 

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