November 4, 2020 – The most powerful biker boss in Michigan has gotten a reprieve from a life prison sentence. He’s walking free this week.
Leonard (Big Daddy) Moore, the 72-year old “Godfather” of The Highwaymen Motorcycle Club, was granted a compassionate release due to preexisting conditions for COVID-19 by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds in Detroit. Moore was the lead defendant in a 2006 drug and racketeering indictment and will serve the rest of his sentence on home confinement. Moore’s life sentence was reduced to 20 years via an appeal.
The Highwaymen are the biggest biker gang in Michigan. The club was founded in Detroit back in the 1950s and maintains chapters in seven other states besides Michigan, including Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee.
Big Daddy Moore’s roots are in Detroit’s Downriver area. In 1977, he was convicted of killing an innocent bystander in a bombing attack of a rival biker clubhouse. The Highwaymen and the more nationally-prominent Outlaws MC have been at odds in the Great Lakes region for decades.
Since its earliest days, The Highwaymen’s “mother ship” has been located in Southwest Detroit. The original Highwaymen clubhouse burned to the ground in 1999.
Moore has always favored ruling by proxy, per DEA documents, instead of being at the forefront of the club’s public image. Informants told DEA and ATF agents that Moore never wanted the title of club or national president, preferring using the positions as buffers and lightning rods for scrutiny he sought to avoid. Under Moore’s stewardship, The Highwaymen did business with all forms of like-minded criminal groups, spanning the Detroit Italian mafia to African-American and Hispanic street gangs and Eastern-European drug and gambling crews.
Moore’s son, Leonard (Bo) Moore, Jr. went down in the 2006 case as well. The younger Moore, 50, is a full-patch member of The Highwaymen and isn’t scheduled for parole for another five years.
This past summer, the club experienced some unrest, as Highwaymen Thomas (Crazy Tom) Curry murdered Ron (Greedy) Davies, another member of the club, and two others and then set Davies house on fire to try and cover up the triple homicide. Curry, 38, committed suicide after a two-day standoff with authorities in September where he took two hostages and barricaded himself in a Northwest Detroit residence.