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Motorcycle club crackdown nets 29 arrests

Published in All News and General News

More than two dozen people were arrested early this morning in a crackdown by four police agancies on a Fort Wayne motorcycle club.

At about 1:30 a.m., officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department, assisted by the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the clubhouse of the Hard Hitters motorcycle club at 5001 Avondale Road, where about 70 club members and visitors had gathered, according to a news release from the State Excise Police. Excise officers and the Indiana State Police assisted in the raid.

They arrested 27 subjects on preliminary charges: 10 were arrested for visiting a common nuisance, eight for possession of marijuana, one for dealing cocaine, and one for possession of synthetic marijuana. Seven individuals were also jailed on outstanding arrest warrants. Four handguns were seized in the raid.

Excise Police also arrested the club’s president, Larry Lawrence, 40, and the secretary, Demetrius Carter, 29, both of Fort Wayne, each on the preliminary felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance. Lawrence and Carter were booked into the Allen County Jail.

Excise officers also confiscated the club’s temporary beer and wine permit, including violating the permit by allowing the carryout of alcoholic beverages and serving liquor. The permit was also cited for maintaining a common nuisance.

Fort Wayne police had received numerous complaints about the motorcycle over the past several months, including reports of shots fired, disturbances involving weapons, and fighting. On Dec. 28, a club member was shot in the leg as result of a fight that occurred inside the clubhouse.

Indiana State Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said in a prepared statement that permit holders “are expected to maintain a high and fine reputation within the community.”

He said his agency will continue to work with local police departments to identify problem sites.