When the dust cleared on the criminal charges against them, 20 members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club stood accused of wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, the last of those Kingsmen was sentenced, ending a murder and conspiracy case that for years captured the public's attention.
Timothy Enix, second in charge of the organization, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the killings of fellow Kingsmen Daniel "DJ" Szymanski and Paul Maue.
"The fact is you were the leader of a violent motorcycle gang," U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford told Enix. "The reality is you were involved in organized crime and you were intimately involved in it."
From the start, the prosecution's focus was on national president David Pirk and Andre Jenkins, the Kingsmen member who fired the gun that killed Maue and Szymanski. But during their trial – a three-month proceeding with 60 witnesses, many of them Kingsmen – federal prosecutors also implicated Enix in the murder scheme and its cover-up.
From the start, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said the murders were intended as a message to rivals within the club.
Tripi said Enix, 60, was also part of the effort, led by Pirk, to turn the club into a criminal organization, or "1%" club.
Now 68, Pirk, a Lockport native, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms for his role in carrying out the double murder.
Jenkins, the Kingsmen who fired the gun that September morning in 2014, also was sentenced to three consecutive life terms. Jenkins is already serving life without parole because of a Niagara County conviction for the murders.
Enix, who portrayed himself as the club's peacemaker during his trial, is expected to challenge his sentence.
"We believe there are solid issues for an appellate court to consider," said defense attorney Terrence M. Connors. "We will appeal and there is a window of hope."
During his trial, Enix, like Pirk and Jenkins, found himself confronting Kingsmen testifying about the killings and the feud that led to them.
The Kingsmen Motorcycle Club on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda, where two members were killed execution-style on Sept. 6, 2014. (Derek Gee/News file photo)
Several Kingsmen took the witness stand to talk about the near deadly confrontation between Pirk and Enix and Kingsmen Filip Caruso at the South Buffalo clubhouse a month before the murders.
During his testimony, Caruso said he was angry over the promotion of another Kingsmen and came to the clubhouse with a Kel-Tec rifle hidden in his pants.
At some point, Caruso, with Maue and Szymanski watching his back, confronted Pirk and Enix. The confrontation ended peacefully that night but Caruso testified that Pirk later made it clear that he believed Maue was behind the incident.
In the end, the jury found Pirk and Jenkins guilty of murder and gun possession in furtherance of the racketeering conspiracy, and of using the South Buffalo clubhouse for drug dealing as part of that conspiracy.
Jenkins also was convicted of a weapons charge for having a firearm while being a convicted felon, stemming from convictions in South Dakota in 1998 and 2010.
Enix was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy.
Investigated by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, Enix was prosecuted by Tripi and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brendan T. Cullinane and Marianne Shelvey.