Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Highwaymen Motorcycle Club national president Joseph "Little Joe" Whiting held in jail to await trial on racketeering, conspiracy to murder
federal judge on Monday ordered Highwaymen Motorcycle Club national president Joseph "Little Joe" Whiting held in jail to await trial on racketeering, conspiracy to murder, and other federal charges. But U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen ordered the release of two other Highwaymen officials over the objections of prosecutors. Detroit attorney Ben Gonek won the release of Robert "Kwik" Flowers and attorney Lawrence Shulman won the release of Gary "Junior" Ball Jr. However, Ball's release was stayed pending an appeal Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. The government agreed to the release of three other Highwaymen defendants, based on Whalen's rulings on Flowers and Ball. More detention hearings are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The men were among 74 people named in a racketeering indictment unsealed Thursday against alleged Highwaymen members and associates. The indictment alleges a wide range of illegal activity, from drug dealing to trafficking in stolen goods to violent acts and conspiracies to murder. The FBI has been investigating the club since 2005. Attorney Tim Attalla, who was named in a drug conspiracy charge in the indictment, has been placed on paid administrative leave from Miller Canfield, law firm chairman Michael W. Hartmann said Monday.