Mark Lester and Kenneth Foster are facing charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, sheriff's spokeswoman Martha Dooley said.In a raid at their headquarters in Knoxville, two local leaders of a national motorcycle gang were arrested Thursday night. Knox County sheriff's deputies raided the Outlaws' local headquarters at 205 Clifton Road around 9 p. m.They are being held on $3 million bond each.About 16 other members were also taken into custody.The raid and arrests come after a 14-month undercover operation, during which an undercover officer befriended Lester and became a member of the gang."The two individuals that we arrested, the one we know as Ivan, he is a regional president of the motorcycle gang for the state of Kentucky and Tennessee. And ironically, he is the one that invited our undercover agent to come into the gang and be a member," Sheriff J.J. Jones said.
In an affidavit for search warrants, the officer said he observed numerous incidents among the bikers involving drugs, including cocaine, Oxycontin, hydrocodone and marijuana.The undercover officer also saw weapons, such as semi-automatic pistols, Uzi automatic weapons, and grenades. The specific charges against Lester and Foster stemmed from an incident in December when the two threatened the undercover officer with a semiautomatic pistol if he did not give his vest to them. The vest with patches and various other insignia is one way gang members identify themselves. The officer, fearing for his life, gave the vest to the two men.Sheriff Jones said the gang is a menance to society and it's important to get the members off the streets.According to the warrants, officers were searching the clubhouse for Outlaw Biker Gang records, drugs and drug paraphernalia. They also sought photographs of anyone involved in criminal conduct, financial records, and items which would be used to conceal illegal activities.The Outlaw gang is a national organization known to engage in murder, narcotics trafficking, robbery, extortion, money laundering, and witness intimidation.