ATF executes search warrant at Evansville motorcycle club


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is executing a search warrant at a motorcycle club in Evansville.

A local spokesperson for the ATF says a multi-agency operation to serve a search warrant is taking place at a building just off Diamond Avenue. The ATF confirms the DEA & FBI assisted in the search.

Authorities have been focusing on the Grim Reaper Motorcycle club. Multiple law enforcement agents spent Tuesday morning going in an out of the building, at one point pulling a motorcycle outside and on to a tow truck.

Agents and officers from six federal and local agencies, including Evansville Police and the Vanderburgh Co. Sheriff’s Office, were involved in the search.

“Coming back from Princeton I’d seen a lot of cop cars over there,” said Michael Duncan, recalling what he saw at the club when he came home. Shortly before dawn the sight of federal and local law enforcement agencies at one motorcycle club, surprised some who live nearby.

“I just saw and wondered what was going on. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of them doing something,” said Jimmy Smith, who lives near the club.

“I never had any real problems out of them. I’d rarely seen traffic go in and out of there,” Duncan adds.

A spokesperson for the ATF says they started searching shortly before 6:00 A.M. Details of why they were there are not known so far, but we are told they searched for something serious in nature. Two motorcycles were removed. Some nearby residents say they didn’t have any problems with the grim reapers in the past.

“I thought i was surprised because they’ve always been pretty good, I thought. i’ve talked to a couple of them. They seem like nice persons,” said Smith.

Local law enforcement officials say they haven’t responded to many calls at the club in the past, but Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding says if any of the members were in trouble, it wouldn’t be for anything done in public. In a separate incident earlier this year, an Evansville man drove into the club and fired a gun. He was arrested and charged.

An ATF spokesperson says she was not sure if there were other searches at other club chapters, she did say there were other places search warrants were applied for. It’s not known when more information will be made public.

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(This story was originally published on Nov. 19, 2019)

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