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Motorcycle gang investigated in deaths of two St. Louis men
ST. LOUIS -- A motorcycle gang called the Invaders has been at the center of separate investigations into the 2007 deaths of two St. Louis-area men and the disappearance of the third, a newspaper says.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that court documents the newspaper obtained showed that for more than a year investigators have suspected members of the gang of killing Randy Greenman, 39, and George Whitter, 36.
The two vanished in September 2007 and their mutilated bodies were found weeks later dumped in two locations in Missouri and Illinois. A motive for the killings in unknown and the two men were not thought to be gang members.
The newspaper also disclosed a Drug Enforcement Administration agent's affidavit accusing two Invaders of the 2007 disappearance and presumed murder of Alan Henry Little, 61, of St. Louis County. It is thought that Little, a member of the gang, may have been killed for cooperating with law enforcement.
Police last month dug up human remains on property that had formerly belonged to the parents of an Invader member. Authorities said they haven't determined whether the remains are those of Little.
Missouri police and federal agents arrested more than a dozen Invaders members and associates earlier this year on charges of dealing marijuana. They also seized drugs, cash, hundreds of weapons and more than a dozen motorcycles.
Defense attorneys said they believe the drug charges were filed to force the gang members to provide information about the killings. No one has been charged for the deaths.
But the slayings' brutality, as well as the gang's violent reputation, has both prosecutors worried about the safety of witnesses and defense attorneys concerned for their staff.
The FBI said probably less than 100 people are members of the Invaders Motorcycle Club, which was founded in Gary, Ind., in 1965 and now has chapters in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Colorado. The gang's logo is an "angry green monster" in a white vest on a motorcycle.
The DEA said Missouri's chapter, founded in 1967, was forced underground in 1971 because of law enforcement pressure but resurfaced in 1990.
Last year, federal authorities in Indiana indicted the gang with making methamphetamine and court documents show investigators seized at least 40 firearms and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
Some of the members accused have agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Appearing in federal court in St. Louis last month, defense attorneys portrayed the men sporting long hair, goatees and tattoos on their arms and necks as middle-aged family men with relatively clean, nonviolent or old criminal records.
But both sides have raised concerns about the case with prosecutors seeking to keep the gang members from knowing too much ahead of time about the investigation or witnesses and at least one defense attorney hesitant to allow his staff to view evidence, afraid for their safety if they knew too much.
"There's some scary issues here in terms of people's safety," U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Mummert said during a March 25 hearing.
Alan Little disappeared on May 31, 2007. A DEA affidavit filed last year said that Little's girlfriend found evidence in his house suggesting he had cooperated with authorities investigating another Invaders member.
The document also said "witnesses have provided evidence" that two gang members were involved in Little's disappearance and presumed murder after the Invaders found out.
David Rosener represents one of those two suspects and said his client was in protective custody.
"Emphatically and absolutely, (my client) did not kill anyone," Rosener said. "He's not lily white. He's not perfect, but none of us are."
The attorney for the other Invaders member declined to comment.
Investigators say Greenman and Whitter disappeared after leaving a bar in south St. Louis County on Aug. 30, 2007. Police don't believe they were Invaders members although the DEA said Greenman operated a marijuana distribution cell for the gang.
Court documents show police investigating the men's murders focused on at least one Invaders member in early September. An anonymous caller also told St. Louis County police that the suspect and another Invaders member killed Whitter and Greenman at a south St. Louis County house and dumped the bodies in Illinois.
Greenman's partial remains were found in Festus in September 2007 and Whitter's were found in West Alton two months later. The DEA said both had been shot in the head and appeared to have been mutilated, perhaps with a chain saw.
Investigators said in court documents that they later found traces of blood at the St. Louis County house.
Richard Sindel represents the home's owner and said he was skeptical of the evidence against his client, as well as the overall case against the Invaders.
"I don't see that as going anywhere," he said. "An anonymous phone call?"
Richard Fredman, the other suspect's attorney, said, "The only thing that I can tell you is that it's our belief that (he) had no involvement at all in any murders. And to be quite honest with you, the government agrees with me that he has no involvement."
Following Whitter's disappearance, family members searched for information but were dissuaded by police out of concern for their safety.
"It's been a rough year for me, being alone," said Kyrstin Whitter, his widow. "If it wasn't for God, I wouldn't have made it. Nothing is going to bring my husband back. But if George's death has taken a lot of really bad people off the streets and out of society, then hopefully he died for a good cause."
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com