Thursday, June 23, 2011

Michigan - Former Hamtramck Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Divulging Federal Wiretap During Highwaymen Motorcycle Club Investigation

U.S. Attorney’s Office
A former Hamtramck police officer, and federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force officer, Randall Hutchinson pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of providing notice of a federal wiretap to the former Downriver Chapter President of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigation into that organization in 2005 - 2006, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Hutchinson, 45, is one of ninety-one individuals indicted as part of the United States Attorney’s Office’s case against the Detroit Highwaymen.
“Disclosing a wiretap investigation not only violates the law, it also betrays an officer’s duty to the mission of seeking justice.” McQuade said. “We have no tolerance for that sort of betrayal.“
The Highwaymen Motorcycle Club was Detroit’s largest, and most violent, motorcycle club with upwards of 100 members, and was seen by many as a rogue club. Numerous of its leaders, members, and associates have been successfully prosecuted over the last year for a variety of criminal offense including racketeering, violent acts, narcotics trafficking, and stolen vehicles.
During the fall of 2005, while working as a task force officer for the DEA, Hutchinson learned that the FBI was conducting a wiretap investigation that involved a large scale marijuana dealer who was a member of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club. Shortly after learning about this wiretap, Hutchinson saw Phil McDonald, the Downriver Chapter President of the Highwaymen, in the gym where they both worked out. Hutchinson told McDonald about the FBI’s investigation into the marijuana dealer within the Highwaymen and told McDonald that he had to be careful.
Later in May 2006, the FBI and the Brownstown Township Police Department executed a search warrant at Phil McDonald’s house in which illegal steroids and growth hormones were found. After the search warrant was executed, McDonald called and spoke with Hutchinson several times about the search and his legal troubles. On May 10, 2006, during a phone conversation with McDonald, Hutchinson told him that if the trouble was bad, then “they” were on his phones.
On June 19, 2006, Hutchinson and McDonald met again in the gym. Hutchinson stated that he had “been thinking” and that McDonald needed to see if his “phone was hot.” McDonald understood this mean that he needed to check to see if his phone was being tapped by law enforcement. McDonald then stated that Hutchinson should know whether he was a target of a wiretap, to which Hutchinson replied, “not necessarily, if your phone is hot it would be the FBI.” Hutchinson then formulated a plan for McDonald to figure out whether the FBI was intercepting his phone calls.
The case against Hutchinson was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brownstown Township Police Department. FBI Special Agent Ted Brzezinski was the lead case agent responsible for handling and coordinating the multiyear investigative effort into the Highwaymen and Mr. Hutchinson.
Mr. Hutchinson faces a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Diane Marion and Christopher Graveline.

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