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'I can't count that high,' Kingsman says of members' cocaine use

To hear David Masse talk, cocaine was the Kingsmen drug of choice.

He used it and, within the confines of Kingsmen clubhouses in Buffalo, North Tonawanda and elsewhere, so did dozens of other motorcycle club members, he told a federal court jury last week.

Drug use was so prevalent that everyone knew it was part of the biker culture, said the former club member, who's been in the public eye before.

"A hundred percent," he said when asked how many Kingsmen Motorcycle Club members knew about the widespread use of cocaine, methaphetamine and other drugs.

Over the course of three days last week, Masse – also known as "Weirdo" – sat on the witness stand and looked at photos of his former "brothers" and, one by one, identified them as drug dealers or users, sometimes both.

Often, his testimony was filled with accounts of how many times he and other Kingsmen shared cocaine at a clubhouse in New York, Pennsylvania or Florida.

"I can't count that high," Masse, who is currently awaiting sentencing for lying to a grand jury, said at one point.

During his time on the stand, the 49-year-old would occasionally find himself faced with questions about a Kingsmen– in his eyes, the exception, not the rule – who didn't use drugs.

Chief among them was defendant David Pirk, the former national president accused of orchestrating the killings of two Kingsmen outside the  North Tonawanda clubhouse in 2014. At the core of the trial is the allegation that Pirk saw the murders as a message to rivals upset about the club's transition to a criminal organization, or "one-percent" club.

"Have you ever known Mr. Pirk to use drugs," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi asked.

"No," said Masse.

During his time on the stand, Masse also testified about a confrontation in August of 2014 that pitted a group of local Kingsmen against Pirk and Timothy Enix, a former regional club president from Florida who also is on trial.

An insider's account of life as a Kingsmen

He said the Kingsmen confronting Pirk and Enix outside the South Buffalo clubhouse included Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski, the two Kingsmen killed a few weeks later.

Masse said the local group suspected Pirk was holding "secret meetings" with other New York chapters and wanted to confront him face to face. They came armed with a gun and a baseball bat.

"He looked pretty scared," Masse said of Pirk. "We thought there was going to be a shootout at the OK corral."

Nothing happened that night but, a few weeks later, 14 Kingsmen decided to "jump patch" and join the Nickel City Nomads, a rival biker club with ties to the Outlaws, a well-known one-percent club, he told the jury.

Masse, who joined the Kingsmen even though he didn't know how to ride a motorcycle, was never accepted into the Nomads and after his arrest for lying to the grand jury, became a government informant.

On Friday, he talked about the consequences of being a "snitch."

"I have feared for my life since Paulie's and DJ's murders, and yes, I fear for my life now," he told the jury.

Masse, who says he is currently in recovery, is awaiting sentencing on a charge of obstruction of justice and faces a recommended sentence of up to 21 months in prison.

Defense lawyers attacked Masse's credibility and pointed to the numerous lies he told a federal grand jury four years ago to suggest he might still be lying.

They also referred to his more than 30 years of drug use and wondered aloud if it had taken a toll on his memory.

"Nine times, after putting your hand on the Bible and swearing to tell the truth, you looked at those grand jurors and lied," defense lawyer Cheryl Meyers Buth told him Friday.

The defense also questioned his testimony about drug use within the Kingsmen and, at one point, asked for a mistrial. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford denied the motion.

"There's no way he can know what went on in 100 percent of the Kingsmen's minds," defense lawyer Terrence M. Connors told Wolford.

'Live a Kingsmen. Die a Kingsmen.' was message left at murder scene, prosecutor says

This is not Masse's first time in the public spotlight. In 2002, he was at the center of a political battle between then-Erie County Democratic Party Chairman G. Steven Pigeon and then-County Clerk David Swarts.

Masse, a former employee in the clerk's office, said it was common for workers to be forced to make political contributions to Swarts or do political work on his behalf.

Pigeon, who battled Swarts over control of the party, used an affidavit by Masse to request an investigation by the Erie County district attorney.

Frank J. Clark, the DA at the time. called it a "he said, she said" case and declined to investigate.

Four years earlier, Masse, a student at Erie Community College, found himself at the center of another controversy.

He was a student representative on the ECC Board of Trustees and complained about patronage hiring, most notably the hiring of an Erie County legislator's daughter for an important workforce-development job.

In the end, the board hired her.

The defense will resume its cross examination of Masse on Monday.















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