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Former local Kingsmen president pleads guilty in racketeering case

For the third time since their arrests in March, a Kingsmen motorcycle gang member admitted the group was a criminal enterprise.

Ryan Myrtle, former president of the Kingsmen’s North Tonawanda chapter, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a racketeering conspiracy charge and will face a recommended sentence of up to 78 months in prison.

One of 16 Kingsmen charged in the case, Myrtle is the latest defendant to take a plea offer from federal prosecutors.

Myrtle, 32, also told U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford that the club operated under a strict chain of command and that national president David Pirk was the man at the top of the hierarchy.

Myrtle’s plea doesn’t mention the murders of Daniel “DJ” Szymanski and Paul Maue by fellow gang member Andre “Little Bear” Jenkins in September 2014, but he is the latest Kingsmen to acknowledge Pirk’s authority in the organization.

Prosecutors claim Pirk ordered the killings as part of a campaign to turn the club into a criminal organization. Pirk, who is charged in the case, denies the charges.

In the plea deal negotiated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, Myrtle also admitted taking part in a drive-by shooting that targeted a former Kingsmen member who had assaulted one of the group’s regional vice presidents.


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