Former SC Outlaws leader sentenced in Va to 9 years, 2 months

LARRY O’DELL (The Associated Press) | February 11, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — A former regional boss of the Outlaws motorcycle gang who led attempts to hunt down rival Hell’s Angels with the intent of assaulting them was sentenced Friday to nine years and two months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected Leslie Werth’s plea for a lighter sentence Friday, saying the Outlaws became a more dangerous organization because of Werth’s actions.

“You weren’t just someone who sat there and listened,” Hudson told Werth. “You exhorted people to commit violence.”

A jury in November convicted Werth, a member of the Rock Hill, S.C., Outlaws chapter, of conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit violence in aid of racketeering.

Prosecutors asked Hudson to sentence Werth to 10 years and one month, the maximum under sentencing guidelines computed by the federal probation office. Werth’s attorney asked for no more than five years.

Werth was among 27 gang members indicted in June 2010 on racketeering and other charges. More than half pleaded guilty. Five, including Werth and Outlaws national president Jack Rosga of Milwaukee, were convicted and three were acquitted in two separate jury trials. One was shot to death by federal agents trying to arrest him in Maine. Rosga and three others will be sentenced April 8.

At his sentencing, Werth told the judge he joined the Outlaws because he loved to ride motorcycles and he never intended to commit any crimes.

“I have no intentions of making the same mistakes again,” Werth said. “What I’m asking for is a second chance to prove I’m not the person the government set out to prove I am.”

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