Wednesday, October 5, 2016


BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Ryan Myrtle, 32, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant admitted to being a member of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club (KMC), a criminal organization which engaged in such crimes as distribution of controlled substances, maintaining premises for use and distribution of controlled substances, possession, use and sale of firearms, sales of untaxed cigarettes, and promoting prostitution.  The KMC sought to preserve and protect their power, territory, and reputation through intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assaults, attempted murder and murders, and was involved in placing victims, potential witnesses, and others in fear of the enterprise, its members, and associates, through violence and threats of violence. 
Myrtle further admitted that the Kingsmen operated by a strict chain of command serving under the direction of Kingsmen National President, David Pirk. On June 7, 2013, KMC forcibly shut down the Springville Chapter and stripped members of their colors because they were deemed non-compliant. The defendant participated in the forced shutdown during which other KMC members struck a victim in the head with a blunt object and stole items from the Springville clubhouse. They then used bleach to clean areas where the victim bled and cut and removed portions of the rug which contained blood.
In addition, on September 21, 2012, Myrtle participated in a drive-by shooting in order to retaliate against a former KMC member who assaulted a KMC Regional President.  On that date, two car loads of KMC members, including the defendant, drove to the residence of the person in the Riverside section of Buffalo and opened fire at the residence.  No injuries were reported.
Other acts of alleged violence by the Kingsmen include the murders of KMC members Paul Maue and Daniel "DJ" Szymanski who were murdered behind the North Tonawanda KMC Chapter clubhouse on September 6, 2014. 
Myrtle is one of 16 defendants arrested in this case and the third to be convicted. Charges are pending against the remaining 13 defendants. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Today’s plea is the culmination of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen. Assisting in the investigation: the FBI Knoxville, TN, and Jacksonville, FL Field Offices, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Buffalo Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New York State Police, the Olean Police Department, the Lancaster Police Department, the Amherst Police Department, the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, and the Hamburg Police Department.    
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.