Michael James "Maniac" Privett and Ronald "Bugs" Sells must be relieved their recent law-enforcement ordeals are now over – especially since the Maryland men, from Baltimore and Churchville, respectively, who pleaded guilty last May in Philadelphia federal court to participating in a methamphetamine conspiracy in connection with the Philly chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (OMC), received lenient sentences.
On March 13, U.S. District Judge Petrese Tucker gave Privett a sentence of time served and three years of supervised release, while Sells got 30 months in prison, followed by five years of federal supervision. Sells had been president of the Philly OMC, played a central role in the meth deal uncovered by the FBI's operation, and was paroled in 1978 after a 1972 second-degree murder conviction in Ohio, according to court documents. Privett was the chapter's "warlord," or enforcer, according to court documents, and had threatened an FBI undercover operative over an unpaid meth debt involving Sells; he has prior assault, drug-possession, and accessory-after-the-fact convictions.
Privett, while awaiting sentencing on supervised release, restricted to his O'Donnell Heights/Graceland Park home in Baltimore, was convicted last fall of assault in Baltimore City, court records show.
Last summer, Maxine Radloff, described in court records as Privett's fiancé, called his federal pre-trial services officer to say Privett "stole her vehicle and assaulted her" on Aug. 3, and "was charged with second degree assault, theft ($1,000 – $10,000), motor vehicle/unlawful taken, and unauthorized removal of property," court documents state, adding that she believed he was using crack cocaine. As a result, a federal warrant for Privett's arrestwas issued, alleging he'd violated his release conditions, and he was back in custody by Aug. 13.
On Aug. 26, though, federal court records state that "Govt. and Defense have agreed to conditions of release" for Privett, and he continued on $50,000 bail – yet a month later, after Privett pleaded not guilty in the Baltimore City District Court case Radloff brought against him, he was found guilty of second-degree assault and received a three-year suspended prison sentence, three years of probation, and a $3,000 restitution order. That's not the only money Privett now owes: on March 13, the same day he was sentenced by Tucker, Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union sued him to collect nearly $4,000.
Privett's attorney in Philadelphia, Jeffrey Lindy, did not return a phone call to discuss the case.
In 2008, 44-year Baltimore police veteran and Chosen Sons Motorcycle Club co-founder Norman Stamp was killed in a brawl at the Haven Place strip club in East Baltimore during a club gathering for the initiation of a new member: Michael Privett, according to press accounts at the time – though City Paper has not been able to confirm whether the initiate was the Philly OMC's Privett or another man with the same name.
After Sells and Privett were indicted, in April a related indictment was filed, charging two more Philly Outlaws – Marylander Robert Mansfield and Joseph "Timber" Malcolm – in the meth conspiracy. Assistant U.S. attorney Robert Livermore is prosecuting both cases, and in court documents called Mansfield "a significant drug trafficker" in Baltimore who is the Philly OMC's "main supplier" who "could obtain unlimited quantities of pure methamphetamine directly from a Mexican cartel."
Malcolm and Mansfield allegedly gave Sells and the FBI undercover two pounds of meth on credit last January, and when they weren't quickly paid, Sells, when visited by his creditors at his Churchville home, told them the undercover – who no one yet knew was actually working for the FBI – had the drugs and had not yet sold them. Malcolm "was on electronic monitoring and wearing an ankle bracelet" at the time, according to court documents, indicating he was under a court's supervision, and did not go on a debt-collecting visit to the undercover, but he and Mansfield then allegedly had Privett threaten Sells and the undercover – and allegedly proceeded to threaten the undercover themselves, with Mansfield saying he was going to "have to start taking people apart" and Malcolm saying "your whole family is in danger," according to court documents.
Sells, meanwhile, allegedly took pains to keep the OMC out of the meth-dealing picture. "This shit can't be in the clubhouse," he said of the meth, while talking to the undercover and other club members at his Churchville home. "If the bosses find out, I'm going to be dead and so are you."
At the time, "Mansfield was on state parole in Maryland," Livermore explained in court filings, and "had failed to report to his parole officer for many months. If convicted of these offenses, Mansfield faces a mandatory life sentence on account of his two prior drug trafficking convictions and the seriousness of the present charges."
The case against Malcolm has been delayed because, as revealed in court documents in October, he is now a fugitive. Mansfield, though, pleaded guilty in October – whether he receives light penalties, like Privett and Sells did, will be learned at his sentencing, which is scheduled for late April.