National bike gang leader in N. Carolina sentenced to prison
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based national motorcycle gang leader who authorities say often used violence was sentenced to 75 years in prison for drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.
Christopher Lamar Baker was sentenced in Wilmington by U.S. District Judge Richard Myers on Thursday, more than four months after a jury convicted him of 17 counts, according to court documents.
Based in Raleigh, the 49-year-old Baker was a leader in the Pagans Motorcycle Club, which law enforcement deems an outlaw gang for using its club for criminal enterprises, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh.
Baker’s conviction was part of an ongoing organized crime and drug enforcement operation that has led to indictments against 20 people, according to a news release Friday from federal prosecutors. They said seven of those have been convicted and sentenced, and nine are awaiting sentencing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Baker supplied over 268 kilograms (591 pounds) of methamphetamine in the Raleigh area. The investigation reached into West Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, from where methamphetamine was distributed in Raleigh through a network of Pagan members who have been indicted, the release said.
The government said Baker also was convicted of possessing a firearm to assist him with drug trafficking crimes.
“Removing this very dangerous person from our streets was an extraordinary step in making our community and state safer,” Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson, whose agency helped lead the investigation, said in the release.