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Crestwood man charged with murder plot in multistate biker gang

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KSR employee allegedly led Louisville chapter of national gang known for organized crime

By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack and Marion Taylor

A Crestwood man nicknamed "Pit Bull" who leads a Louisville chapter of a nationwide motorcycle gang known for organized crime appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon.

Carlos Wesley Rose, a corrections officer at the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange, is one of 18 members of the Wheels of Soul motorcycle gang indicted last month in St. Louis.

The indictment alleges that Rose and other members have been involved in a pattern of racketeering activity since 2008 in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Colorado, including trafficking of cocaine and crack, murder, assault, attempted murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, intimidation, arson and kidnapping.

The indictment remained sealed until Tuesday, when U.S. Marshals and ATF agents arrested Rose at his Georgie Way home on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.

During Rose's court appearance Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin ordered that Rose be detained as a danger to the community.

According to court documents, Rose is president of the Louisville chapter of Wheels of Soul, a motorcycle gang headquartered in Philadelphia that was the subject of a PBS documentary filmed in 2005.

According to a description in the documentary, "These bikers do not push drugs, terrorize small towns or lie in wait for little old ladies. Instead, they terrorize pushers, pimps and gang members who plague their inner city neighborhoods."

Investigators in several states have numerous recordings of Wheels of Soul meetings among members. 

Josh Judd, assistant U.S. attorney, said phone conversations were recorded between Rose and other Wheels of Soul members.

Rose allegedly informed a co-defendant on Feb. 15 that he would be traveling to Chicago for a party, and that he was bringing the “present” that Allan Hunter had requested.

Officials say the “present” consisted of a pipe bomb that Hunter and Rose intended to use to kill members of a rival Chicago-based gang known as Hell's Lovers.

Two days after Rose spoke to Hunter, Oldham County Police arrested Rose during a routine traffic strop.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers discovered Tannerite (a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder), a highly explosive mixture. It was concealed inside Rose’s signature black leather Wheels of Soul vest, along with a cannon fuse.

A subsequent search of Rose’s residence revealed 18 additional containers of Tannerite along with black powder.

Rose also possessed a Glock handgun registered as stolen. Rose spent one night in the Oldham County Jail on charges of receiving a stolen firearm before he was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond.

His charge was later dismissed.

Tannerite is not illegal to own and is commonly used for target practice in long-range shooting. The inventor and patent-holder, David J. Tanner, was called as a witness by telephone from Oregon.

Tanner said an additional primary explosive, such as a blasting cap, would be necessary to create a pipe bomb with Tannerite.  Tannerite itself would not cause a dangerous explosion in a pipe bomb. 

Donald York, certified explosives expert with the ATF, said "It [Tannerite] would increase the velocity of the pipe itself."

Other former or current members of Wheels of Soul listed in the indictment include James C. "Animal" Smith, Frederick "Low Rider" Morgan, Dominic "Bishop" Henley, Timothy "T," Balle, Lawrence "Pac" Pinkston, Maurice Thomas, Bryant "Dot," Palmer, Toney "Big T" "Tone" Sims, Thomas "Que" "Q-Ball" Bailey, Anthony "Blade" Robinson, Jerry "Shakka" "Shaca" Elkins, Marshall "Bo" "Big Bo" Fry, Rasheed Jamal "Diamond" Brandon, Walter "Lil Dude" Lee, Carlyle "Thundercat" "Jermaine Fleming" Fleming and Norman "Justice" Vick.

Those indicted are from Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Rose was housed in the Grayson County jail before his detention hearing in Louisville.

Judge Whalin ordered that Rose be taken into the custody of U.S. Marshals for transport to court in the Eastern District of Missouri, located in St. Louis. 

Of greatest concern to Whalin were Rose’s association and position with the Wheels of Soul. 

Whalin's main question: if the Tannerite and cannon fuse were not meant for harmful purposes, why did he have them concealed on his person?

Although Rose has no prior criminal record, has been employed as a corrections officer for four years and has ties to the community, Whalin said the potential danger to others outweighed those factors. 

E-mail us about this story at: news@oldhamera.com.