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Gang member back behind bars

Pre-trial release revoked over Whitley charges

– Identified as a member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang in a November racketeering indictment, a Fort Wayne man was released under court supervision while his case progressed through the system.

But when court officials found out that Dax Shephard, 42, was charged in Whitley County in late May with felony theft, a U.S. District judge in Indianapolis revoked Shephard’s pre-trial release.

He is now in jail in a different county under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to records.

Along with fellow Fort Wayne resident Steve Reynolds, Shephard was named in a massive federal indictment of more than 40 people related to the Outlaws motorcycle gang.

The initial indictment was issued last summer in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis and accused a variety of individuals inside the gang and outside – including a business owner and a hospital employee – of racketeering.

Drug trafficking, insurance fraud schemes and running illegal gambling were among the various rackets outlined in court documents.

For example, motorcycle gang members are accused of using violence and the threat of force to collect personal debts from people in Indianapolis and elsewhere.

The members are also alleged to have operated an illegal lottery scheme in Indianapolis that trafficked in thousands of dollars a day.

Shephard was indicted in November, accused of participating in a pair of robberies in August and September 2011. The August robbery is alleged to have occurred in northern Indiana.

Court documents outlining the reason his pre-trial release was revoked said Shephard worked as a filter repairman and through that job gained access to the pharmacy counter at the Columbia City Kroger store. He was seen entering the aisle where the narcotic hydrocodone was located, and a later inventory check revealed 400 pills were missing.

Stores in Mishawaka and Plymouth also reported missing pills after Shephard worked at the pharmacies, according to court documents.

Reynolds was accused of robbery, extortion and using a telephone to arrange an illegal prescription drug transaction, according to the indictment.

In February, Reynolds was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion.

In June, federal prosecutors filed paperwork for forfeiture of Reynolds’ property – including cash taken from the Outlaws’ Fort Wayne clubhouse at 1202 W. Main St.; any items bearing the Outlaws insignia taken in raids at the clubhouse last summer; as well as .38-caliber handgun taken from a home in the 1200 block of Elm Street, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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