International Outlaws motorcycle gang leader Harry "Taco" Bowman was sentenced to life in prison today for orchestrating the killing of rival gang members, drug trafficking and fire bombings.
He also was ordered to pay $18,000 restitution to the widow of Raymond Chaffin, president of the rival Warlocks biker gang, who was slain in 1991.
Bowman, 52, dressed in orange prison garb, showed no emotion and had nothing to say during the 25-minute sentencing hearing.
U.S. District Judge James Moody waived a fine that could have totaled $2 million and tacked on five years of supervised release should Bowman ever get out of prison.
Defense attorney Henry Gonzalez said he would appeal Bowman's April conviction on eight counts following a monthlong racketeering trial.
The Absolute Biker Leader
After two years on the run, Bowman was caught during a visit to his family in the upscale Detroit suburb of Grosse Point Farms.
The government said Bowman emerged as the top leader in the international Outlaws biker gang during the 1980s. The club has chapters across the country and in Canada, Australia and Europe.
For 20 years, he held absolute power, even ordering executions that were then carried out, prosecutors told jurors.
The defense, however, maintained that some clubs were out of control and operating independently in turf wars.
Jurors rejected defense contentions that local chapter heads, not Bowman, were responsible for killing informants, car bombings and blowing up rival gang club houses club.