PORTLAND — An Outlaws motorcycle gang member who earned a special patch for trying to kill a rival Hell’s Angel member lived violently before dying in a gunbattle with federal agents, according to court documents.
Thomas “Tomcat” Mayne, 58, earned an “SS” patch — Nazi-style lightning bolts that signify a hit on behalf of the gang — for his involvement in an October shooting outside a Hell’s Angel clubhouse in the central Maine town of Canaan, according to court documents. Gary Watson was shot multiple times but survived.
“As one of the Outlaws members told one of our undercovers, you get that patch for something you’d have to go see your priest for — basically for killing someone or coming close to killing someone,” said Mike Campbell, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Mayne was a regional treasurer for the Outlaws and at one time served as an enforcer, or “tough guys who don’t mind using violence to take care of business,” Campbell said. Not much else has been revealed about Mayne, and acquaintances say much of his time revolved around motorcycles and the Outlaws.
The violence caught up with him on Tuesday when ATF agents attempting to serve arrest warrants exchanged fire with people inside Mayne’s Old Orchard Beach home, fatally wounding him.
Mayne was one of 27 Outlaws members and associates nationwide who were named in a multicount indictment in Virginia that charged them with racketeering, drug trafficking, firearms violations and other offenses.
The retribution shooting in Canaan supports the government’s contention that the Outlaws represents a highly organized, violent criminal enterprise across many states.
The indictment provides a revealing look at biker gang activities and turf wars between rival gangs around the country. Of the 27 Outlaws who were indicted, at least four had connections to Maine: Mayne; Michael “Madman” Pedini, 39, of Athens; Thomas “Taz” Benvie, 41, of Sanford; and Joseph Allman, 46, of Hollis.
In addition, Mayne’s brother-in-law Kenneth Chretien, 46, was arrested for interfering in the execution of a search warrant by ATF agents in Tuesday’s raid in which Mayne died. Chretien was not named in the federal indictment, but he is also a member of the Outlaws, according to court documents.
Nobody else was hurt in the shootout, but one of the bullets fired from the house hit an ATF agent’s protective vest, Campbell said. Agents found a shotgun and handgun inside Mayne’s house.
According to the indictment, gang members engaged in murder, attempted murder, robbery, extortion and other crimes to “expand their areas of control or turf.” And it was a turf war that extended to central Maine when Mayne and Pedini allegedly confronted and shot Watson last Oct. 8 while he was sitting in a pickup truck outside a Hell’s Angels clubhouse.
The shooting was retaliation for an altercation in September, when two Outlaws members were assaulted and had their patches taken by Hell’s Angels members at a gas station in New Haven, Conn., the indictment says. The Outlaws members had to go to a hospital for treatment.
Jack Rosga, who the indictment names as the Outlaws’ national president, told Pedini a few days before the Canaan shooting “to personally take revenge” on the Hell’s Angels for the assault, authorities said. Allman, a one-time Outlaws boss in Maine, also told an undercover Outlaws member that he was involved in ordering the hit, authorities said.
Col. Patrick Fleming, the chief of the Maine State Police, wouldn’t comment specifically on the Canaan shooting because it was still under investigation. But he said there are a number of motorcycle clubs in Maine — including the Hell’s Angels, Outlaws, Saracens, Iron Horsemen and Exiles — that have been known to butt heads.
“Sometimes these things go in cycles, where there are clashes between the clubs and then it settles down,” he said.
Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong said there are occasional incidents involving biker gangs in his county, but that “they don’t cause us a lot of trouble.”
“It’s not like the movies where there are 50 or 100 of them riding down the road,” DeLong said. “You don’t see that.”