Mark Lester, 55, who is the regional Outlaws president, said last week the allegations lodged against him and other members of the biker club are false.
also accused the Knox County Sheriff's Office
of overreacting by sending a SWAT team to raid the clubhouse during a sedate holiday party to search for a leather vest.
"They totally destroyed the house, they took everything out of there," said Lester
described the Dec. 31 raid in a residential neighborhood off Western Avenue.
"They took all our TVs, our microwaves. … It was just really crazy stuff.
All they found was some alcohol and sandwich platters."
According to Lester
, the most painful loss was that of a group of stone monuments in the clubhouse yard that had been set up to memorialize fallen Outlaws.
"The stones in the front yard for brothers who have died over the last 15 years, they dug those up and took them," Lester
"It was just ridiculous."
and local chapter president Kenneth Foster, 55, have been charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping for a Dec. 23 incident in which they allegedly detained an undercover Sheriff's Office deputy who had infiltrated the club and stripped him at gunpoint of his
leather Outlaws vest, which had been given to him when he
became a full-fledged member.
and Foster are free on bond.
, however, maintains the allegations are ridiculous.
Mark Lester, an Outlaws Motorcycle Club member, pictured in August at a memorial ride for Knoxville Fire Department Captain John O.
Mark Lester, an Outlaws Motorcycle Club member, pictured in August at a memorial ride for Knoxville Fire Department Captain John O. "Slim" Pickens, says a clubhouse raid violated his rights.
Lester said Linger was a problematic club member who "caused controversy.
was vague about providing details when asked what made the other Outlaws distrust Linger, he
did say that no armed robbery took place when he
and Foster asked Linger to return his
For one thing, Lester
said, vests belong to the club, not to individual members.
He said he didn't understand how he could be charged with robbery when the property didn't belong to the officer in the first place.
declined to discuss the incident in further detail under the advice of his
attorney, Phil Lamonaco.
"You couldn't really believe a whole lot of things he
was saying," Lester
"This person was a club member first, and then he
joined the sheriff's department because he
could not find a job, using our club membership to gain employment," Lester
Lester, who works at Aqua-Chem Inc., has only three criminal convictions on his record: an unspecified misdemeanor "public order" crime from 1984, a failure to obey a stop sign citation in 1994 and a reckless driving charge from 1995, records show.
Court records show that Foster's only criminal convictions were both in 1984, when he
was charged with two misdemeanor drug offenses.