As the saying goes, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. It's always best to be both.
U.S. marshals, who had spent days scheming ways to capture a wanted biker-gang member in Denver, only to barely miss him in a predawn raid Saturday, saw the wanted man walking along East Colfax Avenue in Aurora on Tuesday night. They arrested him without incident.
Marshall "Big Bo" Fry was the last remaining fugitive from the Wheels of Soul motorcycle gang wanted in an attempted murder in Denver and conspiracy to kill rival gang members in Illinois.
A tip had led the marshals to Aurora, where they happened to spot Fry walking near a Family Dollar store at Colfax Avenue and Peoria Street.
They ordered him down on the ground. Fry complied.
"He knew we were looking for him," said Charlie Ahmad of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Eighteen members of the Wheels of Soul were indicted in a Missouri federal court in June, and Fry was the last man left walking the streets.
The Wheels of Soul is a gang that earned power through crack-cocaine sales, murder, attempted murder and intimidation of rival gangs and clubs across the country, authorities say.
The gang has a "mother chapter" in Philadelphia, but the group's tentacles reach into Indianapolis, Chicago and Denver.
Members wear vests with patches designating rank or status, and they are required to swear an oath to the organization and a constitution.
At a 2010 national meeting in Philadelphia, members were told: "Wheels of Soul members are to be outlaws at all times, and Wheels of Soul is not weekend warrior s---, it is a lifestyle."
Some members have achieved "diamond status" and are deemed "1 percenters," terms to describe those who are particularly criminal and violent, the indictment says.
The gang coded phone calls — referring to firearms as "bottles of wine," for example — to evade the wiretaps of law enforcement.
On Aug. 2, 2010, Fry rode in a sport utility vehicle past the rival Hell's Lovers clubhouse in Denver and opened fire from a shotgun, the indictment says. Three members of Hell's Lovers inside the clubhouse came out and returned fire.
In January, Wheels of Soul's Colorado chapter president Jerry "Shakka" Elkins directed Fry and fellow member Rasheed Jamal "Diamond" Brandon to travel to East St. Louis, Ill. with the intent to shoot and kill members of the Outkast motorcycle gang, the indictment says.
The three met up with two other national members, also there to carry out the hit, but the mission was thwarted because police were near the Outkast gathering that day.
But the Wheels of Soul's propensity for violence is why local deputy U.S. marshals put so much effort into preparation.
On Saturday morning, they pored over maps one last time and rehearsed the game plan before pouncing on an auto-repair shop where they believed Fry was hiding. They suspect he had been there but left before the marshals arrived. So they were back to mining intelligence and hoping he hadn't fled the state — when they spotted him Tuesday night.
Fry is charged with racketeering, attempt to commit murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering. He remained in custody Wednesday, awaiting a detention hearing before a judge.