To date, 12 members of Detroit’s Phantom Outlaw Motorcycle Club have been locked up on various charges related to violent racketeering. However, the most high-profile Phantom conviction was handed down yesterday when the 1% club’s national president, Antonio Johnson, was slapped with a 35-year prison sentence. The charges come from numerous acts of violence that Johnson oversaw from his post as ruler of the motorcycle club and leader of Michigan’s Vice Lords. Gangsters Inc. reports that Johnson (also known as Mister Toney, MT and/or Big Bro), 39, was convicted in March on charges of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of firearms.
The Phantoms operate out of northwest Detroit and are believed to be behind incidents involving assaults, shootings and extortion. As a motorcycle club, they are also accused of possessing and selling stolen cars and motorcycles. Johnson allegedly used soldiers from the Vice Lords (a gang that originated in Chicago) to assist in locating Phantom rivals and roughing them up. During the trial, prosecutors accused Johnson of ordering his minions to strip members of the rival Satan Sidekick Motorcycle Club of their “rags,” slang for club vests in September 2013. In one instance, a Satan Sidekick was shot in the face. A few weeks later, Johnson and his Phantom comrades orchestrated the murder of three members of the Hell Lovers Motorcycle Club, another rival. The Phantoms held them accountable for the murder of one of their members. According to the plan, after the three Hell Lovers were dead, the Phantoms would ambush the wake, guaranteed to be at the Hell Lovers’ clubhouse. The ATF and FBI interrupted this plot before it got off the ground.
Johnson’s sentence comes weeks after his #2 and enforcer, Marvin “The Chosen One” Nicholson, 46, caught 40 years on RICO conspiracy charges, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and shooting at federal agents. The Detroit One Initiative, a collaboration between the authorities and the community, is credited for the take-down. About Johnson, assistant attorney general Leslie R. Caldwell said, “Through his leadership positions in two gangs, Johnson spread violence in Detroit and beyond. Here, through the Detroit One initiative, the collective efforts of federal agents, state and local police, and private citizens helped thwart a mass murder plot and ensure the convictions and lengthy prison sentences of Johnson and his fellow gang members.”