Saturday, September 03, 2011

The New York Times’ Kind of a Crime Story: Suspect is a White, Heterosexual, Male College Prof Who Doubles as Head of an Outlaw Biker Gang,

Alleged Methamphetamine Dealer
California Professor Leads a Methamphetamine Ring, the Police Say
By Rebecca Fairley Raney and Jennifer Medina
Published: September 2, 2011

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — For nearly a decade Stephen Kinzey worked as a professor of kinesiology, the study of human movement, at California State University, San Bernardino. A few students complained online that he showed up late for class and could lose his focus. But that was about it.


Stephen Kinzey/Robert A. Whitehead, CSUSB


Now, the police say, Mr. Kinzey, 43, is a man on the run, wanted on suspicion of being the ringleader of a circle of methamphetamine dealers and the president of the Devils Diciples, an outlaw motorcycle gang. (The group spells its name as such.)

Investigators from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said that they were unable to locate Mr. Kinzey, who they say supplied a ring of midlevel and street dealers with methamphetamine, a persistent scourge in the working-class cities east of Los Angeles.

“One side of him was a successful and productive member of society, but the other side of him is an outlaw motorcycle gang leader,” said Sgt. Paul Wynn, a lead investigator of the case. “He was the highest-ranking person in the group, without a doubt.”

Mr. Kinzey lived in an upper-middle-class enclave in an immaculate two-story Spanish-style home with his girlfriend, Holly Robinson, 33. When the police came to the home last Friday, Ms. Robinson was arrested along with half a dozen other members of the gang, who were there to pick up their share of a one-pound delivery of methamphetamine, police officials said. Mr. Kinzey was not there.

The police found several weapons in the home, including a shotgun, two rifles, two handguns and brass knuckles.

The department began the investigation six months ago as an undercover operation. Motorcycle gangs are common in this part of California; Hells Angels has its headquarters just a few miles away, and spotting a group of several dozen bikers cruising down the freeways on the weekend is hardly unusual.

“It’s not unheard of in the outlaw motorcycle gang world — a lot of people involved are lawyers and doctors and even kinesiology professors,” Sergeant Wynn said. “They like to give the image that they are doing good things and off on charity rides. That might be true for some.”

Sergeant Wynn said about a dozen members of outlaw motorcycle gangs had been arrested in the past year, mostly on drug charges. He said that officials were actively pursuing 15 other members of Devils Diciples.

Mr. Kinzey earned his doctorate from the University of Toledo and was apparently well liked by his students in California. On a Web site that allows students to rank professors, Mr. Kinzey had one of the top scores, with a reputation of being an easy grader and a tardy teacher. On his Twitter feed, he routinely posted updates about being late for class.

University officials were told of Mr. Kinzey’s involvement in drugs on Thursday.

“To our knowledge, this is the first notice that anyone on our campus has had regarding this situation,” said Albert Karnig, the president of the college. “If the allegations are indeed true, this is beyond disappointing.”

Several of Mr. Kinzey’s academic articles were on the department’s bulletin board. His clothing and style — a long goatee and a few visible tattoos — might have made him look different from other teachers. But Albert Cabrera, 21, a kinesiology major who was a student in two of Mr. Kinzey’s courses, said nothing about his professor stood out.

“He’s a good teacher, he’s smart,” Mr. Cabrera said. “I’ve seen his Diciples belt, but I never thought anything of it.”

Rebecca Fairley Raney reported from San Bernardino, and Jennifer Medina from Los Angeles.

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