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Gang charges dropped in Sons of Silence encounter in Clarion
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Gang charges dropped in Sons of Silence encounter in Clarion

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Court exhibit photo shows a J.O. Israeli Arms 9mm pistol from Sons of Silence member Justin Carlson in June 2020.

CLARION – Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against five motorcycle club members accused of threatening an off-duty officer over a vest, although one is still facing federal gun charges.

Cory Dale Woods of Waverly, Anthony Jacob Kelley of Belmond, Chad Robert Simmons of Latimer, Justin Anthony Carlson of Sheffield, and Daniel Robert Carolus of Belmond — allegedly members of the Sons of Silence or its Sworn Silence support club — had been charged with gang participation in the April incident in Clarion.

Trial had been scheduled for next month, but on March 12 the Wright County Attorney’s Office asked the court to dismiss the cases.

“Upon further investigation, the state has determined that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute this charge,” the county attorney’s office said in its motion.

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Officials with the Wright County Attorney’s Office declined to comment further.

Authorities had alleged the five followed an off-duty police officer and his wife while they were riding motorcycles April 5 and forced the couple to pull over.

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The officer and his wife stopped at a Clarion convenience store where the group demanded he hand over his vest, which displayed the logo for the Gunfighters, a law enforcement-only motorcycle club, according to court records.

One of the group shoved and threatened to assault the officer.

The group was charged in June following raids at club members’ homes, according to court records.

Carlson still faces federal weapons charges in connection with a 9mm J.O. Israeli Arms pistol and a 12 gauge J.C. Higgins shotgun that police found during the searches.

Authorities allege he is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a prior drug conviction in 2008, records state.

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