PORTLAND — Thomas Mayne, the member of the Outlaws motorcycle club who was shot Tuesday during a raid by federal agents, was clutching a .45-caliber pistol when he was found dead in his house in Old Orchard Beach, authorities said Thursday.

Thomas Benvie, president of the Outlaws’ Maine chapter, bought that gun, prosecutors said during Benvie’s detention hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Benvie, 41, of Sanford, was trying to convince Judge George Singal that he should be released on bail pending his trial for racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The federal indictment charging him and two dozen other members of the Outlaws cites no overt illegal acts by Benvie other than being part of a conspiracy, said his lawyer, David Beneman.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff asked that Benvie be held without bail, arguing that as a member of the Outlaws he poses a danger to the community.

“The allegations against Mr. Benvie put him in the middle of a violent organization that operates throughout the United States,” Wolff said.

Benvie was arrested Tuesday in a wide-ranging crackdown on members of the American Outlaws Association. Raids were carried out in 10 states. A 50-page indictment unsealed Tuesday in Richmond, Va., alleges that members of the group conspired to commit attempted murder and other crimes.

One of the crimes that forms the basis of the charges is the shooting of a Hells Angels member in Canaan last year. Prosecutors say Mayne and another Mainer, Michael Pedini, shot Gary Watson, 63, of Madison in retaliation for an attack on members of the Outlaws.

Benvie wasn’t involved in the shooting directly, but as president of the Maine chapter he was aware of orders from the national Outlaws president, Jack Rosga, to take revenge on the rival bikers in Maine, Wolff said.

Daniel Woolbert, an agent with the Portland office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified that he manned the perimeter during Tuesday’s raid in Old Orchard Beach. As ATF special response team agents got out of their vehicle, someone started shooting at them from inside the house, he said.

The agents returned fire, killing Mayne.

After the raid, the ATF ran a trace on the gun that Mayne was holding and found that Benvie had bought it in 2008.

Questioned by the defense, Woolbert said he didn’t know where the gun had been during the intervening two years.

Evidence seized at Benvie’s house included a large amount of Outlaws paraphernalia and five guns, Wolff said.

Beneman argued that Benvie should be released pending trial. He has a stable work history and is a lifelong Mainer whose family lives in the state, he said.

His only conviction was a misdemeanor in 1988, Beneman said. He was not barred from owning guns.

As Benvie’s wife wiped away tears, Beneman described how they have four children, some of whom have special needs.

Singal ruled that Benvie does pose a danger and should be held in federal custody until his trial. Benvie’s wife wept as the judge announced his decision.

Benvie rose, and as the court security officer handcuffed him, said to her, “Hon, I love you.”

Benvie will be transferred to Virginia for trial on the racketeering charges there, along with the other defendants in the case.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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