Drug-Dealing Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club Chapter President Wins One, Thanks to Government Error
He may be doing four years in Maryland prison for possessing with intent to distribute drugs, but 51-year-old Robert Scott Grieninger, Southern Maryland chapter president of the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club, gets to keep his 2007 Harley Davidson Street Glide motorcycle and nearly $30,000 seized by police during the 2012 raids on his business, home, and bank accounts that prompted the drug charges.
Grieninger, who goes by the nickname “Backwards Bob” and is currently incarcerated at the Baltimore City Correctional Center on Greenmount Ave., pleaded guilty in May in Charles County Circuit Court, as did his son, 28-year-old Christopher Scott Grieninger, who received a one-year prison sentence. Both were sentenced in August.
The Maryland U.S. Attorneys Office in June brought a lawsuit to keep the Grieninger’s seized assets, but when the prosecutor on the case – assistant U.S. attorney Stefan Cassella – missed a crucial filing deadline, Grieninger’s lawyer, Wilmer Ticer, filed a motion to dismiss the forfeiture case. On Nov. 15, U.S. District judge Alexander Williams granted Grieninger’s motion, handing him a win that means his motorcycle and money will be returned.
Williams’ written opinion points out that Cassella’s excuse for missing the deadline by one day was that the ready-to-file forfeiture complaint was not picked up by a runner, as expected, to file it on the afternoon of the deadline. Instead, the complaint was filed the next day – prompting Williams to conclude that “this case boils down to basic inattentiveness on the part of the United States,” since “office personnel could deviate from standard practice for any number of foreseeable reasons.” So, Williams continued, “when faced with mandatory deadlines, the requirement of due diligence may obligate attorneys to go beyond standard practice to ensure that they respect the deadlines.”
So, while Backwards Bob – who once sagely told the Washington Post’s Michael Amon that “you may have to go to prison” as a biker-gang member – stews in a Baltimore cell, he can relish the fact that government “inattentiveness” at least liberated his Harley and his money.