TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A federal investigation sheds new light on an abduction in Terre Haute from last year.
A man was held against his will for days inside Terre Haute garage . At the time, Phillip Mannebach, Travis Umphries and Dustin Coffey were all arrested, linked to the crime.
Terre Haute Police believed Mannebach, a former Sons of Silence member, pistol-whipped the victim, threatened his life, and demanded money.
Officials believe Mannebach's meth debts led to the crime.
"Mr. Mannebach had a debt that he owed to James Taylor and that he ordered the abduction of that individual to collect money to pay off that debt," Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Blackington said.
Now all three men are facing federal charges. However, not long ago the state dismissed their charges against the men.
"There were some issues in regards to a key witness in the case and some intimidation and different things were involved," Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said.
Modesitt said a federal courtroom was a better venue for the case.
Federal officials say Mannebach was funneling pure meth from Michigan and Indianapolis to the Terre Haute area.
While they said there are motorcycle clubs for recreational purposes, Mannebach's activities were far more serious.
"We're not talking about clubs here, even though they call themselves clubs," United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett said. "We're talking about criminal gangs who were involved in criminal gang activity."
Mannebach is currently being held in Illinois, he will likely go to trial in Indianapolis. If convicted, he could spend life in federal prison.
Michael Pitts, a member of the Diablos Motorcycle Gang, is also facing federal charges in the case.
They believe Pitts was also selling meth for James Taylor, an Indianapolis Sons of Silence member.
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