‘Devil’s Professor’

Officials: Highland man also runs biker gang
By Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/01/2011 12:07:55 PM PDT

An associate professor at Cal State San Bernardino led a methamphetamine distribution ring that put multiple pounds of the drug on the street every week, sheriff’s investigators said Thursday.

Steve Kinzey, 43, of Highland, also a chapter president of the outlaw motorcycle gang, The Devil’s Diciples, remained at large Thursday but 11 people suspected of distributing drugs for him have been arrested, authorities said.

“Hopefully, we can get our main suspect in custody in the next few days,” said Sheriff Rod Hoops at a news conference at his headquarters in San Bernardino.

The investigation began six months ago during a federal undercover operation involving outlaw biker clubs in the county.

Sheriff’s deputies, along with the FBI and San Bernardino police, launched the “Devil’s Professor” investigation when they identified Kinzey as a suspect involved in criminal activity, authorities said.

Deputies said Kinzey is president of the San Bernardino Mountains chapter of the Devil’s Diciples, a group founded in Fontana in 1967.

Kinzey purchased large amounts of meth from Jeremy Disney, 30, of San Bernardino and distributed ounce quantities to Redlands residents Eric Cortez, 31, and Chelsea Johnson, 34, who then split the drugs into smaller amounts for mid-level and street-level dealers, said sheriff’s Detective Jason Rosenbaum.

The drugs were sold in San Bernardino, Highland, Redlands and Mentone.

Additional suspects in the investigation, authorities said, were Holly Robinson, 33, of Highland, identified as Kinzey’s girlfriend; Hans Preszler, 51, of San Bernardino; Edward Freer, 43, of Helendale; Christopher Rikerd, 37, Elaine Flores, 35, and Stephanie Padilla, 33, all of Redlands; and Wendi Witherell, 34, of Mentone.

The investigation culminated in a raid Aug. 26 at Kinzey’s East Highlands Ranch home, deputies said. Deputies intercepted a pound of meth that was being delivered to the residence, Rosenbaum said.

Kinzey, who has taught kinesiology at Cal State San Bernardino for 10 years, had leather vests emblazoned with the Devil’s Diciples logo, military body armor, brass knuckles and a number of firearms at his home, deputies said.

They said the weapons included a sniper rifle and an AP-9 pistol and that one of the guns was stolen from Los Angeles.

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