Findings of the Attorney General in the Matter of the Shooting Death of Thomas Mayne on June 15, 2010 in Old Orchard Beach

December 28, 2010


In the early morning of June 15, 2010, Thomas P. Mayne, 58, a prominent member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Gang, was shot and killed by federal law enforcement agents during a shootout at Mr. Mayne?s home in Old Orchard Beach.

Mr. Mayne and 26 other members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Gang (OMG)[1] were the subject of a federal indictment and arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond on June 11, 2010. The multi-count indictment alleged RICO[2] violations, conspiracy, drug trafficking, unlawful possession of firearms, and witness tampering. Mr. Mayne was identified in the indictment as an OMG regional treasurer and a former ?enforcer,? and one of four individuals living in Maine subject to arrest as a result of the indictment. The indictment also alleged that Mr. Mayne and an accomplice had shot a member of the Hell?s Angels Motorcycle Gang in Canaan, Maine, on October 8, 2009.[3] It was known that Mr. Mayne had previously boasted that if the police attempted to arrest him that he would become the most famous member of all of the Outlaws Motorcycle Gang by resisting the attempt with lethal force. On June 14, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine issued a search warrant for Mr. Mayne?s residence in Old Orchard Beach for RICO-related evidence, narcotics, and weapons.

After a detailed briefing the day before that identified Mr. Mayne as a high risk individual who was reportedly heavily armed, a contingent of several federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), comprising a Special Response Team specifically trained for high risk operations, went to the Mayne residence at about 6 a.m. on June 15, 2010, in Old Orchard Beach, to execute the arrest warrant for Mayne as well as the search warrant issued the day before for the Mayne residence. They were accompanied by other federal agents, members of the Maine State Police, and an Old Orchard Beach police officer in a cruiser equipped with a video camera system, all of whom were clearly identified as law enforcement officers.

As the Special Response Team operators moved into position outside the Mayne residence, they were met with a volley of gunfire through a front window from inside the residence. Four of the operators[4] returned fire with rifles they were carrying, shooting into the same window from which the volley of gunfire had originated. Both the initial volley and the return fire were captured on the video camera system in the Old Orchard Beach police cruiser. Seven seconds elapsed from the initial volley to the cessation of return fire.

Mr. Mayne was killed by the return fire from the ATF agents. He was found deceased with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol in his hand in the same room from which it was determined that he shot at the agents. Later investigation also determined that there were four individuals in the Mayne residence at the time of the shooting, but only Mr. Mayne shot at the approaching agents. None of the other three individuals ? a man and two women ? offered armed resistance, although the man was arrested for interfering with federal agents in the execution of a warrant.

The investigation determined that in addition to the .45 caliber pistol found in Mr. Mayne?s hand, there was a shotgun and a rifle in the same room from which Mr. Mayne shot at the agents. It was also determined that Mr. Mayne had discharged the pistol?s capacity of six rounds at the approaching ATF agents.[5] The four agents who responded with gunfire discharged a total of 20 rounds, at least seven of which struck Mr. Mayne. Dr. Margaret Greenwald, the state?s Chief Medical Examiner, determined that six of the rounds struck Mr. Mayne in the head and neck, while a seventh round caused non-fatal wounds to both legs. Dr. Greenwald determined the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck.

Detectives from the Attorney General?s Office went to the scene of the shooting to conduct an investigation with the assistance of the State Police.

Analysis and Conclusion

The Attorney General is charged by law with investigating any law enforcement officer who uses deadly force while acting in the performance of the officer's duties. The sole purpose of the Attorney General?s investigation is to determine whether self-defense or the defense of others, as defined in law, is reasonably generated on the facts so as to preclude criminal prosecution. The review does not include whether there could be any civil liability, whether any administrative action is warranted, or whether the use of deadly force could have been averted.

Under Maine law, for any person, including a law enforcement officer, to be justified in using deadly force for self-defense or the defense of others, two requirements must be met. First, the person must reasonably believe that deadly force is imminently threatened against the person or against someone else, and, second, the person must reasonably believe that deadly force is necessary to counter that imminent threat.

The Attorney General has concluded that at the time that shots were fired at Mr. Mayne, it was reasonable for the four ATF agents who returned fire to believe that deadly force was being used against them. In addition, the agents reasonably believed it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves from the use of deadly force against them. Because the agents used deadly force in self defense, no criminal action will ensue against the officers involved in this incident. This conclusion is based on an extensive scene investigation that was consistent in all significant respects with the interviews of over 40 individuals, the review of medical records, and other evidence.

[1] The federal indictment described OMG as ?the American Outlaw Association, better known as the ?Outlaws,? a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in criminal acts, including murder, attempted murder, robberies, assaults, extortion, arson, witness intimidation, narcotics violations, illegal gambling, and weapons violations.?

[2] The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is a federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and other actions for acts performed as part of a continuing criminal enterprise or organization.

[3] According to the admission of another Outlaws Motorcycle Gang member in plea negotiations arising from the same indictment, he and Mr. Mayne did in fact shoot the Hell?s Angels Motorcycle Gang member in Canaan on October 8, 2009.

[4] The names of the four ATF agents, all from outside Maine, have been withheld in that there is a reasonable possibility that public release of such information would endanger the life or physical safety of the agents. See 16 M.R.S. ? 614(1)(H).

[5] A number of other firearms were found in other parts of the house.