Gary Raymond Mirkos, 33, and Suzanne Sibley Hoffman, 56
ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County machine shop that has been a mecca for motorcycle-design enthusiasts for more than a decade was raided Monday morning by police searching for drugs, weapons and stolen property.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Team and Narcotics Unit raided the former Amen Chassis Works shop at 603 Marble Hall Road just west of Rogersville.
Deputies allegedly found 4.5 ounces of marijuana and an assortment of pills, guns and stolen property.
Gary Raymond Mirkos, 33, and Suzanne Sibley Hoffman, 56, were renting the old Amen Chassis Works property from owner Mike Brown.
Mirkos is wanted in Biloxi, Miss., and in three Texas counties on a variety of charges, and Hoffman is wanted in Texas for a probation violation warrant from heroin and methadone possession charges.
Two other men were also arrested during Monday’s raid, including Mark Anthony Ramirez, 32, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Randy James “Tuj” Wilson, 36, 365 Shepherd’s Chapel Road, Rogersville.
Brown is famous for the motorcycles he has designed at Amen Chassis Works.
His motorcycles have won nearly every accolade in the custom design business. He built a custom bike for Shaquille O’Neal, he has a bike on display at the Bill Clinton Presidential Library, and Brown’s motorcycle design reality show “Radical Academy” ran for one season on the Fox Sports networks.
Brown is planning to relocate Amen Chassis Works to a new location, however, and has narrowed the search to Las Vegas and Lakeland, Fla.
To help pay for this search, Brown has been leasing the old Amen Chassis Works shop to Mirkos and Hoffman, who are a couple, and charging them a consulting fee to teach them how to start their own custom motorcycle business.
Hoffman owns multiple oil wells and is independently wealthy, Brown said.
Mirkos bought a custom motorcycle from Brown last year. Brown also teaches custom motorcycle design, and Mirkos and some of his friends later took lessons from Brown.
Brown told the Times-News on Tuesday that in May, Mirkos and Hoffman moved into the former Amen Chassis Works “campus,” which includes the shop with an upstairs apartment above it and separate residential house.
Brown, who has recently been splitting his time between Greeneville and Florida, said he had no idea they were wanted fugitives, and he still believes they are good people who have made some mistakes.
“They live just like rock stars and every version of that lifestyle, which is what money brings,” Brown said. “They don’t have to get up and go to work, they have too much time on their hands, and they have problems just like politicians, actors, rock stars and athletes where they just make mistakes.”
Brown added, “They contracted me to instruct them how to put together two styles of motorcycle that would be the beginning of making him (Mirkos) a name in the industry.”
Brown said that as students they lacked focus. The reason for that lack of focus may have been discovered by the HCSO in Monday’s raid.
The HCSO launched an investigation after receiving information that there were drugs, firearms and stolen property at the old Amen Chassis Works location.
Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said that during the investigation, undercover officers were able to observe a stolen 2006 Volvo XC-90 SUV, which had been reported stolen from Mississippi, come and go from the shop multiple times.
Officers were also able to determine that Mirkos was a wanted fugitive out of Biloxi, Miss., for alleged embezzlement of autos; Bexar County, Texas, for a bond forfeiture resulting from a possession of controlled substance charge; Grayson County, Texas, for failure to appear on a possession of marijuana charge; and Mclennan County, Texas, for failure to appear on possession of marijuana charges. Lawson said extradition was confirmed from each county.
A background check on Mirkos revealed him to a have a large variety of previous drug, weapon, and assorted felony convictions in a number of different states, including Texas, California, Wisconsin and Colorado.
It was then determined that Hoffman is also a wanted fugitive out of McLennan County, Texas, and extradition was also confirmed for her.
Lawson said that during a search of the Amen Chassis property, Mirkos and Hoffman were allegedly found to be in possession of approximately 4.5 ounces of marijuana, Oxycodone pills, opana pills, various items of drug paraphernalia, as well as an assortment of loaded semi-automatic handguns and shotguns.
Mirkos was also allegedly found to be in possession of a Harley Davidson engine and transmission that had been stolen from Texas.
Ramirez, who was also staying at Amen Chassis property, was allegedly found to be in possession of Alpazolam and a syringe.
The Volvo was allegedly recovered shortly after the raid from behind Wilson’s home. Lawson said Wilson was in possession of the stolen vehicle and the keys, which he was concealing for Mirkos.
The HCSO seized Mirkos’ and Hoffman’s 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, 2013 Harley Davidson Custom Road King, as well as an undetermined amount of cash.
Mirkos and Hoffman were each charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, two counts of possession of Schedule II narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are housed or sold, and possession of a firearm by convicted felon.
Mirkos was additionally charged with theft over $500.
Ramirez was charged with possession of Schedule IV drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Those three are being held in the Hawkins County jail without bond.
Wilson was charged with theft by possession over $500 and was released on $5,000 bond.