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LETTERS / Taking Exception to Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club Bashing

Dear Editor,

We would like to respond to your article by Jesse Wood about Selina Burleson’s drug arrest that is then turned into a Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club bashing.  Selina Burleson is the wife of our now terminated president in Avery County although her actions in no way were connected to our motorcycle club.

The truth is you have a woman who’s family was financially struggling in todays economy and she made a bad decision in trying to sell her prescribed medicine to help support her family.  She got caught, now she is going to have to pay for breaking the law.  The part we don’t understand is how our motorcycle club is getting all the back lash just because she knows us and we know her.
In your article Sgt. Jason Zaragoza of the Watauga County Sheriffs Office wrote, “Detectives are aware of [Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club’s] involvement in the self distribution of controlled substances in Watauga and Avery County.”  We flately deny that accusation.  We are not dealing drugs, selling guns, prostitution, or anything else ilegale.  When you are part of a motorcycle club you are watched 24 hours a day by law enforcement.  We constantly teach our membership to live legal lives because they will be living in the scrutiny of the laws watchful eyes.  We do not except into membership anyone who deals in drugs, steals, robs, or supports themselves in a criminal way.
Sgt. Zaragoza goes on to say, “I will say that we know they are affiliated with larger national clubs.”  No disrespect intended to Sgt. Zaragoza but that is an inaccurate statement.  The Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club is not affiliated to any National Clubs and we challenge him to prove otherwise.  Law enforcement knows that national clubs the motorcycle world and it is true that we have to have meetings with them from time to time to solve any issues they may have with us.
But the truth is we do not go to their events nor do they come to our events.  Nor do their support clubs come to our events nor do we go to theirs.  We are local Avery County residents riding in a family/working mans motorcycle club.  Just out having fun.
The Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club has been in Avery County for three years now and our members have not had so much as a speeding ticket.  Our county is very small and everyone knows every bodies business.  The Avery County Sheriff Department is very good at what they do.  If we were breaking the law we would have already been arrested.  Sheriff Kevin Frye admits in your article, “We’ve never had any real problems with them in Avery County.”  That is because we respect the law and try to do everything we can do to be legal.  We have jobs, families, and bills to pay just like everyone else.  We can not afford or want to be law breakers.  
The part your article does not tell about the Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club is the giving back to the communities where they operate.  Since 1976 our motorcycle club has had Toy Drives, Cancer Benefits, Blood Drives, Food Drives, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicine Benefits, supporting school sports teams, buying school supplies, buying Bibles for Church distribution, supporting Boy Scout troops, repairing and cleaning abandoned graveyards and countless other projects to numerous to list hear.  In 2013 the Avery Ghost Riders helped support the Avery County EMS Toy Run.

We certainly believe each person is responsible for their actions and that they must pay the consequences for their actions.  Selina broke the law so she must pay for her actions.  The Ghost Riders of Avery County did not break the law but we are still being battered publicly.  Unfortunately because of Selina’s action her husband’s membership has been terminated.  He was a very valuable asset to our motorcycle club and he will be missed greatly.  No matter what the outcome we love Selina and her husband and wish them the very best.

Ghost Riders Avery