None of us can really know how it feels to be Jay Dobyns. But it is not for a lack of Jay trying to tell us.
Dobyns (pictured above) was on WAMU, the National Public Radio station in Washington, D.C. and on Sirius Satellite Radio yesterday, talking to a 40 watt Oprah named Diane Rehm about how it feels to be, “the first federal agent to infiltrate the Hells Angels…(his) life inside the gang and what he learned about himself during the process.”
For all of those of you who have just returned from a long bit in a forced labor camp in North Korea: First of all, welcome home.
No More Disco??
Second, yeah, disco really is dead.
And third, Jay Anthony “Bird” Dobyns is a former undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF.) For 21 months from 2001 into 2003 Dobyns pretended to be a lonely, unlicensed gun dealer and a patched member of the Solo Angeles CM. He was befriended by numerous members and associates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Arizona, got his picture taken with Sonny Barger, faked an affair with another ATF uncover agent named Jenna McGuire, prospected the Angels and then tried to put as many of them as he could behind bars. The whole escapade was called “Operation Black Biscuit.”
And, Dobyns has been widely accused of screwing up the case. He probably did screw it up but despite that no one should ever underestimate this guy. He is smart, likable and shameless. And since 2006 he has been publically claiming his fate is more tragic than Nick Drake’s. Simultaneously, he has been exalted and idolized by John Walsh, Anderson Cooper and several authors. He has published his own account of his life (No Angel, reviewed here in February) and for the last three years he has been shaking dollars out of the ATF.
Trouble At Work
Dobyns sued the ATF in 2006 and settled in September, 2007. But, then the ATF was late on its payments and subjected Dobyns to “internal affairs investigations … on over eleven different occasions.” So three months ago Dobyns sued the ATF again.
There was also a fire on Dobyns’ back porch last year that caused either $30,000 or $300,000 in damage to his home. Dobyns blames the fire on a Hells Angels assassin. Some law enforcement officials have accused Dobyns of setting the fire himself.
Dobyns, in turn, has countered by accusing the ATF of trying to kill him, by willfully and intentionally failing “to assess, react to, investigate and/or protect Dobyns and (his) family from credible threats of death and violence.” For example, the ATF did not protect Dobyns or his family from last year’s fire. And, Dobyns also claims that the ATF knows that members of the Hells Angels have threatened to kill him and that the Angels have also paid the Aryan Brotherhood and Mara Salvatrucha to kill him.
Do Not Call Jay Crazy
Dobyns’ current suit is 51 pages long and it is a wonderfully entertaining document. His “synopsis of claim” includes 87 separate assertions and his respondents embrace the famous and anonymous from former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to “Daniel Blumberg, ATF retained psychiatrist.”
That last one is kind of interesting isn’t it? Kind of stands out? When you see that you can’t help wondering, does Jay Dobyns really want to go into that dark forest? Really?
Self-evidently. It appears Dobyns has absolutely no fears at all about having his lawyer cross examine a psychiatrist who thinks Dobyns is crazy. But then, aren’t the really crazy people always the last to know?
In perhaps the most magical and enchanting passages of this delightful lawsuit, Dobyns even manages to link the pipe bombing of a Mongols Motorcycle Club officer’s driveway last fall to the arson on Dobyns’ porch. The driveway bombing, which did minimal damage, followed the murder of Mark “Papa” Guardado, the San Francisco charter President of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. So, it must have been the Angels who did it. And, that pipe bombing was only a month before the fire on Dobyns’ porch! And, the Angels are out to get him!
“Don’t you see,” one can almost hear Dobyns ranting like Captain Queeg. “Don’t you see?! It all fits together! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!”
“An ATF Internal Affairs Investigator,” Dobyns suit actually goes on to state, “classified Dobyns as ‘certifiable’ (psychologically unhealthy).” So, Dobyns is suing the ATF for that, too, under section three of the complaint titled “Defamation.”
ATF Agents Make How Much
Dobyns promises to go away and be quiet and content when the ATF gives him slightly more than $4 million. Of that amount $1.6 million is to compensate him for his “suffering;” $600 thousand is to compensate his wife and children for their “suffering;” 200 grand goes to his lawyer; and he also wants ten years pay at the rate of $185,000 per year.
Did you know that ATF agents make $185,000 a year? Do you make $185,000 a year? Apparently, ATF agents make $185,000 a year and Dobyns is demanding a ten year paid vacation.
So, yesterday Jay Bird was singing his sad song in a radio booth in our nation’s capitol. “It is very disheartening,” he told the radio host. “Somebody has to stand up to the fact that federal agents, ATF agents…when trouble comes their way…are being abandoned and left on their own.”
The host, Diane Rehm, was compassionate and polite. Obviously, she had never heard of Dobyns before so she neglected to ask the most obvious question: “Tell us, Jay. When will you have enough?”
How Much Is Enough
Now that he has settled his first suit, now that he has become a true-crime celebrity, now that his book has been published and the movie rights optioned, when will Jay Dobyns finally have enough? When he settles his second suit? When the movie is produced? When it wins an academy award? When his face appears on a postage stamp? When the US Mint issues the Jay Dobyns Quarter? When the Hells Angels finally give in and patch him? When?
And, then the other question Diane Rehm forgot to ask was: Why is Jay Dobyns so obviously unhappy when he already has so much more than most of the rest of us?