RSS

Operation Quiet Riot

Tue, Dec 8, 2009

All Posts, News

Operation Quiet Riot

Last week the Arizona Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (G.II.T.E.M. – pronounced Git-em) finally announced why it had been harassing bikers in Kingman, Arizona for the last six months. And, the Kingman Police Chief suggested there may be more harassment to come.

The Gang Task Force claims it was only trying squash a ongoing “power struggle” between the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the Vagos Motorcycle Club. Last August a Kingman police spokesman named Bob Fisk told the Kingman Daily Miner “that bikers aren’t particularly a problem in Kingman, but he’s worried that if police aren’t on top of the situation, the problems with riders in Bullhead City could spread to Kingman.”

The “problems with riders in Bullhead City” was a fight June 11 at Lazy Harry’s Sunshine Saloon in Bullhead City. According to police, five Hells Angels and two Desert Road Riders attacked two Vagos. Last week a Gang Task Force spokesman named Ernie Severson explained that the fight put about a hundred other customers in the bar “at risk.”

“Two females climbed over a railing and contemplated jumping down 20 to 30 feet to get away, if that tells you what it was like,” Severson said.

Sparing No Expense

After a six-month-long investigation by the Gang Task Force, Coconino, Yavapai and Mohave County Sheriffs and Kingman, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu and Bullhead City Police the fight at Lazy Harry’s was legally redefined and seven men were arrested last Wednesday for felony riot. Search warrants executed at the time of the arrests indicate the seven men may also be charged with “participation in a criminal street gang.” Police called the raids “Operation Quiet Riot.”

The men arrested last week were: George Edward “Joby” Walters of Douglas, Arizona; Rudolfo John “Rudy” Martinez and Gerald Roy Smith of Rimrock, Arizona; Dale Leroy Hormuth and James “Stoney” Snider of Kingman; Stephen Michael Helland of Golden Valley, Arizona; and Clifford Daniel “Dan Da Man” Balentine of Bullhead City. Balentine is alleged to be a member of the Devils Disciples. Snider has been identified as a member of the Desert Road Riders. According to police, the other men are Hells Angels.

An eighth man, John Ross Pemberton of Prescott Valley, was arrested and released for possession of prescription drugs without a valid prescription. Pemberton’s home was also searched for evidence of “criminal street gang activity.” Pemberton is reportedly a member of the Arizona Nomads of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Moral Equivalent Of War

All eight “raids” were effected in the blackest hour before dawn by police dressed like soldiers. Video released by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows the cops arriving in multiple armored vehicles. All of the arresting officers wore body armor, Fritz helmets, fanny packs, canteens, and appeared to carry a basic load of approximately 900 rounds each.

After the raids, Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries warned that Operation Quiet Riot did not necessarily mark the end of harassment of bikers by police. DeVries said the police harassment was justified because “members of the public” were being harassed and intimidated by bikers.

Last week, Bullhead City Police Chief Rodney Head said his intelligence indicates that there are about 20 Vagos and about six Hells Angels in Mohave County, Arizona.

Share
, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

49 Comments For This Post

  1. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    OK, I again feel the need to give my unsolicited opinion. First of all, there is also a statute in my state that allows a fight to be classified as a riot, as long as 5 or more people participate in it. I believe our law was written in the ’60′s to stop hippies from gathering…I’m not aware of mass riots breaking out in Arizona, so I can’t claim to know why theirs was written.

    So the legislators in Arizona must believe that 9 people fighting in a bar constitutes a riot. Well, I guess if the people don’t want it to be so they should elect different legislators. Personally, I think that using a riot statute six months after the fact is similar to using the RICO statutes… I believe that the prosecutor’s attitude is “when you can’t win by the rules, you change the rules.”

    As far as members of the LE community playing soldier, that really started in the ’70′s, although it did not take a solid hold on law enforcement until the early ’90′s. At that time officers were just beginning to run into fortified Crack Houses, and the funds to buy new toys to face these new threats was being given by Uncle Sam. Now, officers often wear BDU’s and are taught from Day One to think of normal neighborhoods as “War Zones.”

    For example, if a warrant is being served on a fortified crack house, then I can see using ballistic shields and entry tactics. I can find little justification for it if the enforcement officers are entering a private home, particularly when the offense they are arresting them for was a misdemeanor that occurred six months ago. Even if it was upgraded to a felony riot charge, where is the urgency that would require a pre-dawn military style raid that could endanger a citizen’s family? Are the Arizona officers so afraid of them, or is this just an intimidation or propaganda tactic, or is it just an excuse to rummage through their homes?

    This is probably the judge’s fault, for allowing this nonsense. In my state at least you cannot get a nighttime or no-knock warrant without a judge’s signature. I would be curious to find out what the justification was. Again, it is just my humble opinion, but why couldn’t the officers just walk up to them in the morning and say, “Hi Billy Bob. You are under arrest – go ahead and put your hands behind your back.”

    (Heavy sigh…)

  2. Reality King Says:

    Jesus it is a a fucking bar fight..let it go. Men will be men.

  3. fayettenam hoe Says:

    the pigs are bored, they wish they could find a life, my stupid little town of fayettenam gets away with murder, like duh, get use to it, little they know, the hypocracy they breed, and the old lady on her cell phone killed that little girl on her bycycle

  4. fayettenam hoe Says:

    why? just let us animals self destruct,no public involed

  5. Bob Says:

    More lies from law enforcment. These pigs started fucking with bikers in kingman a year and a half ago long before the alleged incedent occurred. This lie is just a way to try and justify to the public allthe money they waste chasing their tails instead of chasing criminals.

  6. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    “For example, if a warrant is being served on a fortified crack house, then I can see using ballistic shields and entry tactics. I can find little justification for it if the enforcement officers are entering a private home, particularly when the offense they are arresting them for was a misdemeanor that occurred six months ago.”

    Ok, but you have to give them a mulligan on the canteens. It’s Arizona. They could get dehydrated!

  7. sled tramp Says:

    Square Verbose Doc:
    Don’t know what a mulligan is unless it’s a stew…
    Appreciate your attempt but…
    When they come through the door,your wife is screaming, the kids are crying, your dog just got shot because it posed an “Officer endangerment”,your neighbors are standing in their robes illuminated by flashing lights while your family is laying face down on a wet lawn and what looks like a Terminator has an M-16 to your head…
    Well….

  8. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Sled Tramp:

    Sorry. I was a little unfiltered and out of turn, but I get it and don’t really mean to make light of an experience like that. I sometimes tend to joke about that which I really find disturbing. Sometimes it flies, sometimes it doesn’t.

  9. Rebel Says:

    Dear Sled Tramp,

    A Mulligan is a do over.

    Dear Square Verbose Doc,

    “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, open the door, ATF
    To late to send my girl downstairs to say he left”

    DMX

  10. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Dear Rebel and Sled Tramp:

    So in my enthusiasm over the absurdity of canteens (which I still think is an absurdity) I was unfunny, insensitive, and also massacred the use of the word “mulligan”.

    Could I get a mulligan on that post?

    Square Verbose Doc

  11. sled tramp Says:

    Square Verbose Doc,
    No sweat.
    sled tramp

  12. Rebel Says:

    Dear Square Verbose Doc,

    I also thought the canteens, in the dark, in the winter, were kind of droll.

    your pal,
    Rebel

  13. sled tramp Says:

    Square Verbose Doc,
    I’ve been thinking about your potential adventures in biker land…

    It’s not often,if ever, that we have 9 degree weather without ice or snow.Clear,brilliant sunshine and absolutely dry conditions.SO, being an enthusiatic donorcyclist, I set forth to secure bragging rights. It occurred to me roughly 10 miles out that I should assume whatever facial expression I wanted to be seen with for the remainder of the day since that my face was freezing in place.Something along the lines of a full blown botox explosion.With frozen meat clumps as hands,I hammered at my controls to no avail…
    Oh goody….
    (Well, you have a stoopids thought, ya gets what ya gets).
    I did manage to get a number of crazy looks.And I think it’s safe to assume I was the ONLY biker out on the highway.
    A long time ago, a member from an Alaskan chapter told me that the dealer in Anchorage sold more bikes than anywhere else in the world for Harley.I figure there’s probably a reason I don’t get for this statistic.
    There’s really no point or place I’m going with this, just wanted to let you know that if something out of the blue presents itself and you can do something you’ve never done,however crazy or dangerous, go for it.I would have regretted not trying this.It was kinda painful, a little nuts, but a hellava lotta fun.It’s kinda like volunteering for jump school,it might be interesting and if it DOES go bad, it’ll probably only go bad once.
    sled tramp

  14. Damon Says:

    Like the man says, the one with the most stories wins…I’m a wanderer first and a biker second…but in my experience there’s few pursuits more likely than motorcycling to lead to the unexpected or the memorable…just wish they’d had compact digital cameras back in the 70s…but, then again…

    Damon

  15. Not Surprised Says:

    With the recent legal redefinition of the Hells Angels as ” a criminal street gang” in Arizona, this throws open the door for Arizona’s miniature version of “Rico”. It also allows or justifies the excessive use of “force” when any warrant is to be served. But these storm trooper tactics are nothing new when dealing with a 1% club.

    My guess is that the two alleged Vagos will not be charged, and I’m fairly certain that club has not been legally redefined as a criminal street gang. Which brings its own absurdity.

    By definition if Square Verbose Doc and myself got into an altercation in a bar, if no weapons were involved, like as not we would both be charged with some misdemeanor, maybe even booked overnight, and released under our own recognizance.

    Secondly, 6 months is an inordinately long time to investigate something that apparently over 100 patrons (whose lives were endangered, according to the spokesman), witnessed.

    We all know that arrests could have been made in a matter of hours. But we also know that LEO sits on this cases (like the wedding chapel case) because they wait for more ammo in hopes of literally making a Federal Case out of it.

    So because these men wear a patch on their backs, instead of looking at a maximum of a few weeks in county, each faces up to 7 years.

    LEO has the persistent belief that

    1. If they can intervene during the formative stages of a club being set up in town, they stand a chance of shutting it down. (I’ve never seen a case where this worked)

    2. Once established, they know there is little they can do. Some municipalities attempt a “dialogue” approach while others will “Police them to death”; the proverbial “harassment type” tactics seen recenlty in Kingman. That doesn’t work either.

    3. Final tactic is take relatively minor offenses (minor for the general public) and apply gang enhancements for a fist fight or selling a few joints to a “friend”.

    Then in order to boost their budgets and continue the mythology, SWAT like tactics are used to conduct highly publicized raids ensuring national headlines.

    sled tramp nailed it when he spoke about the dog being shot, the family spread eagled on the lawn. James Hicks never made it to his lawn.

    I used to work at a company that made cellulose insulation from old newspapers. From time to time, a bag or two would smoulder. The local fire department (which was about two blocks down) would always respond with about 5 trucks and 12-15 men. Mostly this was after hours and they had a key to our gate. We accomplished the same effect with a garden hose and 15 minutes.

    I cannot recall the last time there was an armed stand off between the cops and a biker club. Maybe on SOA, but I dont watch the show so I cannot say.

    What the fuck are they expecting?

  16. DocB Says:

    Dear Not Suprised

    How did it get this far with the gang laws in the fist place?
    Who gets to decide that for any given offence I am subject to a whole different set of laws? Who gets to redefine a club as a street gang?
    Am I correct in thinking that it all starts with legislation?
    Got any ideas on fighting gang legislation, or tactics to avoid prosecution under these laws?

    My state is looking at gang law legislation. The legislatures have told us that they’re not targeting bikers. Yeah, Right, we know how that always ends up.

    Thanks for your well thought out posts on this page. When you speak I listen up.

    Respectfully
    Doc

  17. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Sled Tramp:

    It’s good advice, although if something out of the blue involves nine degree weather (I’m figuring the bike takes that to about -20 windchill) or an altercation in a bar with Not Surprised, I might pass.

    Not Surprised:

    If ever we should meet in a bar, I’m buying, and if you’re not drinking, I’m buying you a bowl of soup or something.

    Square Verbose Doc

  18. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Same offer for you sled tramp, even though you did not involve me in a theoretical bar-room brawl for illustrative purposes!

  19. Not Surprised Says:

    Doc B

    Most states follow Federal guide lines that a “gang” is 3 or more; the same head count required for a successful conspiracy charge. You are correct it starts with legislation. In this case, a Judge in AZ decided that Hells Angels were a street gang predicated on the language of existing state law.

    Back in the 1970′s a very astute legal professor named Robert Blakeley drafted RICO to target traditional organized crime families in the North East. To coincide with this, The Federal Witness Protection Program was implemented.

    The conventional wisdom was that the Mafia had for years built a reputation of fear and intimidation which was deemed so impregnable as to deter witnesses from assisting prosecution.

    RICO works only in theory and has an abyssmal track record in an actual trial. The severity of RICO penalties and the threat thereof are generally enough for one or more indicted parties to “roll”; thus with only one person signing an affidavit that he committed acts on behalf of and at the request of a criminal organization, the structure collapses from within.

    In the case of the Hells Angels, it was issued from the bench and thus subject to appeal.

    Sonny Barger was the first person to beat a RICO trial and his argument, both then and now, is that perhaps various members have committed crimes, but they were for personal benefit. He states this in his autobiography.

    The Gang Laws of most states (as well as RICO) could have been employed against the Catholic Church in the US during the revelations of child sexual abuse that started an avalanche. The structure was there, the actors answered to higher ups, often when an allegation was investigated, the priest was simply transferred.

    Just as it is unfair to call the Church a criminal organization, it is equally ludicrous to attempt to hang that rap on a club. To my knowledge each charter of Hells Angels files within its respective state’s articles of incorporation and is registered same as the Boy Scouts of America. To my knowledge, a “street gang” would not or could not transact thousands of legal transactions for merchandise sales through credit cards and not have a single charge of credit card fraud levied. As an example E Bay lists between 2500-4000 items a day and has “Hells Angels” as its own category. How legitimate can you get?

    To my knowledge, street gangs do not have legally trademarked logos or brands. It is far too late to eradicate RICO. In fact National gang legislation is on the horizon. The USDOJ already lists major 1% clubs as “gangs”.

    The best way to counter these efforts is to know and understand the laws. There are specifics about recruiting, retaliation if a member leaves the “gang,” etc. Most state gang laws are not intended to target motorcycle clubs; but then neither was RICO.

    Oddly enough, ATF has penetrated more so-called “subversive” groups than any other federal agency. The easy in is always, always “felon with a hand gun.” Know your state’s gun laws, laws on use of lethal force, the components necessary to mount a “self defense” argument, laws about open or concealed carry, laws pertaining to closed and fixed blade knives. It is for example, a felony for a convicted felon to wear or own body armor. Do not give them an “easy” in. Most if what we have read lately (Rebel is doing as much as anyone to get the word out) has been predicated on bull shit charges. An alleged illegal raffle translates into a multi faceted RICO charge originally intended to target illegal casino operations in Las Vegas. including Federal money laundering charges and carrying illegal proceeds across state lines.

    Also, the easiest charge against a convicted felon who is also a 1% is “non association”. Not also that Parole revocation unlike criminal court, takes hearsay evidence and anonymous information the same as any other form of evidence.

    RICO and state “gang laws” are straight out of Alice In Wonderland. Both remind me of legislation this country passed during WWII which allowed for the detention of Japanese Americans purely on the basis of heritage The Constitution bars “selective prosecution”, yet exceptions exist for example, in various Domestic Violence legislation which allows for an “ex parte” testimony. “Ex parte” literally means without the other party present, which violates the “right to face your accuser.”

    In Canada and Australia, both which govern under a Parliamentary system of government, there is a push to make even the wearing of colors illegal as well as associating with members of one’s own club. We may not be that far removed.

    I’m no expert Doc B, but the added factor of Homeland Security automatically extends even more authority against any club with branches, chapters or charters in another country. “Domestic terrorism” is a charge that is waiting in the wings for the next big bust. If a nexus can be provided whereby a club purchased drugs or weapons from a known terrorist organization as outlined by the US State Dept, every federal agency there is will rain down.

    As Rebel says, it is “open warfare”. Only in this war, one cannot shoot back.

  20. Not Surprised Says:

    Square Verbose Doc:

    I’m more into “Christian Crank”- black coffee with lots of sugar. It would be my pleasure.

  21. Not Surprised Says:

    Doc B:

    Pat B is know the law. Since 9/11 everything changed. A sawed off shotgun is now a “weapon of mass destruction”. So is a blasting cap. State firearms laws can vary.

    A federal law was recently passed for example (this is a good illustration) that if you pawn a legally obtained weapon, you must then pass another background check to redeem that weapon. You are not however, required to do so again if you buy a different weapon from the same pawn shop.

    Know that even a traffic stop has to be for “probable cause”. Keep tags, registrations (remember Dave Burgess) current. Don’t let your insurance lapse.

    Know that “three or more acting in concert” is conspiracy. Buy a loadable phone at Wal Mart and pay cash. Buy the minutes on a card at Wal Mart and pay cash. These phones are virtually not traceable. TCB on these phones and not your regular cell. Change out every 60 days.

    Buy an inexpensive “bug detector” and sweep your home. They work. They will not pick up recording devices that do not transmit a signal, such as a mini cassette recorder.

    If you are the “P” of a club and there is a common computer, install a key stroke logger (free) to monitor all activity. Heck if you are a PARENT, do this. There are several excellent programs you can download that will record images, passwords, website addresses.Free. Install a good anti virus and security software. If you connect through a wireless network, set your security so that no other device can access the same network.

    Trust your instinct more than anything. Assume your phone is monitored, assume your computer is monitored. Watch what you say on MySpace, Facebook and the phone.

    I cannot stress enough abut knowing the law. I cannot stress enough about phone taps, etc. John Gotti was brought down by a bug at The Ravenite Social Club. Doc Cavasoz had a bug in his home. No one thinks this will happen to them.

    Know if your state is a one party state, meaning phone calls can be recorded without the knowledge or permission of the other party. If you live in a one party state, use your instincts to record and then download the files to your computer. You would be surprised what a good sound tech can do to a recording with some creative editing. This is not just to avoid criminal liability, but good CYA in certain matters.

    Use cash, use cash, use cash. All RICO/Federal investigations seek to establish a “time line”. ATM transactions and credit/debit card transactions pin point location, time and date.

    Seek out and befriend a good bail bondsmen. Ask for a group rate, I am not kidding. You will likely get it. Invite him to a club event.

    Throw a few bucks at a good attorney to come down and give a little “field training” at the clubhouse. If you know an ACLU attorney (by that I mean not a staff attorney but one who has his own practice) he or she would be a prime candidate. Also the ACLU website has a ton of information and links.

    This may seem like droll stuff for an “outlaw”. read up on TEAC the entrance exam all federal LEO’s must pass. You can buy the study guide from Amazon or E Bay.

    Read various articles on UC work and how to cultivate CI’s. Learn how your enemy thinks. Do some research and find the names of the Task Force dudes in your area. Visit your states Gang Task Force website and it will list the names and contacts by region. They are doing the same to you right now.

    You would be surprised what is readily available on the internet. Google Maps can get you a street view of an officer’s home. As an exercise, punch in your club house address and see. ATF and FBI agents are citizens and you can learn a lot by searching property records, real estate records of a known address. Same with death and marriage records. Obituaries always list the survivors ( and their wive’s names).

    Most of these guys are involved in some sort of extra curricular stuff like coaching, etc. Dig a little. You can attend a game and do some close up surveillance. Might even pick up a personal e-mail or two, never know.

    Information is your best weapon.

  22. DOC Says:

    Not Suprised

    Thanks for the information. There is going to be a meeting between legislators and bikers in this state in January. This subject will come up. I don’t work well with suits, but I’d like to help the guys that do. I’d like to have the “guns” loaded and know what to look for
    before we start talking to anybody. These guys did a good job last time and actually added language that made it illegal for cops and prosecutors to discriminate against bikers. This coming session the legislators are proposing language changes. We need to stay on top of this. LEOs can’t enforce laws that don’t exist.

    Thanks again. You’ve given me lots to look at.

    Respectfully
    DocB

  23. sled tramp Says:

    “LEOs can’t enforce laws that don’t exist”.

    Yeah, well, we seem to get stopped and occasionally arrested for them…

  24. Reality King Says:

    LEOs are the guys who graduated bottom 5% of their High School Class. They never got laid, unless the chicks were really really fat or their Moms. Most LEO’s now are more corrupt than most of the men I call Brothers.
    Thanks to the Internet, for every Club Member who gets arrested I can show you 50 arrested LEOS for crimes that range from robbery to child molestation.
    Until we all smarten up a little and win the “hearts and minds” of the General Public, we are fucked.

  25. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Reality King:

    C’mon, fat girls need love too! They are warmth in the winter, and shade in the summer.

    You are correct though, about the number of LEO arrests that take place. In my county in the last couple of months there have been several, and at least two for exhibitions that did not involve art, if you know what I mean…

    GW

  26. Not Surprised Says:

    Doc B:

    I misunderstood your question about “avoiding prosecution” lol. I now understand you mean as a preemptive measure legislatively. 37 states have “gang laws”. Most of them are modeled after RICO. RICO as discussed, was implemented at the Federal level to target traditional organized crimes families. “Gang Laws” traditionally target ethnic based urban drug cartels. We all know what a “street gang” is.

    There just isn’t a category for motorcycle clubs no matter how hard State and Federal authorities try to make on. In fact, in Australia at this moment, specific legislation aimed only at 1% clubs is being tested in High Court.

    Our constitution is the “supreme law of the land” and no legislation that impedes it should prevail. We saw this in Judge Copper’s ruling concerning the Mongols patch.

    “Liberty Interests” are legal issues which conflict with civil liberties. Freedom of Association being fundamental, “gang laws” clearly and often come into conflict with civil liberties; especially where MC’s are concerned.

    The model for most state “street gang” laws contains three key elements:

    1. It is illegal to recruit.

    2. It is illegal to retaliate against a member who chooses to resign.

    3. At least “two or more” who have a common rivalry,(Another street gang) and are engaged in an ongoing criminal enterprise (primarily the sale of drugs).

    As one Judge recently said “We cannot go around charging everyone who wears a yellow shirt with gang violence.”

    There is a huge burden of proof when it comes to RICO or “gang laws”, and very often prosecutors are forced to drop or modify original charges to avoid trial.

    As an example of liberty interest vs. “gang laws”, The Federal Bureau of Prisons has adopted a written policy that neither the colors Red or Blue can be worn by inmates. This will stand unless and until challenged in a Federal court. In order to avoid charges of “selectivity”, the FBOP would have to ban all known colors associated with other gangs instead of just the Bloods and Crips.

    Recently in Kentucky the ACLU took on a school district who suspended a student for wearing a t shirt with a replica of the Rebel flag. The student won on the basis of civil liberties against charges of racism.

    In Australia right now, certain areas of the country have banned certain 1% clubs and made membership, association and display of colors illegal. At present, this is being argued in the High Court of New South Wales. (I’m sure Damon knows much more about this than do I)

    I don’t see such legislation passing in this country on a Federal level. The vast majority of federal legislation that can be called “anti gang” is extra funding for states, modification of Federal sentencing guidelines. Numerous bills have failed since at least 2005 to adopt a “uniform’ Federal gang law separate from existing RICO statues.

    Take for example “Operation Quiet Riot”. Until it is overturned on appeal, AZ has ruled that Hells Angels is a “street gang”, thus opening the door for every offense to be “gang enhanced”. The charge of “riot” was substituted because assault is a “crime against persons” and requires either an eye witness account from a sworn law enforcement officer or testimony from the alleged victim, or video evidence.

    In other words, if a rape victim declines to “press charges”, even if the rape was witnessed by others, the burden of proof demands the victim testify. It is well known that the culture of 1% clubs pretty much means no victim testimony (in most cases) so AZ opted for the ridiculous charge of “riot”. “Riot” is non victim specific. It is like “disorderly conduct” or “crimes against the public good.” It is will be interesting to see how the state of AZ attempts to parlay this into an action taken “on behalf of an ongoing criminal enterprise”.

    If you have a coalition who has the ear of legislators, pay particularly close attention to the wording about “recruiting”, “retaliation” and amend your by-laws and articles of incorporation to reflect a prohibition of such actions.

    In addition, if certain language is proposed that is prejudicial to MC,s remind these august gentlemen and women who make the laws that Cop clubs and fire fighter clubs who ape the 1% clubs could open themselves up to “gang enhancements” if ever an off duty Officer gets in a fist fight at a bar while wearing his cut…..there is no difference (just because they are Cops). After all it is a well publiczied slogan of LEO everywhere that they “are the largest street gang in America”.

  27. DirtyBruin Says:

    Not Surprised: Actually, I think it IS fair to call the Catholic Church a criminal organization. The entire heirarchy knew about the child molestation problems and actively relocated “problem” priests to avoid the problem coming to light and to keep the priests from being prosecuted. That active involvement implicates the entire organization, as far as I’m concerned.

    Compare that to a motorcycle club where the officers don’t know how each member makes his money. Some members might have illegal income – but as the officers don’t know one way or the other, it remains a private matter. (Granted, LEOs might try to claim that they “should have known” or some such, but that’s another issue.)

  28. Not Surprised Says:

    Dirty Bruin:

    Exactly. There is little question that the Catholic Church qualified for a RICO. “Racketeer Influenced” is the first two words of the acronym, and “Corrupt Organizations” is the last two words. Famous case was made under RICO against an insurance company.

    The subtleties of RICO can be widely interpreted, A Church is not a business but it is an organization. A motorcycle club is an organization as well.

    Can the Catholic Church be called a “criminal enterprise?” If and only if, with full knowledge of all participants, its structure, hierarchy, and participants engage in a “pattern and practice” of criminal acts.

    Toss in that one motive of the Church was to avoid law suits, then you have “for the furtherance of a criminal organization”.

    At the time RICO was drafted, its targets were so called “mob controlled” unions and industries (quasi legitimate) that allowed money laundering and extortion. The assets forfeiture clauses were aimed at hitting the “mob” in its pocket book. John Gotti, Jr. as well as Bill Bonnano, Jr. (both targets of RICO) were destitute by the time of sentencing.

    Every Diocese in the US that knowingly contributed to either allowing the molestation to continue or allowed a known offender to be transfered, participated in a criminal act and thus all assets would be subject to forfeiture.

    To my knowledge the only prosecutions were against the individual pedophiles and superiors were subject to civil penalties through lawsuits.

    So under RICO the Pope is culpable.

    I know the above example is extreme, but so is the attempts by the Federal Government to try to make RICO “retro fit” a motorcycle club.

    Truth is, at trial, the prosecution would have about as much chance of a conviction against either.

  29. Not Surprised Says:

    Doc B

    If you’re still out there.. Here is a reply to a query concerning classification of “gang” vs. “club’. It is from “The National Gang Center” which has one of those “.gov” e-mail addresses which means whoever runs it is subject to Obama’s “open government” policies and the FOIA.

    To my knowledge, this is the only Federal non- LEO group. Even they do not or cannot “define” what is or is not a gang. Apparently the Federal model (the one most states adhere to) is focused on youth, with a cumulative report of MC’s representing only about 2% of all groups which could be labeled a “gang”.

    Dear XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Thank you for contacting us. However, the work done by the National Gang Center is focused on street gangs, not other organizations such as outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs), hate or ideology groups, and prison gangs. As you stated in your email, states vary in their definitions of a “gang,” and they mostly attempt to define “youth” or “street” gangs. There is no one definition of a “gang.” In fact, the only things that all states seem to agree on are plurality and criminal activity.

    As for outlaw motorcycle gangs, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) states, “Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. OMGs are highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking” (http://www.justice.gov/criminal/gangunit/gangs/motorcycle.html).

    Judging from the description of outlaw motorcycle gangs in DOJ’s threat assessment, http://www.justice.gov/criminal/gangunit/gangs/2009threatassess.pdf, OMGs, while they are different from youth or street gangs, seem to share the common characteristics of plurality and criminal activity.

    However, the National Gang Center does not collect information on them to address your specific inquiry as to how various definitions of “gang” may be applied to outlaw motorcycle gangs.

    Thank you,

    Sam Brown

    Research Associate

    National Gang Center

    Institute for Intergovernmental Research, Inc.

    (850) 385-0600, ext. 320

    sbrown@iir.com

  30. sparky Says:

    sparky here my brother grew up with these people the police want something to do so they pick on us when rapist murderers and chomos are running free put some effort into them let us bikers live our lives all they want people to hear is the bad we do tell people about the good to all the charity work and the people we help to all the police out there get a fucking life SUPPORT YOUR RED AND WHITE AZ NOMADS

  31. Damon Says:

    I think you’ve pretty much covered it all, Not Surprised. I’ve been following the Australian legislation and you are correct that many of the new and proposed laws wouldn’t make it into law in the US. The general consensus among Australian criminologists and senior counsel is that they won’t be very effective in Australia, either. Unfortunately, in the meantime, a lot of people get screwed around, and they keep trying until they hit the right formula. Even if that means, eventually, we are all locked away for smoking a joint with a cut on, or harvesting guano without a permit.

    I think you make a very convincing argument for all of us, individually and collectively, to get educated about what’s happening locally and nationally and how to get our shit squared away.

    The new Australian laws do not actually mention motorcycle clubs, and carry titles like ‘Organised Crime Control Act’. They are very loosely worded, and at the least will also cover the new ‘motorcycle optional’ groups, such as Notorious. But the politicians, police and media all refer to them as the ‘anti-bikie’ laws. Draconian is an understatement.

    Implementation has been slow, since the Finks MC were declared a ‘criminal organisation’ in May, and all members served with ‘control orders’, restricting association and movement. On the application of police, the orders can criminalise the possession of ‘articles’, as specified. Like insignia. Sound familiar?

    Two Finks immediately appealed that the legislation was unconstitutional, which put the whole exercise on hold until the verdict came in. The boys won, and the South Australian Govt has now appealed to the High Court of Australia. The future of ‘anti-bikie’ legislation across Australia will depend on that decision.

    Not to be deterred, last week the SA Police got themselves a new batch of control orders which duck the ‘unreasonably restrictive’ concerns of the appellate court and have re-served the Finks. They have also formally applied to the Attorney general to have the Rebels MC declared a criminal organisation. They have six other applications slicked up and ready to go in the New Year.

    The colours issue is a national initiative spearheaded by the NSW Police Force, who also police the State liqour licensing laws, ‘actively encouraging’ the pubs and clubs to implement ‘No Inisgnia’ policies. Again, sound familiar? Don’t tell me they ain’t learning from each other.

    Ignorantia juris non excusat.

    Damon

  32. DocB Says:

    Dear Not Suprised
    I’m still out here…..I’ve been out, just got back today and am getting caught up. Thanks for the help. I’ve printed out your posts and will be taking a closer look at each of them. All of them are insightfull and relevent to what we are trying to get done. Actually I’m just trying to get up to speed and get smart enough to ask a good question.

    Thanks again and much respect

    Rebel: Thanks for giving us a place to exchange ideas. I can’t seem to find stuff like this any place else.
    This site reminds me of an old wild west bar. Law Dogs drinking at one end of the bar and outlaws at the other. All we need is a drunk dentist with a six gun and a deck of cards.

    What do ya think Sled Tramp?

    your pal
    Doc

  33. sled tramp Says:

    Doc,
    With Rebel’s famous ancestor watching the bar from above, I can envision that…At my advanced age however, should fisty cuffs ensue,I’ll let you guys do the swinging whist I guard the dancehall goils and our inflatable goat “Tumbleweed” in the back room.Should the goat be shot, we’d have to change her name to “Patches”. Can’t have that sorta non western name ya know.If I recall the last time such a thing happened,there was a article on this site.
    sled tramp

  34. Not Surprised Says:

    Damon: Thanks for your post. Knew you’d be on top of it.

    Doc B: You’ll do fine. I’d love to be there to watch.

  35. 10Guage Says:

    Fellas Ive got the horses un hitched at the ready and my trusty 10G Coach Gun trained on any motherfucker who dares follow us through the saloon doors…Lets ride.

  36. Damon Says:

    Not Surprised: Happy to help

    DocB: This is a good general summary of the reasons why ‘anti-biker’ legislation doesn’t work. Paul Wilson is probably the most acclaimed criminologist in Australia, and for the most part he really knows his shit. This was his address to the National Press Club, which is a big deal down there. I didn’t want to cut and paste the whole thing, but it does make worthwhile reading.

    http://tinyurl.com/ydhbao6

    Some highlights:

    “I cannot find one iota of evidence to suggest that the relevant Canadian laws (especially C-95 which introduced in 1997 the ‘participation in a criminal organisation’ legislation) have diminished gang activity, reduced organised crime or led to the demise of biker gangs.”

    “The veteran lawyer Ian Barker, in the same speech I quoted from earlier, recently pointed out that in his lifetime as a barrister he has seen, in various pieces of legislation, laws that might be attractive to voters, but they have severely eroded old principles such as the right to silence, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest, the right of privacy, the right to see evidence against one, the right to confront one’s accuser, the freedom of the judiciary, and detention without charge.

    “Now we add onto that list laws that stop people from associating with each other. Where does it stop? How many liberties do we have to forsake to preserve the illusion that we are safer in our homes or on the streets?”

    …and I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this is fucking funny – “if people are already killing and shooting each other then any new laws will not stop them meeting and ‘having a beer together’ ”

    sled tramp: I got dibs on the piano. Save me one of them redheads, would ya?

    Damon

  37. sled tramp Says:

    Damon,
    You may tickle the ivories all you like amigo,out here in western Amerika,they shoots piano players.As regards redheads,those are internationally appreciated.
    sled tramp

  38. Damon Says:

    Sled tramp,
    I just like having something big to stand behind, I figure between a pie-anna and a redhead I can’t go far wrong…

  39. DocB Says:

    Dear Damon

    Yeah, I get that about “meeting and ‘having a beer together’ ”
    It’s sort of like gun laws. People that break the law don’t pay any more attantion to gun laws than they do to any other kind of law.
    No Kiddin’?
    Hey, thanks for the info.

    Not Suprised: Thanks, We’ll see what happens

    Doc

  40. Damon Says:

    Doc B

    You’re welcome mate, hope it helps. Heading off legislation at the pass seems to me a good place to start.

    Damon

  41. Del-ray Says:

    The Vagos motorcycle club have been working with law enforcement for quite a while, they have been at odds with the red and white for a bit and have decided to work with the police( snitch ) to get their way, “caution” when you get involved with such people you could get snitched on to better their lot with the A.T.F or other police agencies

  42. Rebel Says:

    Dear Del-Ray,

    The Vagos Motorcycle Club is not “working with law enforcement.” I would not be shocked to learn that the ATF is trying to screw with the Vagos. But then, everyday in several ways, the ATF tries to screw with me.

    Rebel

  43. Reality King Says:

    Hey Del-Ray fuck you. We don’t work with law enforcement. Seems you had a little problem with snitches and informants in Arizona, so don’t lay that on us. And yes, I am a member of the VAGOS.

  44. ANARCHYFACTORY Says:

    Spreading rumours could damage the club. Del-Ray ever hear the term “provocateurs” well used by the feds, your coming close to a AZ leo working things up between the Ha and the Vagos

    Respect Steve

  45. BigV of Alabama Says:

    While I despise Gangland and do not support it, do not watch it and deride it as the fictitious garbage it really is, I was given a rip of an episode concerning the Vagos.

    There was a snitch on the show who was shown only wearing a blue head bandanna and a pair of cheap sunglasses as a disguise. He went by the name Lonedog or Lonewolf or Lonely or Lonesome. One of those.

    He claimed to be a Vagos associate, basically a wannabe hangaround for anyone who reads between the lines.

    One thing about the way he spoke and some of mannerisms reminded me of the infiltrator books. I found a copy of Under and Alone at my local library, borrowed it, and there is a B&W picture of Ciccone, Billy Queen, and Darrin Kozlowski posing togther.

    There is some resemblance- to me- between Lonewolf/Lonedog/Lonesome and Kozlowski.

    Was that Kozlowski pretending to be this informant “Lonewhatever” ?

    To me, that would at least also help explain why the snitch didn’t do more to guard his identity.

    I realize that “Pops” from the whole Jay Dobyns B.S. did the same thing, but hell- everyone knew who he was after the awful job Byrd did.

    Thanks for the great website Rebel.

  46. Done 4 Says:

    Gangs are done ! And Over with ! We are at War in our Country , This is whats important , Our Troops , go on You Tube & see whats going on with all these Gangs , Drugs , Murders , Its all Done 4 .

  47. Stitch Says:

    No, the snitch with the bandana and glasses is out of nor cal. He is known as Stanley smith

  48. Amazing Says:

    There’s nothing I enjoy more than coming to this blogging site each and every life right after work. Thanks for every one of the fabulous posts!!

  49. mo co ryder Says:

    Rebel, giitm- 0 bikers-1 study up bro! Love your site!

Leave a Reply