Guerilla Street Theater In Vegas

July 15, 2013

All Posts, News

This story was published July 15, 2013 and was modified on July 16 to clarify the identity of ATF agent John Carr.

The federal portion of the cases contrived during Operation Pure Luck is still stuck in low.

Pure Luck was the ATF investigation that began in 2009 and was intended to infiltrate the Vagos, Bandidos and Chosen Few Motorcycle Clubs. The investigation also led to the arrests of men associated with the Wicked Riderz and Green Machine Motorcycle Clubs. Most of the defendants were charged with state offenses in Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, Texas, New York and Hawaii.

Eight men have been charged with federal crimes. Those men are Robert “BK” Kane, William “East Coast Billy” Congero, Steven “Big Steve” Carr, Robert “Mayhem” Coleman, Eric Panter, Thomas “Tommy Mac” McNamara, Michael Hughes and Todd Wigner. There hasn’t been a filing in the federal case since June 28th.

Let’s Meet Tino

The federal inditees all seem to have been victimized by the sort of stings and entrapments Los Angeles Federal Prosecutor Reema M. El-Amamy called “guerilla street theater” after Operation Black Rain five years ago. And there are other similarities between Pure Luck and Black Rain besides the made for television operation names. The most obvious is Tino Brancato.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Augostino Brancato was a Task Force Officer during Operation Black Rain. In one memorable performance Brancato pretended to be a drug dealer during a multi-kilo cocaine “sting” in a Vegas hotel room. The incident was described in Out Bad, a book about the Mongols case, in part as follows. “Carr” in this scene, was ATF agent John “Hollywood” Carr. The conversation went, in part, like this:

Sheriff Brancato knocked on the door eleven minutes later. He and Carr jawed at each other like a campy, community theater remake of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. “Are we gonna do this thing,” Carr asks as he poses for the hidden camera.

“We gonna do this thing,” Brancato improvises.

“I mean we’re gonna do business right,” Carr asks. “I mean business is business.”

“I’m gonna walk out of here with 528,” Brancato glowers, “and then everybody’s happy. Okay?”

Obviously, such talent had to be rewarded so since that night in Vegas Brancato has stepped up to the big club – the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Brancato was an undercover in Operation Pure Luck. He patched into the Vagos in 2012 and went undetected for at least a year.

Diablo And Others

Angel “Diablo” Ramirez helped Brancato patch in. Ramirez was a widely respected member of the Vagos, a regional leader of his club and a member of the board of the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs.

Multiple sources have identified Ramirez as an ATF Confidential Informant. One source said, “He instigated almost all of the alleged illegal activity” in the case. Both Ramirez and Brancato seem to have spent much of their time spreading disinformation from June 2012 onward, as if the biker world was not already paranoid enough.

The investigation began sometime before June 7, 2009 which was the date of a brawl involving members of the Bandidos, Down and Dirty and Flaming Knights Motorcycle Clubs. The Flaming Knights and the Chosen Few Motorcycle Clubs are both predominantly black clubs. The brawl allegedly involved the shouting of racial epithets which is another dramatic technique borrowed from the Mongols case.

There was a least one and possibly as many as three additional Under Covers or Confidential Informants in the Pure Luck investigation. One of them may have been, but was not necessarily, black. And, there is conflicting information that indicates there may have also been CIs in both the Bandidos and Peckerwoods Motorcycle Clubs during the four years of the investigation – one of whom may have been involved in additional examples of guerilla street theater. This was a weird investigation – cobbled together out of numerous dramatic scenes and sprawling off in many directions at once like kudzu.



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39 Responses to “Guerilla Street Theater In Vegas”

  1. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    OG B, Budweiser, Samurai:

    IIRC in Mexico the Solo Angeles CM is a real three-patch club. Bird and his coop flew fake colors, but the colors are of a real club. I may be incorrect–somebody from Dago can set me straight.

    YYZ Skinhead

  2. Samurai Says:

    @OG B and Budweiser
    Isn’t the club you’re talking about the Solo Angels, the “club” that dickhead Dobyns was in to infiltrate the HA in Operation Black Biscuit, or was there another one you were aware of

  3. Budweiser Says:

    OG B- What was the name of the fake club and who were they trying to get close to? Steve Cook tried the same thing in Kansas City, I believe. Called his club “The Outsiders” and went by “Spike” if my memory serves me correctly.

  4. ghost Says:


    yeah they get one guy every thirty years close to being made in the mafia, versus multiple agents infiltrating one club then same said agents infiltrating other clubs, kozlowski comes to mind how many patches did he get? several at least… when you got whole chapters that are atf, that just sucks, and the really sad thing is in most of these cases at least one or more brothers knew that said agents were cops, and either did nothing or weren’t listened to when they brought it to their brothers attention!!!

  5. OG B Says:

    in Arizona the DEA actually started A club 4 agents and 1 ci It was a three piece patch. where does the line get drawn. when officers of the law live like outlaws. when people who are sworn to uphold the law and the whole time they live to deceive to manipulate them who are around them. how can there be any credibility with these people the whole thing is bullshit mann

  6. mad matt Says:


    Can I get some verification as to these names? I.e. Vago Diablo out of LI? And “Bobby” out of the same ao? This could be so big I’m shitting myself. Locked and loaded in case I’m right. NOBODY gets out alive!

    Mad Matt
    Shoot Informants, Not Drugs
    Stop talking and make a move.

  7. Budweiser Says:

    Very good post, ‘ghost’. Do we know of any “high profile” street gang infiltrations? Joe Pistone(Donnie Brasco) and Joaquin Garcia(Jack Falcone) both nearly became made men in the Italian Mafia.

  8. Rebel Says:

    Dear Tricky Tramp,

    I’ve been working on the Burgess book all day, Tramp. How’re you? How’s the weather?


  9. Tricky Tramp Says:

    Yo Rebel.
    How you doing?

  10. Freeman Says:

    @ BigV

    I really hate internet phrasing and expressions but LMFAO!!!!

  11. Samurai Says:

    Ghost is very much right, alot of those criminals are brought in at a very young age or lived in a certain area. It can only really work is if you get someone to flip and that is definetly not an easy concept to even consider. Bikers are easier because the look is so easy to copy and even the most inexperienced RUB can get the look and the lingo right and in this day and age it takes time to catch them at their bullshi

  12. Dave Lane Says:

    Muck, have you heard the one about the pot and the kettle ?

  13. BigV Says:

    @ FN: Go back to the field office and read some more Biker Books and try again. Tell the ASAC you need more acting training. American History X is a good start. So is the Blues Brothers- those Illinois Nazis are very convincing. Might even watch Repo Man, there are some Skinheads in it, and it is known for its tight research and historical accuracy.

  14. ghost Says:

    the reason the atf or any other leo group can’t and won’t go after real criminals is that they can’t!!!! imagine if ciccone and his crew of douche bags showed up in the hood trying to get accepted by the local street gang, or even try and go after the mafia by becoming members, bike clubs are basically the only “groups” where just about anyone, with a bike and the look, can go and eventually be accepted by other people with a bike and the look, and be duped into doing things that they might or might not be doing anyway, so that a government agency can justify their budgets, and get the general public to see them as “hero’s” triumphing over “evil” bikers make it easy for the cops to fuck with them, sad but true…..

  15. Muck 1%er Says:

    @ Fuck Niggers,

    Why don’t you go invest two bucks in a dictionary, or learn how to use spell check, before you come on here spouting your bullshit. You are an embarrassment to white people everywhere and you sound like trailer trash.
    I don’t give two shits if you are proud of your race. So am I. But, you could at least try to be so with a little class and style.

  16. FUCK NIGGERS Says:


  17. Budweiser Says:

    DocB- It has happened multiple times since that Warlock investigation. Operation Black Rain included chapters of the Mongols that were comprised totally of ATF and CIs. They then went on to patch into The Outlaws which is crazy and blows mind.

  18. DocB Says:

    Dear E

    Once upon a time in Florida it happened that every member in one chapter of a well known club was a fed

  19. E Says:

    What happens when there are more undercovers and CIs in clubs than actual members? Who will the ATF prosecute then? Can a snake eat itself?

  20. Big Steve Says:


    One last FYI, when I was being prosecuted by the state, John Carr testified at the initial Grand Jury hearing last year as a “gang expert”.

    Big Steve
    Vagos MC

  21. Big Steve Says:


    Had a few eyebrows raised. Thank you for the clarification.

    Big Steve
    Vagos MC

  22. Rebel Says:

    Dear Big Steve,

    Sure as soon as I get to my desk. The “Carr” in the excerpt is John “Hollywood” Carr, who was “George Rowe’s” handler in a later Vagos investigation.


  23. Big Steve Says:


    Will you please clarify that the excerpt from the book, referring to Brancato and Carr, is not Steve “Big Steve” Carr. Thank You.

    Big Steve
    Vagos MC

  24. Reaper Man Says:

    I think all confirmed snitches that infiltrate MC’s should be put on blast, and readily identifiable through a database with facts of confirmation so that these turds can’t get in any other clubs in any other region. For crissakes some of these guys have in fact infiltrated several big clubs and none were detected or knew they were rats, this shouldn’t happen anymore. I would think the big clubs are tightening their ranks and pulling it together, paranoia can destroy morale. And in some cases tear down charters and even clubs.

  25. OC VAGO Says:

    Oh by the way. FUCK YOU ERIC HOLDER.

  26. 10Gauge Says:

    The pendulum will swing back the other way….Not even the sheeple want this bullshit double crossing set up guerilla theatre… thing is for certain ol Jay Bird must have been way the fuck outta control on the black biscuit deal…with all of the bull shit shananagins going on in these subsequent investigations the fact they wouldn’t take that one all the way is saying something.

    Then it comes to be the soothing light at the end of the tunnel is just a freight train coming your way

  27. Reaper Man Says:

    In 2012 The Peckerwoods MC attempted to generate membership in Las Vegas and to their own detriment let in a known snitch throughout the MC community abroad, ignoring information that it was confirmed and without waiting for the background check. The now deceased president of the now defunct charter proceeded in accepting this individuals membership, only to get confirmation from his mother charter that indeed he was a rat with paperwork, who in all actuality had previously in years past been ran off by The Vagos, Bandidos and the Outlaws, and once attempted to join The Mongols and was shutdown immediately.

  28. Stephen "Bowtie" Stubbs Says:

    Reaper Man:

    When was the New Las Vegas charter of the Peckerwoods MC infiltrated?


  29. Tetelestai Says:

    Bowtie….ATF agents know quite well what would happen if they tried to infitrate a “Street Gang”, those gangs will actually kill people. Bikers are just tryin to have fun.

  30. Reaper man Says:

    Very interesting Story sounds like made for t.v. B.s., wish we could all know what it was that Ramirez did to actually to sell his soul and turn snitch, Augustino Brancato was an ATF agent let by Diablo Ramirez when he was president to help set up his own brothers? haven’t seen the likes of this since Robert “Bobby” Gonzalez turned snitch on the Vagos was ran off, only to return 10yrs. Later after being identified as a ci in the Outlaws MC in Indiana and actually infiltrate the New Las Vegas charter of the Peckerwoods MC, fortunately for the Peckerwoods they found him out early on and kicked him out before he had a chance to do any real damage or set anybody up.

  31. OC VAGO Says:


  32. jdawg Says:

    As a Marine I’m embarrassed that one of these rats wore USMC on his cut.

  33. Pig Says:

    Or, and I’m just spit balling here, how about stop wasting our tax dollars trying to infiltrate and entrap ANYONE. How about if they spend more time reading and learning what the Constitution actually means and less time trying to figure out how to get around it.

  34. Budweiser Says:

    Bowtie- Amen to that. I thought about it during the Zimmerman trial when they were discussing daily murder statistics in areas like Chicago. No reason the ATF or DEA couldn’t put cops on in those areas to infiltrate actual gangs and drug dealers. Instead they orchestrate fake deals to entrap and setup men they pretend to love and call brothers.

  35. Budweiser Says:

    Bowie- Amen to that. I thought about that during the Zimmerman trial when they were discussing daily murder statistics in h

  36. Stephen "Bowtie" Stubbs Says:

    Something is wrong with a system where law enforcement spends 4 years and tens of millions of dollars to catch a handful of guys. It is even more wrong when the law enforcement has to coax the people to commit the alleged crimes with elaborate setups.

    Wouldnt it be more effective to put undercovers in high murder rate areas. I’d be interested to see the result if law enforcement but 3 undercover teams in a trailer park, a bairro, and a ghetto. Especially in areas like Chicago, DC, and New Orleans (cities with the highest murder rates in the country). Why target a handful of free spirited bikers?

  37. Jojo22 Says:

    It seems to me that in the last Ten years bike clubs are being infiltrated by cops or there own members and being prosecuted with trumped up charges. Was it always this way? Can’t trust your own members.

  38. Budweiser Says:

    Can’t wait for Brancato’s book……Rebel, I ‘d love to pick your brain on what makes Brancato, Kozlowski, Dobyns, etc. tick.

  39. BMW Says:

    WTF? I can barely believe this! “Guerrila Street Theater”? Who’s kidding whom? This is an example of federal prosecution for made-up federal crimes. There was no dope deal, or else it was between two law enforcement agents, so there was no real conspiracy to commit a crime.

    WTF? Doesn’t the ATF have REAL crimes to investigate? If not, maybe they should turn over their budget to the Border Patrol, which seems to be doing something about REAL CRIME!!!

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