Tampa’s Slow News Month

January 10, 2019

All Posts, News

Tampa's Slow News Month

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that “While motorcycle clubs are far from their heyday, they’re still around in the Tampa Bay area. Many may not realize it, but motorcycle gangs actually have a long and dark history in Tampa Bay that includes everything from from prostitution and murders to a shootout with deputies at their old Tampa clubhouse near Busch Gardens.”

Want to read more?

The Times editors are pretty sure you do. The Florida newspaper has published two major features about motorcycle outlaws in the last two weeks. The first was a 1,300 word story published on New Year’s Eve and titled “Violent feud led up to slaying of Pasco Outlaws leader. It started with stolen biker vests.” It rehashed the 2017 murder of Paul Anderson by members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club. At the time, Anderson was president of the Cross Bayou chapter of the American Outlaws Association.

The feature did not report any developments in the case because there haven’t been any. You can read it here.

Remember Jarrod

The piece was reminiscent of the sort of television features “I-Team investigator” Jarrod Holbrook broadcast on Tampa television station WFTS in 2016 and 2017. Those stories were obviously inspired by quotable and informed biker cops. ““The I-Team found there’s been a recent string of violence among local motorcycle clubs,” Holbrook panted at his television audience in 2017. “Law enforcement classifies some of those clubs as criminal gangs and criminal enterprises. Florida law enforcement agencies including right here in Tampa Bay are on high alert.” Not aware. Not watchful. Not even on alert. “On high alert.”

Holbrook is out of television at the moment. Sort of. He is working in politics. He is now Communications Director for Tampa mayoral hopeful David A. Straz Jr. But his reeking stench continues to haunt Tampa journalism.

More! Thrilling! Words!

Today the Times, for no discernable reason other than that it needed a sexy feature, ran a 2,300 word feature titled “An Outlaws motorcycle club leader’s assassination adds to Tampa Bay’s bloody biker gang history.” You can read it here.

And if you do, you will learn:

“The Outlaws, or American Outlaw Association, are the dominant outlaw motorcycle club in Florida, and one of the “Big Four” biker clubs in the United States (the others are Hells Angels, the Pagans and the Bandidos). They are classified as a violent gang by the U.S. Department of Justice.”

“Club membership is limited to men who ride cruiser-stye motorcycles with engines of 1,000 ccs or more, such as Harley Davidsons. Women are seen as property. Outlaws have been known to trade female supporters for items like drugs and force them into prostitution or topless dancing.”

“In 1996, authorities carried out Operation Silverspoke and Shovelhead and arrested seven Outlaws on accusations that they were running a 16-year crime scheme.”

You will learn that Taco Bowman is in prison. Who knew?

And,in this investigative journalism feature you will learn  that “In 2015, a violent shootout between at least six gangs in Waco, Texas, left nine bikers dead in a strip mall parking lot and resulted in the arrest of 177 members. The slayings prompted Tampa Bay Times criminal justice reporter Dan Sullivan to investigate motorcycle gang culture in Tampa Bay. He found that biker gangs are still dangerous and widespread in Florida, though the gangs became more secretive after all of the public attention they received in previous decades. An expert on biker gangs estimated that Florida had probably 800-1,000 members. Many have day jobs, from operating strip clubs to practicing medicine or law.”

Go ahead. Click the link. You know you want to. At least to see if your name is in there.

You might also take a couple of minutes to consider what the feds might be up to now.


6 Responses to “Tampa’s Slow News Month”

  1. Phuquehed Says:


  2. Curbside Says:

    @FF, Florida is indeed a strange place. Not sure if you’re on Twitter, but there’s a feed with the username “Florida Man”, and all it does is repost links of news articles with the key words “Florida Man” in the headline. It’s pretty good stuff.


  3. BigV Says:

    They cannot even get their facts correct in the bullshit they
    That shootout at the Tampa clubhouse was on October 15 1976- 42 years ago and roughly 3 months.

    It wasn’t a shootout either- it was an ambush. It was men under color of authority spraying down a building with their new smg’s and SP1’s.

    Harpo 1%er GBNF woke up to Tampa’s deputies and some of Hillsborough County’s narcotics squad shooting into the building. Only thing was the narco squad, as was their fashion weren’t dressed in uniform, they were dressed in leathers, had long beards, and more than one was on a stripped jap cruiser.

    Harpo saw guys dressed like bikers shooting at the clubhouse, lighting the place up and Harpo shot back attempting to end the siege by driving away the enemy the only way he could- he shot back with a legal revolver and even neighbors were clear- police fired first.

    They concentrated on Harpo’s position and shot him in the head. He should not have survived. He did, though. The state would try to put him on trial for attempted murder, he was unable to assist his attorney and never really was able to properly communicate again. LE likes getting their shekels, and they tried a civil suit- again- dismissed.

    For 6 years the matter was closed until Harpo was indicted with other club memebers as part of a RICO persecution. From his indictment until 1982 conviction he was denied bail, from 1982 at his conviction until his death in the early 2000’s he was imprisoned and never knew freedom again. The government conveniently declared him competent for the ’82 RICO conviction despite twice the state of Florida determining he was unable

    There was a shootout at Tombstone AZ
    There was a shootout in North Hollywood.

    There was no shootout involving the CLUB mentioned in Tampa FL.

    A moldy part of a cannabis plant was planted by Tampa police who handled the scene of the crime. Even forensics experts recognized its likely planted nature as the material was so old and degraded that it was unable to withstand mass spectrometry to ascertain whether it was cannabis sativa or merely hemp. The object found was under the crawlspace of the building, and the sheer amount of mold indicated it was either a moldy piece of plant matter in a police storage locker or had been under the building back to a time in which the CLUB mentioned had not even had a Tampa chapter.



  4. FF Says:

    Florida is a disturbingly strange place. If you’re ever in the Pinellas or Pasco county area be sure and visit a public library. Peruse the newspapers, read the police blotter. It’s an experience.

  5. jrino Says:

    These stories are like the shit they put on tv you gotta have a Michael Meyers legend, otherwise the cops wouldn’t look like they “wanna be” hero’s!

  6. freebird Says:

    You might also take a couple of minutes to consider what the feds might be up to now.

    They don’t take a shit without farting all the way down the hall letting everyone know it #2 time……

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