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The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) is a worldwide motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In the United States and Canada, the Hells Angels are incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Their primary motto is "When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets".

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigationmarker and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada classify the Angels as one of the "big four" motorcycle gangs, contending that members carry out widespread violence, drug dealing, trafficking in stolen goods, and extortion. Members of the organization have continuously asserted that they are only a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who have joined to ride motorcycles together, to organize social events such as group road trips, fundraisers, parties, and motorcycle rallies.

History

The history of the Hells Angels is shrouded in mystery and controversy, due in part to the fact that various individuals have been solely attributed to its founding, and also due in part to a very strict code of secrecy and what can be construed as a practice of deliberate mythologizing by some members of the club. Members don't use last names, even with one another. They just use a first name, and, more often than not, a nickname. Due to its colorful history and the confirmed links of some of its members to organized crime, speculation and rumor about both the club's history and activities are rife.

The Hells Angels were founded in the late 1940s or early 1950s in California, likely through an amalgamation of former members from different motorcycle clubs, such as the Boozefighters and The Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington. The Hells Angels were originally formed in 1948 in Fontanamarker, Californiamarker.

The name "Hells Angels" was believed to have been inspired by the common historical use, in both World War I and World War II, to name squadrons or other fighting groups by fierce, death-defying name. The Flying Tigers in China fielded three squadrons of aircraft, and one squadron was named "Hell's Angels". The 1930 Howard Hughes film Hell's Angels displayed extraordinary and dangerous feats of aviation. Several military units used the name Hells Angels prior to the founding of the motorcycle club of the same name, including the U.S. Air Force 303rd USAAF Heavy Bombardment Group (H), a military unit formed in the early years of World War II, and the 11th Airborne Division. Some Hells Angels have attempted to dispel the belief that there is any connection, other than the name, between the HAMC and the historic military Hell's Angels. The group's official website clarifies that the name was suggested to the founders of the club by a friend of theirs, Arvid "Oley" Olsen, who was a member of the Flying Tigers. No actual members of that squadron became members of the HAMC.Hells Angels Official Web Site: History, http://www.hells-angels.com/HISTORY.html

Some of the early history of the HAMC is not clear, and accounts differ. According to Ralph 'Sonny' Barger, founder of the Oaklandmarker chapter, early chapters of the club were founded in San Franciscomarker, Gardenamarker, Fontanamarker, and other places independently of one another, with the members usually being unaware that there were other Hells Angels clubs.

Other sources claim that the Hells Angels in San Francisco were originally organized in 1953 by Rocky Graves, a Hells Angel member from San Bernardinomarker ("Berdoo"). This implies that the "Frisco" Hells Angels were very much aware of their forebearers. According to another account,History Channel episode, Hell's Angels the Hells Angels club was a successor to "The Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington" Motorcycle club, which was largely responsible, along with the Boozefighters for the Hollister riot of 1947. The "Frisco" Hells Angels were reorganized in 1955 with thirteen charter members; Frank Sadliek, who designed the original death's head logo, served as President. The Oaklandmarker chapter, at that time headed by Barger, used a larger version of the patch nicknamed the "Barger Larger" which later became the club standard.

The Hells Angels are sometimes depicted in a similar mythical fashion as the James-Younger Gang, as modern day legends, or as free spirited and iconic of an era of brotherhood and loyalty. Others describe them as a violent criminal gang and a scourge on society.

Insignia

The patch worn by members of Hells Angels France
The Hells Angels official web site attributes the official "death's head" insignia design to Frank Sadilek, past president of the San Francisco Chapter. The colors and shape of the early-style jacket emblem (prior to 1953) were copied from the insignias of the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron.

The Hells Angels utilize a system of patches, similar to military medals. Although the specific meaning of each patch is not publicly known, the patches identify specific or significant actions or beliefs of each biker.Gangs; A Journey into the heart of the British Underworld, Tony Thompson (2004) ISBN 0-340-83053-0 The official colors of the Hells Angels are red lettering displayed on a white background—hence the club's nickname "The Red and White". These patches are worn on leather or denim jackets and vests.

Red and white are also used to display the number 81 on many patches, as in "Support 81, Route 81". The 8 and 1 stand for the respective positions in the alphabet of H and A. These are used by friends and supporters of the club, as only full members can wear any Hells Angels imagery.

The diamond-shaped patch is also used, displaying '1%', in red on a white background with a red merrowed border. The term one-percenter is said to be a response to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) comment on the Hollister incident, to the effect that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens and the last 1% were outlaws. The AMA has no record of such a statement to the press, and call this story apocryphal.

Most members wear a rectangular patch (again, white background with red letters and a red merrowed border) identifying their respective chapter locations. Another similarly designed patch reads "Hells Angels".

When applicable, members of the club wear a patch denoting their position or rank within the organization. The patch is rectangular, and, similarly to the patches described above, displays a white background with red letters and a red merrowed border. Some examples of the titles used are President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Sergeant at Arms. This patch is usually worn above the 'club location' patch.

Some members also wear a patch with the initials "AFFA", which stands for "Angels Forever; Forever Angels", referring to their lifelong membership in the biker club (i.e., "once a member, always a member").

The book Gangs, written by Tony Thompson (a crime correspondent for The Observer newspaper), states that Stephen Cunningham, a member of the Angels, sported a new patch after he recovered from attempting to set a bomb: two Nazi-style SS lightning bolts below the words 'Filthy Few'. Some law enforcement officials claim that the patch is only awarded to those who have committed, or are prepared to commit, murder on behalf of the club. According to a report from the R. v. Bonner and Lindsay case in 2005 (see related section below), another patch, similar to the 'Filthy Few' patch, is the 'Dequiallo' patch. This patch "signifies that the wearer has fought law enforcement on arrest". There is no common convention as to where the patches are located on the members' jacket/vest.

In March 2007 the Hells Angels filed suit against Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group alleging that the film entitled Wild Hogs used both the name and distinctive logo of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation without permission.

Membership

The full requirements to become a Hells Angel are the following: candidates must be white, male, have a valid driver's license, have a working motorcycle and cannot be a child molester or have applied to become a police officer or prison guard.

After a lengthy, phased process, a prospective member is first deemed to be a 'Hang-around', indicating that the individual is invited to some club events or to meet club members at known gathering places.

If the Hang-around is interested, he may be asked to become an 'Associate', a status that usually lasts a year or two. At the end of that stage, he is reclassified as 'Prospect', participating in some club activities, but not having voting privileges, while he is evaluated for suitability as a full member. The last phase, and highest membership status, is 'Full Membership' or 'Full-Patch'. The term Full-Patch refers to the complete four-piece crest, including the 'Death's Head' logo, two rockers (top rocker: 'Hells Angels'; bottom rocker: State or Territory claimed) and the rectangular 'MC' patch below the wing of the Death's Head. Prospects are allowed to wear only a bottom rocker with the State or Territory name.

To become a full member, the Prospect must be voted on by the rest of the full club members. Prior to votes being cast, a Prospect usually travels to every chapter in the sponsoring chapter's geographic jurisdiction (state/province/territory) and introduces himself to every Full-Patch. This process allows each voting member to become familiar with the subject and to ask any questions of concern prior to the vote. Successful admission usually requires more than a simple majority, and some clubs may reject a Prospect for a single dissenting vote. Some form of formal induction follows, wherein the Prospect affirms his loyalty to the club and its members. The final logo patch (top Hells Angels rocker) is then awarded at this initiation ceremony. The step of attaining full membership can be referred to as "being patched".

Even after a member is patched-in the patches themselves remain the property of HAMC rather than the member. On leaving the Hells Angels, or being ejected, they must be returned to the club.

Official chapters



The HAMC acknowledges more than a hundred chapters spread over 29 countries. The first official chapter outside of the U.S.marker was formed in New Zealand in 1961. Europe did not become home to the Hells Angels until 1969, when two London chapters were formed after the Beatle George Harrison invited some members of the HAMC San Francisco to London. Two people from London visited California, "prospected", and ultimately joined. Two charters were issued on July 30, 1969; one for "South London", the other for "East London" but by 1973 the two charters came together as one, simply called "London". The London Angels provided security at a number of UK Underground festivals including Phun City in 1970 organized by anarchist International Times writer and lead singer with the The Deviants Mick Farren. They even awarded Farren an "approval patch" in 1970 for use on his first solo album Mona, which also featured Steve Peregrin Took (who was credited as "Shagrat the Vagrant"). The 1980s and 1990s saw a major expansion of the club into Canadamarker.

A list of acknowledged chapters can be found on the HAMC club's official web site.

Criminal activities

United States

California

Altamont
One major event in Hells Angels' history involved the December 6, 1969, Altamont Free Concertmarker at the Altamont Speedwaymarker — partially documented in the 1970 film Gimme Shelter — featuring Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Rolling Stones. The Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform but canceled at the last minute owing to the ensuing circumstances at the venue. The Angels had been hired by The Rolling Stones as crowd security for a fee which was said to include $500 worth of beer. The Angels parked their motorcycles in front of the stage in order to create a buffer between the stage and the tens of thousands of concertgoers.

Crowd management proved to be difficult: many spectators were injured and four died. One was Meredith Hunter, two others were killed by a hit-and-run driver and the fourth died when he or she drowned in a puddle of water. Over the course of the day, the Hells Angels became increasingly agitated as the crowd turned more aggressive. Denise Jewkes of the Ace of Cups, six months pregnant and on stage observing, was hit in the head by an empty beer bottle thrown from the crowd and wound up in the hospital with a fractured skull.

At the murder trial of Hells Angel Alan Passaro, a security guard testified he heard the Hells Angels being summoned over the loudspeakers when the helicopter bearing The Rolling Stones landed. Debate after the event was over whether or not the Hells Angels were to manage security for the entire concert or just for The Rolling Stones. Sam Cutler, the Stones' agent who had arranged to pay the Hells Angels said their role was as bodyguards to the Rolling Stones. This was denied by the Hells Angels as well as others connected to the event. During the opening act of Santana, the Hells Angels surged into the crowd numerous times to keep persons off stage.

By the time The Rolling Stones took stage, numerous incidents of violence had occurred both between the Hells Angels and within the crowd internally. A huge circus performer weighing over 350 pounds stripped naked and plunged through the crowd. Concert goers attempted to detain him. Several Hells Angels leaped from the stage and subdued the man with fists and pool cues. A crowd of between 4,000 and 5,000 had jammed to the very edge of the stage, and many attempted to climb onto it.

The Angels used sawn-off pool cues in order to control the crowd. After one of the Angels' motor bikes was knocked over, the Angels became even more aggressive, even toward the performers onstage. Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was knocked unconscious following an altercation with an Angel on stage as seen in the documentary film Gimme Shelter. The Grateful Dead refused to play following the Balin incident, and left the venue.

A shoving match erupted near the stage during a rendition of the song "Under My Thumb" (not, as is commonly thought, "Sympathy for the Devil"). A concert patron by the name of Meredith Hunter produced a handgun. Hunter was stabbed to death. A Hells Angel member, Alan Passaro, was later acquitted of murder on grounds of self-defense. After the concert and critical media attention given to the HAMC, Sonny Barger went on a local California radio station to justify the actions of the Hells Angels and to present their side of the story. He claimed that violence only started once the crowd began vandalizing the Hells Angels' motorcycles. Barger would later claim that Meredith fired a shot which struck a Hells Angels member with what he described as "just a flesh wound."

In 2005, after a two year exhaustive cold-case renewal of the file, the Alameda County District Attorney's office permanently closed the case. An enhanced and slowed down version of the original film footage was produced for the police, and after examining it Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Dudek said Passaro, who died in 1985, was the only person to stab Hunter and he did so only after Hunter pointed a handgun at the stage where the Stones were performing.

Alan Passaro is the only person that stabbed Meredith Hunter, Dudek said, adding that Passaro's lawyer confirmed his client was the sole assailant. "Passaro acted with a knife to stop Meredith Hunter from shooting."

In addition, enhanced and slowed-down footage from the film shows Hunter brandishing the handgun just before Passaro stabs him.

Nevada

River Run Riot
The River Run Riot occurred on April 27, 2002, at the Harrah's Casino & Hotel in Laughlin, Nevadamarker. Members of the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle clubs fought each other on the casino floor. As a result, Mongol Anthony Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death, and two Hells Angels, Jeramie Bell, 27, and Robert Tumelty, 50, were shot to death. On February 23, 2007 Hells Angels members James Hannigan and Rodney Cox were sentenced to two years in prison. Cox and Hannigan were captured on videotape confronting Mongols members inside the casino. A Hells Angel member can be clearly seen on the casino security videotape performing a front kick on a Mongol biker member, causing the ensuing melee.

However, prior to this altercation, several incidents of harassment and provocation were noted in the Clark County, Nevada Grand Jury hearings as having been perpetrated upon The Hells Angels. Members of the Mongols accosted a vendor's table selling Hells Angels trademarked items, had surrounded a Hells Angel and demanded he remove club clothing. In addition, nine witnesses claimed the fight began when a Mongol kicked a member of the Hells Angels. Regardless of which minor physical incident can be said to have "caused the melee", it is clear that The Hells Angels had come to confront the Mongols concerning their actions.

Attorneys for the group claim they were defending themselves from an attack initiated by the Mongols.

Charges were dismissed against 36 other Hells Angels originally named in the indictment.

New York

Roberta Shalaby assault
On January 28, 2007 a woman named Roberta Shalaby was found badly beaten on the sidewalk outside the Hells Angels' clubhouse in at 77 East Third Street in the East Village, Manhattanmarker. The resulting investigation by the NYPD has been criticized by the group for its intensity. The police were refused access to the Hells Angels clubhouse and responded by closing off the area, setting up sniper positions, and sending in armored personnel carriers. After obtaining a warrant, the police searched the club-house and arrested one Hells Angel who was later released. The group claims to have no connection with the beating of Roberta Shalaby. Five security cameras cover the entrance to the New York chapter's East 3rd Street club house, but the NY HAMC maintains nobody knows how Shalaby was beaten nearly to death at their front door. The members were later exonerated and the club is now suing the city of New York for damages to their clubhouse.

Washington

Michael Walsh murder, racketeering
In 2001 Hells Angels Rodney Lee Rollness and Joshua Binder murdered Michael "Santa" Walsh, who had allegedly falsely claimed to be a member of the Hells Angels. Paul Foster, hoping to join the Hells Angels, aided in the murder by luring Walsh to a party at his house and helping cover up the crime. West Coast leader Richard "Smilin' Rick" Fable, along with Rollness and Binder, were also convicted of various racketeering offenses.

Canada

The Vancouver Sun newspaper reports that Canada has more Hells Angels members per capita than any other country, including the U.S., where there are chapters in about 20 states. Mr. Réal Ménard (Montréal, PQ) testified in Parliament that the Hells Angels had 38 chapters in Canada in 1995-1997.

The Hells Angels established their first Canadian chapters in the province of Quebec during the seventies. The Outlaws and several affiliated independent clubs were able to keep the Angels from assuming a dominant position in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, until the nineties, while the Grim Reapers of Albertamarker, Los Bravos in Manitobamarker, and several other independent clubs across the prairies formed a loose alliance that kept the Hells Angels from assuming dominance in the prairie provinces until the late nineties. By 1997, under the leadership of Walter "Nurget" Stadnick, the Hells Angels had become the dominant club not just in BC and Quebec, but all across Canada, with chapters in at least seven of ten provinces and two of the three territories.

Lindsay and Bonner trial

In 2002 Crown Prosecutor Graeme Williams sought to have the Hells Angels formally declared a "criminal organization" by applying the anti-gang legislation (Bill C-24) to a criminal prosecution involving the Hells Angels and two of its members, Stephen (Tiger) Lindsay and Raymond (Razor) Bonner.

The prosecution team launched a three year investigation with the aim of collecting evidence for the trial.

At the conclusion of the trial in June 2005, Ontariomarker Justice Michelle Fuerst ruled that Lindsay and Bonner had committed extortion in association with a criminal organization and had used the Hells Angels' reputation as a weapon.

Quebec

The Quebec Biker war between the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine that began in 1994 and continued until late 2002 claimed more than 150 lives,[1] including some innocent bystanders.Maurice Boucher was the leader of the Quebec chapters and second-in-command of the Canadian Nomad chapter, a chapter with no fixed geographic base. In May 2002 Boucher received an automatic life sentence, with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years, after conviction two counts of first-degree murder for the killings of two Canadian prison guards, ambushed on their way home.On The 15th April 2009, operation SharQc was conducted by the provincial police force sûreté du Québec.

Operation SharQc
The tough shell of secrecy that protected the Hells Angels for years finally cracked during an investigation that has resulted in the arrests of almost every member of the gang in Quebec. On The 15th April 2009, operation SharQc was conducted by the provincial police force sûreté du Québec. It is the biggest strike at the HAMC in Canada's history and probably in all of HAMC's history. In all 177 strikes were conducted by the police, 123 members were arrested, charges were mostly for first-degree murder, attempted murder, gangsterism or drug trafficking. The police seized $5 million in cash, dozens of kilograms of cocaine, marijuana and hashish, and thousands of pills. The operation could, in the future lead up to the closing of 22 unsolved murders. Operation SharQc involved a full-patch member of the gang turning informant, a very rare occurrence in Quebec.

Ontario

Project Tandem Raids
In September 2006, after an 18 month Investigation conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies, 500 officers and 21 tactical teams raided property connected to the Hells Angels chapters in Ontario. At least 27 members were arrested of which 15 were members of the Hells Angels. Property seized was worth more than 1 million dollars and included $470,000 in cash, $300,000 in vehicles and $140,000 in motorcycles. During the raids, drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy were seized; the total street value of drugs seized was more than 3 million dollars.

Project Develop
In April 2007, after another 18 month investigation, 32 Club Houses were raided in Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia. The Hells Angels Clubhouse on 498 Eastern Avenue in Toronto was raided by the Biker Enforcement Unit of the OPP and members of the Toronto Police Service on April 4, 2007, at least 15 members of the Hells Angels were detained and charged with drug and weapons offenses at the Eastern Avenue Clubhouse raid. According to police, Project Develop seized some 500 litres of GHB worth an estimated $996,000, nine kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of hashish and oxycodone and Viagra pills. Police also seized $21,000 worth of cash. Project Develop also seized 67 rifles, five handguns, three pairs of brass knuckles and a police baton.

British Columbia

Project E-Pandora
Investigations

In late 2004 to 2005 the culmination of investigations into the actions of the motorcycle club led to charges against 18 people including members of the Hells Angels and other associates of the gang.

Background

In July 2003, a man offered to give police information. He became the police agent around whom much of the E-Pandora investigation ensued. Charges arose from project E-Pandora, an extensive police investigation, into the alleged criminal activities of the East End Charter of the Hells Angels (the "EEHA"). The evidence in this case included intercepted private communications including telephone and audio recordings, physical surveillance, and expert evidence. The case would eventually be dubbed the trial of R. v. Giles and see 3 charged individuals appear before the Supreme Court of British Columbia (SCBC). 72 appearances would span from 14 May, 2007 until 20 February, 2008 and, by order of Madam Justice MacKenzie, include a publication ban on related trials.

Ruling

On March 27, 2008, the SCBC Justice MacKenzie ruled against prosecutors who had attempted to convict a Hells Angels member of possession for the benefit of a criminal organization. Although two associates of the Hells Angels, David Roger Revell, 43, and Richard Andrew Rempel, 24, were convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking, Justice MacKenzie concluded that with the acquittal of the only Hells Angel member being tried, David Francis Giles, on a charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, a second charge against him (count two) of possessing it for the benefit of a criminal organization had to fail as well. In summary, Revell and Rempel were found guilty but Giles was found not guilty on either count. Also, Revell and Rempel were found not guilty on the charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

In her acquittal of Giles, Justice MacKenzie said she found the evidence against him was "weak" and intercepted communications were "unreliable" because they were difficult to hear. She further stated that the Crown prosecutors had failed to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt the group was working to the "benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization, to wit: the East End charter of the Hells Angels".

Manitoba

The Hells Angels' expansion into Manitoba began with a relationship with Los Bravos, a local motorcycle club. In 2000 Los Bravos were "patched over," becoming a full-fledged Hells Angels chapter. The following investigations over the last two years have been executed with the following charges.

Project Defense
On February 15, 2006 the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force, along with over 150 police officers from the RCMP, Winnipeg Police Service and Brandon Police Service, made numerous arrests and conducted searches as part of the investigation of Project Defense. Thirteen people were indicted on a variety of charges, including drug trafficking, extortion, proceeds of crime, and organized crime related offences. Only 3 were members of the Hells Angels.

Project Defense was initiated in November 2004 and focused on high level members of drug trafficking cells in the province of Manitoba, including members of the Manitoba Hells Angels. During the investigation police made numerous seizures that totaled in excess of seven kilograms of cocaine and three kilograms of methamphetamine from drug traffickers within the Manitoba Hells Angels organization and other drug trafficking cells. Arrest warrants were issued for thirteen individuals and 12 search warrants were authorized for locations in Winnipeg and area.

This long-term covert investigation was initiated by the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force, which was established in the spring of 2004 when an Agreement was signed between the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP, the Brandon Police Service and the Province of Manitoba. The mandate of the task force was to disrupt and dismantle organized crime in the province of Manitoba.

Project Drill
On December 12, 2007 Project Drill came to an end, with Winnipeg Police raiding the Hells Angels clubhouse on Scotia Street. Project Drill started the previous evening with arrests in Thompson and continued throughout the night and early morning in Winnipeg and St. Pierre-Jolys. During the course of Project Drill, police seized vehicles, approximately $70,000 cash, firearms, marijuana, Hells Angel related documents/property and other offence related property. As of December 12, 14 people were in custody and four were still being sought

Police said it was the second time the chapter president was the target in a police sting since the gang set up shop in the city in 2001. Hells Angels prospect member Al LeBras was also arrested at his Barber Street home in Wednesday's raids.

The recently amended Criminal Property Forfeiture Act gives the province the power to seize the proceeds of crime. Police have exercised similar authority against Hells Angels members in other Canadian cities.

Joint investigations

Other joint investigations include:
  • Project Develop, a joint 18-month investigation with Ontariomarker, New Brunswickmarker, and British Columbiamarker
  • In January 2006, Project Husky, a two-year investigation involving police forces in Ontariomarker, Quebecmarker and Albertamarker, resulted in the arrest of twenty-seven suspects, including five full-patch Angels from across Eastern and Central Canada
  • Project Koker, 23-month investigation in Edmontonmarker and Calgarymarker
  • Project Halo, a three-year investigation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Team of the RCMP, into alleged criminal activity with the Nanaimomarker chapter. The investigation culminated in the search warrant being executed on December 12, 2003. On November 9, 2007 a seizure order was executed, under Section 467.12(1) of the Criminal Code, on the clubhouse by dozens of heavily armed RCMP officers.


Scandinavia

A gang war over drugs and turf between the Hells Angels and the Bandidos, known as the "Great Nordic Biker War", raged from 1994 until 1997 and ran across Norway, Sweden, Denmark and even parts of Finland and Estonia. By the end of the war, machine guns, hand grenades, rocket launchers and car bombs had been used as weapons, resulting in 11 murders, 74 attempted murders, and 96 wounded members of the involved motorcycle clubs. This led to fierce response from law enforcement and legislators, primarily in Denmark. A law was passed that banned motorcycle clubs from owning or renting property for their club activities. The law has subsequently been repealed on constitutional grounds.

In 2007, a Hells Angels-supported gang named Altid Klar-81 ("Altid Klar" is Danish for "Always Ready" and 81 is synonymous with the letters HA) was formed in Denmark to combat immigrant street gangs in a feud over the lucrative illegal hash market. AK81 has been recruiting much quicker than the mainstream Hells Angels as members are not required to own a motorcycle or wear a patch, and racial tensions are running high in parts of Denmark. On August 14 2008, Osman Nuri Dogan, a 19-year-old ethnic Turk, was shot and killed by an AK81 member in Tingbjerg. Later that year, on October 8, there was a shoot-out between AK81 members and a group of immigrants in Nørrebro, Copenhagenmarker, during which one man was injured.

The Netherlands

The Hells Angels control much of the drug trade in the Netherlandsmarker, and are also involved in prostitution. The Dutch police have stated that the Hells Angels smuggle cocaine into the country through terrorist organizations and drug cartels in Curaçaomarker and Colombiamarker, and also deal in ecstasy and illegal firearms.

In October 2005, the Dutch police raided Hells Angels' clubhouses in Amsterdammarker, Haarlemmarker, IJmuidenmarker, Harlingenmarker, Kampen and Rotterdammarker as well as a number of houses. Belgian police also raided two locations over the border. Police seized a grenade launcher, a flame thrower, hand grenades, 20 hand guns, a machine pistol and €70,000 (US$103 285) in cash. A number of Hells Angels members were later imprisoned on charges of international trafficking of cocaine and ecstasy, the production and distribution of marijuana, money laundering and murder, after an investigation that lasted over a year.

In 2006 two Dutch newspapers reported that the Amsterdammarker whorehouse Yab Yummarker had long been controlled by the Dutch Hells Angels, who had taken over after a campaign of threats and blackmailing. The city council of Amsterdam revoked the license of Yab Yum in December 2007. During a subsequent trial the city's attorney repeated these allegations and the brothel's attorney denied them. The brothel was closed in January 2008.

Australia

On 18 June 2007, a Hells Angels member fired 6 shots at passers-by who tried to help the member's girlfriend, killing Brendan Keilar and critically wounding two others. On May 12, 2008, Christopher Wayne Hudson pleaded guilty to the murder of Keilar and other offences committed during the shooting. See 2007 Melbourne CBD shootingsmarker.

Members of the Comancheros and Hells Angels were believed to be involved in a clash at Sydney Airportmarker on Sunday, March 22, 2009. The clash resulted in one man, Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas, being beaten to death and police estimated as many as 15 men were involved in the violence. Police documents detail the brawl as a result of a Comanchero gang member and a Hells Angel being on the same flight from Melbournemarker. Four suspects were arrested as a result of the altercation. As a result of heightening violence, New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees announced the state police anti-gang squad would be boosted to 125 members from 50.

On the night of March 29, 2009, Hells Angels member Peter Zervas, the brother of the man killed during the Sydney Airport Brawl a week earlier, was shot and injured as he left his car outside his home.

Germany

In March 2006, a group of Hells Angels raided a Bandidos clubhouse in Stuhrmarker where they assaulted and robbed five Bandidos members. Three were given jail sentences and another eleven were handed down suspended sentences at the trial which took place in Hanovermarker on December 16 2008.

On June 11 2008, two Bandidos members were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a Hells Angels member in Ibbenbürenmarker. Reports say they drove to his Harley-Davidson shop and shot him there on May 23, 2007. After the first day of a related lawsuit on December 17, 2007, riots between the two gangs and the police were reported.

Spain

Spanish police carried out a number of raids against the club on April 21 2009, arresting 22 members in Barcelonamarker, Valenciamarker, Málagamarker, Madridmarker and Las Palmasmarker. Two of them were members of the club's Italianmarker chapters. The Hells Angels arrested were charged with drugs and weapons trafficking, and extortion. Law enforcement seized military-style weapons and ammunition, bulletproof vests, a kilo of cocaine, neo-Nazi literature and €200,000 in cash during the searches of 30 properties. One suspect also attempted to use a firearm against police officers as he was being arrested. It was part of an investigation into the club, known as Valkiria, which began in October 2007 and also led to eight arrests in December 2007. Prior to this, the only operation against the club in Spain took place in March 1996.

United Kingdom

In August 2007 a Hells Angels member, Gerry Tobin, was shot dead on the M40 motorway by members of a rival motorcycle gang, the Outlaws. Those responsible received life sentences in November 2008. Tobin was returning home to London, where he worked as a Harley service manager, from the Bulldog Bash.

In January 2008, there was a brawl between up to 30 Hells Angels and Outlaws at Birmingham International Airportmarker. Police recovered various weapons including Knuckledusters, hammers and a meat cleaver. Seven Outlaw members and five Hells Angels faced trial as a result.

References

  1. http://www.hells-angels.com/
  2. FBI Safe Street Violent Crime Initiative Report Fiscal Year 2000
  3. New York Times, Sweden's Courteous Police Spoil a Hell's Angels Clubouse Party
  4. http://hpn.asu.edu/archives/2003-July/007451.html
  5. http://enews.ttnet.net/cgi-bin/enews.cgi?date=20081204&src=_t1203433.8ke&chap.html
  6. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/sep/04/under-watchful-eye-bikers-aid-charity/
  7. Birney Jarvis for Male magazine, 1964. Reprinted in Hells Angels by Huinter S. Thompson
  8. History Documentary Hell's Angels Time Index approximately 00.05 minutes into the program
  9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/3311057.stm BBC
  10. HAMC Overview Document, Overview of the Hell's Angel's Motorcycle Club (HAMC) In Canada
  11. 'Litigation against movie release' (March 8, 2006) and they rule., HAMC vs Walt Disney
  12. Vancouver Sun June 10, 2005 Behind the Patch: Angels ABCs: by Neal Hall:
  13. NDIC Document, US Department of Justice Report on OMG HA
  14. A Wayward Angel: The Full Story of the Hells Angels by George Wethern and Vincent Colnett
  15. Rock Scully, David Dalton, "Living with the Dead: Twenty Years on the Bus with Garcia and the Grateful Dead",Cooper Square Publ Inc, 2001 ISBN 0815411634, 9780815411635
  16. http://www.hellsangelslondon.com/history.php HAMC London Web Site
  17. Hells Angels MC World
  18. IMDB, Gimmer Shelter (1970), accessed February 28, 2007
  19. Sol Stern, Ramparts Magazine March, 1970
  20. Capital Times, April 20, 1970 Page 3
  21. Sol Stern Ramparts Magazine March 1970
  22. The Capital, April 20 1970
  23. Barger, Sonny; Zimmerman, Keith; and Zimmerman, Kent Hell's Angels: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. HarperCollins, pp 159 - 169
  24. Orange County Register, May 27, 2005
  25. Hells Angels get prison terms, accessed March 29, 2007
  26. Hells Angels slam NYPD over clubhouse raid - Crime, Law and Justice, Manhattan, New York City Police Department - amNY.com
  27. After Police Search, Hells Angels Brace for Fight - New York Times
  28. Local News "Enforcer" for Hells Angels sent to prison for 15 years | Seattle Times Newspaper
  29. Local News Arlington man gets 7 years for involvement in Hells Angels murder | Seattle Times Newspaper
  30. Local News Hells Angels figure gets 7-1/89 years | Seattle Times Newspaper
  31. The Vancouver Sun (June 10, 2005), B.C.'s Hells Angels: Rich and Powerful
  32. Fallen Angel: The Unlikely Rise of Walter Stadnick in the Canadian Hells Angels, by Jerry Langton, John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd, 2006
  33. Bill C-24
  34. http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/2005/2005onsc14135.html R. v. Lindsay, 2005
  35. RCMP Gazette, Behind the anti-gang law
  36. CBC News, Mom guilty of murder
  37. The Gazette, [1]
  38. The Gazette,[2]
  39. [3]
  40. CTV News, Mole Helps Ont. Police net suspected gang members
  41. Canada.com, Alleged gang members rounded up in Ont
  42. CBC News, 15 Hells Angels arrested in Ontario raids: police
  43. CTV News, Hells Angels clubhouses raided in three provinces
  44. National Post, Ontario police officials praise informant's help in Hells' raids
  45. CBC News, Insider key to Hells Angels raids: police
  46. http://bc.rcmp.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=50&languageId=1&contentId=3686]
  47. The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII). "R. v. Giles, 2008 BCSC 367 (CanLII)". 27 March 2008. CanLII - Canadian Legal Institute & Lexum
  48. The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII). "R. v. Giles, 2008 BCSC 367 (CanLII)". 27 March 2008. CanLII - Canadian Legal Institute & Lexum, at paragraphs 237-38.
  49. 'Project Defense', Project Defense, Winnipeg Media Release
  50. 'Project Drill', Project Drill, Winnipeg Media Release
  51. [4]
  52. [5]
  53. 'Project Develop', 'Project Develop' 40 HA locations raided
  54. 'Project Husky', 'Project Husky' arrests 27 Hells Angels members
  55. Police claim a victory over bikers in Thunder Bay
  56. 'Project Koker', Eighteen Charged in 'Project Koker'
  57. 'Project Halo', Nanaimo members claim smear campaign -- police unconvinced
  58. 'Nanaimo Clubhouse Seizure', Safety of police considered in Hells Angels clubhouse takeover
  59. Biker Wars In the Land of 'The Little Mermaid'
  60. [6]
  61. Gang war combatants on speaking terms
  62. Gunfight in Nørrebro
  63. Angels of Death: Inside the Bikers' Empire of Crime
  64. 45 Hell's Angels members arrested on suspicion of weapons and drugs trafficking
  65. Yab Yum: exclusief én crimineel, BN DeStem, 3 May 2006; 'Ook sekshuis Yab Yum werd afgeperst'. Eindhovens Dagblad, 3 May 2006.
  66. 'Hells Angels own Yab Yum brothel', DutchNews.nl, 3 January 2008
  67. Amsterdam court says Yab Yum brothel must close, Reuters, 4 January 2008
  68. Hudson pleads guilty over Melbourne shootings
  69. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25261739-661,00.html
  70. Three German Biker Gang Members Sent to Jail
  71. Biker Turf War Escalating in Germany
  72. Spanish police said on Tuesday that they have arrested 22 members of the Hells Angels biker gang
  73. 22 Hell's Angels arrested in Spain
  74. 22 Hell's Angels Arrested In Spain
  75. BBC©MMIX Biker gangs 'had airport battle'


Books and newspaper articles

Perhaps the most notorious and colorful account of the Hells Angels was written by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Published in 1966, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, was expanded from an original 1965 article for The Nation after he spent a year in close quarters with group.
  • Thompson, Hunter S. Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. New York: Random House, 1966; Ballantine Books, 1996 (ISBN 0-345-41008-4)
  • Barger, Sonny; Zimmerman, Keith; and Zimmerman, Kent Hell's Angels: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. HarperCollins (ISBN 0060937548)
  • Langton, Jerry Fallen Angel: The Unlikely Rise of Walter Stadnick in the Canadian Hells Angels. John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. (ISBN 0-470-83710-1)
  • The Assimilation: Bikers United Against The Hells Angels by Edward Winterhalder and Wil De Clercq - ECW Press 2008 (ISBN 1-5502-2824-2)
  • Winterhalder, Edward, Out In Bad Standings: Inside The Bandidos Motorcycle Club - The Making of a Worldwide Dynasty,Blockhead City Press, 2005/Seven Locks Press, 2007 (ISBN 0-9771-7470-0)
  • Sher, Julian and Marsden, William The Road to Hell : How the Biker Gangs are Conquering Canada, Random House, 2004 (ISBN 0676975992)
  • Sher, Julian and Marsden, William Angels of Death; Inside the Bikers' Global Crime Empire, Knopf Canada, 2006 (ISBN 0676977308)
  • Cherry, Paul The Biker Trials: Bringing Down the Hells Angels, ECW Press, 2005 (ISBN 155022638X)
  • Lavigne, Yves Hell's Angels: Taking Care of Business, Ballantine Books, 1994 (ISBN 9994961950)
  • Lavigne, Yves Hell's Angels: Into the Abyss, HarperTorch, 1997 (ISBN 0061011045)
  • Lavigne, Yves Hell's Angels at War, Harper-Collins, 2000 (ISBN 0006385648)
  • Police claim a victory over bikers in Thunder Bay CBC News, Thursday, 19 January 2006
  • http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/04/11/biker-war-sher.html?ref=rss
  • Storm thwarted Mick Jagger murder attempt Telegraph, UK, Sunday, 2 March 2008


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