Hells Angels MC
Top Rocker and Death Head(R)(TM)
Founded: March 17, 1948 In Fontana, California, United States
Founded by: Otto Friedli
Years active: 1948–present
Territory: 230 chapters, 27 countries, 6 continents
Approx worlwide Membership: 2,000–2,500
Alleged Criminal activities
Racketeering, drug trafficking,arms trafficking, assault,extortion, money laundering,murder, prostitution and trafficking in stolen goods
AK81, Cali Cartel, Indian Posse, Iron Horsemen
Bandidos, Mongols, Outlaws, Pagans and Vagos
ABillboard add for Hells angels
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) is a worldwide one-percenter 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 Investigation and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service 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.
The Hells Angels were originally formed in 1948 in Fontana, California through an amalgamation of former members from different motorcycle clubs, such as The Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington. The Hells Angels website denies the suggestion that any misfit or malcontent troops are connected with the motorcycle club. However, the website notes that the name was suggested by Arvid Olsen, an associate of the founders, who had served in the Flying Tigers “Hells Angels” squadron in China during World War II.
Hells Angels US military Insignia
The name “Hells Angels” was inspired by the common historical use in both World War I and World War II, to name squadrons or other fighting groups by a fierce, death-defying name. The Flying Tigers (American Volunteer Group) in Burma and China fielded three squadrons of P-40s; the Third Squadron was named “Hell’s Angels”. The 1930 Howard Hughes film Hell’s Angels displayed extraordinary and dangerous feats of aviation, and it is believed that the World War II groups who used that name based it on the film.
1943 Hells Angels and Ground Crew
Some of the early history of the HAMC is not clear, and accounts differ. According to Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger, founder of the Oakland chapter, early chapters of the club were founded in San Francisco,Gardena, Fontana, as well as his chapter in Oakland, and other places independently of one another, with the members usually being unaware that there were other Hells Angels clubs.
Ralph “Sonny” Barger (center), president of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels, reads a statement during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 19, 1965.
Other sources claim that the Hells Angels in San Francisco were originally organized in 1953 by Rocky Graves, a Hells Angel member from San Bernardino (“Berdoo”). This implies that the “Frisco” Hells Angels were very much aware of their forebears. According to another account, the Hells Angels club was a successor to “P.O.B.O.B.” Motorcycle club, 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 Oakland chapter, at that time headed by Barger, used a larger version of the patch nicknamed the “Barger Larger” which was first used in 1959 and later became the club standard.
California Hells Angels
In an interview in September 2011, with one of the original “thirteen”, the above history is confirmed as basically accurate. The person interviewed is perhaps the only one of the original thirteen still living. The youngest member would be aged mid-seventies at this point, and they all engaged in a life of reckless behavior. The Frisco Hells Angels were formed in 1953 by Rocky Graves, a member of the Berdoo Hells Angels. The group fell apart and was reformed in the summer of 1955 with thirteen living members. This is the group that continues today. The number thirteen was considered inauspicious by those in attendance at the formation meeting, so another member, known as “Crazy” was installed posthumously. Crazy was killed in 1954 when he rode his motorcycle off of an unfinished elevated San Francisco freeway. Frank Sadilek was the president of the group, which was formed in 1955. His wife Leila was secretary. Both held these offices until they moved to Hawai’i in 1961.
The Death’s Head emblem was not designed by Frank Sadilek. The emblem on the original Frisco Angels jackets was a copy of Rocky’s Berdoo Angels jacket. The emblem used on the membership cards, which was a very detailed pen and ink drawing, was done by a man who was known as “Sundown”. His signature could seen in very tiny letters in the originally printed membership cards. He was one of the habitues who hung out in the the pool hall upstairs in the building on the north east corner of 7th and Market Streets in San Francisco, which was for a time, both before and after the formation of the 1955 group, that was the common meeting place.
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. The 1966 Roger Corman film, The Wild Angels depicts the gang as violent and nihilistic.
The patch worn by members of Hells Angels France
Picture of the club “Colors” from the France chapter. A member wearing the jacket with top and bottom rockers with the clubs “Death Head” insignia is said to be “Flying His Colors”.
New York Hells Angels
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. 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 one-percenter patch is also used, displaying ‘1%’, in red on a white background with a red merrowedborder. The term one-percenter is said to be a response to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) comment on theHollister 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), 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. The suit was eventually voluntarily dismissed, after it received assurances that its references would not appear in the film.
In October 2010, the Hells Angels filed a lawsuit against Alexander McQueen for “misusing its trademark winged death heads symbol” in several items from its Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. The lawsuit is also aimed at Saks Fifth Avenue and Zappos.com, which stock the jacquard box dress and knuckle duster ring which bear the symbol which is protected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since at least 1948. A handbag and scarf was also named in lawsuit. The lawyer representing Hells Angels claimed “This isn’t just about money, it’s about membership. If you’ve got one of these rings on, a member might get really upset that you’re an impostor.”Saks refused to comment, Zappos had no immediate comment and the company’s parent company, PPR, could not be reached for comment. The company settled the case with the Hells Angels after agreeing to remove all of the merchandise featuring the logo from sale on their website, stores and concessions and recalling any of the goods which have already been sold and destroying them.
Hells Angels member at a biker gathering in Australia, 2008.
The full requirements to become a Hells Angel are the following: candidates must be 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 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 along with the rectangular ‘MC’ patch.
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”.
Hells Angels New Zealand color showing what a Full patch look like
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.
A Hells Angels wall mural in Southampton, UK, a well-known local landmark that can be seen by rail passengers on the London Waterloo to Weymouth south coast main line as they approach Southampton Central station.
The HAMC acknowledges more than one hundred chapters spread over 29 countries. The first official chapter outside of the US 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 BeatleGeorge 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 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 Canada.
This list of acknowledged chapters can be found on the HAMC club’s official web site.
See also: 2007 Melbourne CBD shootings
On June 18, 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 offenses committed during the shooting. The Hells Angels however allegedly abducted him and burnt a club tattoo off his forearm before surrendering him to police for his crimes.
Members of the Comancheros and Hells Angels were believed to be involved in a clash at Sydney Airport 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 Melbourne. 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.
On July 20, 2011, a NSW judge dismissed a bid by the state’s police commissioner to have the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club declared a criminal organisation, under laws introduced to NSW parliament in 2009 allowing the court to declare criminal organisations as declared organisations.
An April 2009 CBC News article stated that the Hells Angels have 34 chapters operating in Canada with 460 full-fledged (patched) members. The Hells Angels have 15 chapters in Ontario, 8 in British Columbia, 5 in Quebec, 3 in Alberta, 2 in Saskatchewan and 1 in Manitoba. In a speech to the House of Commons, Bloc Québécois MP Réal Ménard (Hochelaga) stated that there were 38 HAMC chapters across Canada in the mid-1990s. 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.
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 Alberta, Los Bravos in Manitoba, 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, Ontario 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.
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.
In July 2003, a man offered to give police information and 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 would see three charged individuals appear before the Supreme Court of British Columbia (SCBC). 72 appearances would span from May 14, 2007 until February 20, 2008 and, by order of Madam Justice Anne MacKenzie, include a publication ban on related trials.
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”.
Project Halo, a three-year investigation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Team of the RCMP, into alleged criminal activity with the Nanaimo 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.
In September 2006, after an 18 month investigation conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies and dubbed “Project Tandem,” 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 dollar.
The Hells Angels Clubhouse on 498 Eastern Avenue in Toronto
In April 2007, after another 18 month investigation, this one dubbed “Project Develop,” 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 Ontario Provincial Police (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 in cash. Project Develop also seized 67 rifles, five handguns, three pairs of brass knuckles and a police baton.
On May 21, 2011, five of the accused arrested as part of Project Develop were convicted by a jury of various drug offenses including trafficking in cocaine and oxycodone, participating in a conspiracy to traffic GHB and possession of GHB for the purpose of trafficking. One of the accused was convicted of possessing a restricted firearm without a license. However, one accused, represented by defence lawyer Lenny Hochberg, was acquitted of two counts of trafficking handguns and possession of brass knuckles and another accused, Larry Pooler the toronto chapter vice-president who represented himself, was acquitted of two counts of possessing unrestricted firearms without a license, two counts of trafficking oxycodone and one count of participating in a conspiracy to traffic GHB. Furthermore, all accused were acquitted of all charges of acting in association with, or for the benefit of, a criminal organization.
Hells Angel Larry Pooler, foreground, and his four co-accused, from top left, Lorne Campbell, Douglas Myles, John Neal and Mehrdad Bahmanl, have been acquitted on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
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.
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 offenses. 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.
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 offense 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[when?] 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.
On December 2, 2009 Project Divide culminated with 26 arrests, and 8 arrest warrants still outstanding after the year long investigation. The investigation and arrests targeted alleged drug-trafficking and related activities of the Zig Zag Crew – a puppet club of the Hells Angels Winnipeg chapter.
Other joint investigations include:
Project Develop, a joint 18-month investigation with Ontario, New Brunswick, and British Columbia
In January 2006, Project Husky, a two-year investigation involving police forces in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, 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 Edmonton and Calgary
Project Halo, a three-year investigation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Team of the RCMP, into alleged criminal activity with the Nanaimo 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.
Quebec Biker war
The Quebec Biker war between the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine began in 1994 and continued until late 2002 and claimed more than 150 lives, including innocent bystanders.
The emergence of biker gangs in Quebec happened contemporaneously with the United States. Quebec’s economic crisis of the 1920s saw many of Quebec’s urban population heading for the rural communities in order to cultivate lands to provide for themselves and their families. The settlers’ children, like many youth of this era, were rebellious and rejected their parents’ values. While the American gangs were created by World War II veterans, in Quebec the formation of motorcycle clubs which was seen as an expression of this rebellion. By the 1960s, there were about 150 motorcycle clubs in Quebec that incorporated many of the same characteristics as American biker clubs, although they mainly operated in rural communities instead of in major cities. The expansion of these groups flourished during the 1970s, as a few popular gangs, notably the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, grew almost 45% due to Quebec’s biker groups affiliating themselves with their American counterparts. The Quebec chapter of the Hells Angels at its prime included various clubhouses across Quebec which housed many of the gang’s puppet groups, who would often carry out the gang’s criminal activity. Every Quebec region had its own puppet club: Rowdy Crew Montreal, Evil Ones Drummondville, Satan’s Guard Saguenay, and Jokers St-Jean, which includes Maurice Boucher’s son Francis Boucher as a full-fledged member.
Maurice (aka Mom) 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 a life sentence, with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years, after being convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the killings of two Canadian prison guards, ambushed on their way home.
A photograph of Maurice Mom Boucher’s vest was submitted as evidence, Wednesday March 27, 2002, in the trial of the Quebec biker. Boucher, leader of the Hells Angels in Quebec, faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for allegedly ordering the deaths of two prison guards in 1997. (CP PHOTO)
On April 15, 2009, operation Sharqc was conducted by the provincial police force Surete du Quebec. The first specialized organized crime law enforcement task force in the province was composed of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the Surete du Quebec and the Montreal Police. Their goal was to investigate the Nomad chapter of the Hells Angels in the Montreal and Quebec City regions until it was dismantled two years later to make way for a bigger, province-wide Task force.
The Hells Angels threat in Quebec and Canada resulted in the first anti-gang law in Canadian legislation, as they[who?] saw the success of the American anti-gang legislation known as RICO. Furthermore, during the period the Canadian anti-gang legislation was created, many Montrealers were experiencing a high volume of violent acts which threatened civilians.
Police take down a Hells Angels sign from the front of a house in Trois Rivieres, Que., during a raid in this undated video image.
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 April 15, 2009, operation SharQc was conducted by the provincial police force Surete du Quebec. 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, charged with 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 lead 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.
The first German charter of the Hells Angels was founded in the 1970 in Hamburg and was active in the red-light districts of St. Pauli and Sternschanze.
In 1980, Hells Angels members murdered a nightclub manager on the island of Sylt. On August 11, 1983, 500 police officers stormed the clubhouse “Angels Place” in the red-light district Sternschanze and arrested the leaders of the Hells Angels of Hamburg. In 1986, thirteen members were sentenced between 6 months to 7 years in prison and the Hamburg charter and its symbols were banned.Despite the ban, today there is again a Hells Angels charter in Hamburg under the name of “Harbor City”, because the association is not prohibited as such, but only wearing its symbols.
The other Hells Angels members and 250 of 497 members of the motorcycle club “Bones” in Hannover under its President Frank Hanebuth, who is a colorful character in the red-light scene of Hannover, took over the power in the Hamburg Kiez and controlled numerous brothels, including the „Laufhaus“ and the „Pascha“, on the Reeperbahn. Some women were forced into prostitution with brutal violence. At the height of its power in the summer of 2000, the monthly brothel sales amounted to $150.000 (DM300.000). After a leading member of the Hells Angels, Norbert “Butcher” S., 34, hadbeaten up a 42-year old woman, waitress, prostitute, cocaine addict and drug courier, who tried to burn herself to death, she pointed him to the police and disappeared. Meanwhile, Butcher fled to Brazil because the Hells Angels had set a bounty on him. German investigators tracked him to South America and persuaded him to give evidence. On November 1, 2000, 400 police officers moved to a major raid and arrested the new leadership of the association. In Germany, Sweden and Poland 17 suspects were arrested and more than 50 kilograms of narcotics were seized. The witnesses are now living under police protection because they fear for their lives.
Karlsruhe club house in Waghausel
Helmut “Miko” M., leading figure of the Karlsruhe Hells Angels, a 42-year-old brothel owner and notorious red-light figure in Karlsruhe, was shot dead in January 2004 in a coffee shop downtown in broad daylight. Previously, in December 2003, a bomb attack perpetrated on him failed due to an intermittent contact in the explosive device. Background of the crime were disputes over open money claims in the red-light district.
In March 2006, a group of Hells Angels raided a Bandidos clubhouse in Stuhr 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 Hannover on December 16, 2008.
On May 27, 2007, five Hells Angels members attacked, robbed and injured one Bandidos member in Hohenschönhausen, Berlin. Nineteen police vehicles were in use and shots were made. A witness filmed the scene. All people involved including the Hells Angels, Bandidos and the witness were silent in court. Sources say there are two high ranking Hells Angels members involved in the conflict. One is the former President of the “Hells Angels of Berlin” and the other was a high ranking “Road Captain” who is now the “Treasurer” of the “Hells Angels of Berlin.”
On June 11, 2008, Heino B., 48 and Thomas K., 36, two Bandidos members were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the Hells Angels member Robert K. in Ibbenburen. 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. Robert K. was 47-years old and “Road Captain” of the Bremen Hells Angels but lived in the area of Osnabruck, where their rivals Bandidos claim supremacy.
Also in June 2008, eight Hells Angels members of the “Hells Angels Westside” and one unidentified biker, who is not a Hells Angels member, were arrested on the A27 near Walsrode. Five private apartments and the clubhouse “Angels Place” in Bremen were searched. Police reports say the LKA-Bremen seized firearms, baseball bats, knives and illegal drugs. Later on the day the BKA(Bundeskriminalamt) arrested another Hells Angels member. Police reports also say five Hells Angels members are on the run.
On July 17, 2008, 34 persons of a group of 50 were arrested in Oranienburg street in Berlin Mitte. Sources say the persons are supporters of the Hells Angels and bouncers and hooligans in theMecklenburg-Vorpommern scene. Other sources say the persons are members of the “Brigade 81”, a murderous group of the Hells Angels. One of the hooligans (now ex-hooligan and vice-president of the Potsdam Hells Angels) was a famous and dangerous fighter, who had beaten the French police officer Daniel Nivel into a coma in 1998. The police seized white masks, knuckle dusters, telescopic batons, quartz-sand-gloves and illegal drugs. The background of the incident was that a group of Bandidos appeared in the „Gold Club“ and wanted to play power games. “It’s about the staking of areas and the protection of illegal sources of income”, a police statement said.
Later in 2008, Bandidos members attacked a Hells Angels member in Berlin and shots were fired at an Hells Angels member in Cottbus. In Kiel, a mass brawl occurred between members of the Hells Angels and alleged right-wing extremists. During the brutal conflict a Hells Angels member and tattooist from Neumunster was seriously injured with a knife.
On December 6, 2008, the front man of the Hells Angels “Nomads”, was brutally beaten in the nightclub „Omega“ in Eberswalde. The perpetrators were members of the Chicanos, a support group of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
In February 2009, the Hells Angels published a statement about the mass brawl in Kiel, distancing itself from contacts to the right-wing scene. “The Hells Angels MC was, is and remains a non-politically motivated club” and “new members have to leave the right-wing scene”, Frank Hanebuth, president of the Hannover Hells Angels, said in the statement. The attempt to draw the club into the right-wing haze is a personal insult for every member, the Hells Angels indicate. “We have eight different nations in our club. One comes from Israel, one from Palestine, one even from Surinam. And we are xenophobic?”, he asked.
On June 5, 2009, the clubhouse of the Chicanos was completely destroyed from inside. Several members of the Chicanos suffered skull fractures and elbow fractures. The attackers belong to the notorious “Brigade 81”.
On July 17, 2009, a passer-by discovered a glittering silver object under a black BMW in Eberswalde. Reports say the object was a homemade bomb and the car belonged to the president of the local Chicanos.
In August 2009, a leading member of the Berlin Bandidos was stabbed and shot to death in Hohenschönhausen, Berlin. A news channel claimed, the 33-year-old Michael B., who is a well known rocker in the district of Lichtenberg, Berlin, was the President of the chapters of the Berlin Bandidos MC and former member of the Hells Angels. Police reports say there is a continuing war over territorial claims between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels.
In October 2009, at the opening ceremony of a new Hells Angels pub in Potsdam, 70 police officers controlled 159 persons, 39 vehicles and arrested one member, who was a fugitive, of the Hells Angels group “Nomads.” The man was wanted for violation of the Arms Act. Two baseball bats and a banned one-handed knife was also found.
Since December 22, 2009, two members of the Hells Angels are standing trial in Kaiserslautern. They are accused, along with another Hells Angels member who is a fugitive, of having murdered the 45-year-old President of the Donnersberg Outlaws MC in June 2009.
Also in December 2009, a 38-year-old member of the Hells Angels was stabbed and critically injured in Erfurt. Shortly after the attack, the police arrested four suspects in Weimar, including two members of the Jena Bandidos.
In January 2010, the President of the Flensburg Hells Angels was arrested, accused of attempted homicide and hit-and-run driving, by having hit a Bandidos member with his car on the A7, reports say. On the same day, police raided the homes of two other Hells Angels members. Investigators searched for additional evidence in connection with the discovery of a weapons depot in a car repair shop in Flensburg. In November 2009, police had discovered explosives, five machine guns, ten shotguns and pump guns, revolvers and pistols and lots of ammunition.
In February 2010 in Potsdam, about 70 supporters of the Berlin chapter of the Bandidos MC, who usually are hostile to the Hells Angels, moved to the Berlin chapter of the Hells Angels. Police reports say the background of this step is unknown. Specialists say it could have something to do with a fight on June 21, 2009 in Finowfurt where one rocker was badly injured with an ax and suffered a split leg and the President of the “Brigade 81”, Andre S., was stabbed in the back. Other sources say it could have something to do with the immigrant background of the Berlin chapter of the Bandidos. German Bandidos probably have a problem with members of foreign origin. In general, the rockers are set nationally and felt like “real German men.” Therefore, members with Turkish roots are not welcome. A leading Hells Angels member confirmed the defection and said the new members will be part of the “Hells Angels of Turkey.” The President of the “Hells Angels of Germany” was also present.
On March 15, 2010, a 21-year-old supporter of the Bandidos was stabbed and badly injured in Kiel. In the same night, police raided meeting points of the Hells Angels. A few days earlier, shots were fired at the house of the local Hells Angels leader.
On March 17, 2010, a Bonn Hells Angels member shot dead a 42-year-old police officer of the SEK (Spezialeinsatzkommando) during a house search.
Since March 2010, a Hells Angels member is standing trial in Duisburg for having murdered an Oberhausen Bandidos member and former hooligan in Hochfeld, Duisburg on October 8, 2009. The Bandidos member was shot dead in the red-light district of Duisburg. He was executed with a headshot.
In April 2010, a member of the Flensburg Hells Angels, who is a witness in a double murder case, and a businessman are accused having extorted €380.000 of another businessman, who after adispute with his wife stabbed her and his 7-year-old daughter to death and set his house on fire in February 2009. Background of the crimes are economic difficulties.
In May 2010, the warring gangs declared an armistice, but investigators doubt whether hostilities will cease.
The Hells Angels control much of the drug trade in the Netherlands, 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 Curacao and Colombia, and also deal in ecstasy and illegal firearms.
In October 2005, the Dutch police raided Hells Angels’ clubhouses in Amsterdam, Haarlem, IJmuiden, Harlingen, Kampen and Rotterdam 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 Amsterdam brothel Yab Yum 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.