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The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) is a world-wide motorcycle club whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In the United States, and Canada, the Hells Angels are incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Some members of the Hells Angels and other motorcycle club#outlaw motorcycle clubs|motorcycle clubs nickname themselves motorcycle club#One Percenters|"one-percenters" in response to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) claim, made after the infamous Hollister riot|Hollister affair, that ninety-nine percent of motorcyclists were law abiding citizens, and the other one percent were troublemakers giving everyone else a bad name.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada classify the Angels as one of the "big four" motorcycle club#Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs|outlaw motorcycle gangs, contending that members carry out widespread violence, drug dealing, trafficking in stolen goods, and extortion.<ref>FBI Safe Street Violent Crime Initiative Report Fiscal Year 2000</ref><ref>Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC) Annual Report</ref> Many Hells Angels members, associates, and supporters assert that this is a mischaracterization, and claim that they are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who organize social events such as group road trips, fundraisers, parties, and motorcycle rallies.

HistoryEdit

The Hells Angels club was formed in 1948 in Bernadino, California|Fontana, California. The name "Hells Angels" was believed to have be inspired by the common historical use, in both World War I and II, to name squadrons or other fighting groups by fierce, death-defying names such as Hells Angels or Flying Tigers. Several military units used the name Hells Angels prior to the founding of the motorcycle club of the same name, including the United States Air Force|U.S. Air Force 303rd USAAF bombardment group|Bombardment Groups, a military unit formed in the early years of World War II, and the 11th Airborne Unit. 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 Flying Tigers|Hell's Angel. 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 squadron from the 303rd Group. No actual members of that squadron became members of the HAMC.<ref name=official_history> Hells Angels Official Web Site: History, http://www.hells-angels.com/history.htm</ref>

Some of the early history of the HAMC is not clear, and accounts differ. According to Ralph 'Sonny' Barger, founder of the Oakland, California|Oakland chapter, early chapters of the club were founded in San Francisco, Gardena, California|Gardena, Fontana, 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 Bernardino, California|San Bernardino ("Berdoo"). This implies that the "Frisco" Hells Angels were very much aware of their forebears. According to another account,<ref name=history_channel> History Channel episode, Hell's Angels</ref> the Hells Angels club was a successor to "Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington|The Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington" Motorcycle club, which was largely responsible, along with the Boozefighters for the Hollister riot of 1947.<ref>History Documentary Hell's Angels Time Index approximately 00.05 minutes into the program</ref> 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 later became the club standard.

The Hells Angels are shrouded in a cloud of mystery and controversy, thanks 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 rumour about the club's activities is rife.

The Hells Angels are variously depicted in a similar mythical fashion as the James Gang, as modern day legends, free spirited and iconic of an era of brotherhood and loyalty, or by others, particularly law enforcement agencies, as a violent criminal gang which is a scourge on society. Accordingly, public opinion, fuelled by the world media, varies widely on a scale all the way from envy, respect and hero worship, to fear, loathing, and hatred.<ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/3311057.stm BBC</ref>

InsigniaEdit

<!-- Commented out because image was deleted: Image:Hells-angels-logo.jpg|thumb|left|Early design Hells Angels jacket with logo (Smithsonian Institution) -->

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The Hells Angels official web site attributes the official "death's head" insignia design to Frank Sadilek, past president of the San Francisco Chapter.<ref name=official_history/> The colors and shape of the early-style jacket emblem (prior to 1953) were copied from the insignias of the List of United States Air Force squadrons#Fighter Squadrons|85th Fighter Squadron and the List of units using the B-26 Marauder during World War II#386th Bomb Group|552nd Medium Bomber Squadron.<ref name=official_history/>

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<ref>Gangs; A Journey into the heart of the British Underworld, Tony Thompson (journalist) (2004) ISBN 0-340-83053-0</small></ref>. 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, called 'cuts', so called due to the removal or 'cutting' of the collars and cuffs.

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.

The rhombus-shaped Motorcycle club#One Percenters|'One-percenter' patch is also used, displaying '1%', in red on a white background with a red overlock|merrowed border (refer to image at right, top). The term "one-percenter" is a response to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) comment on the Hollister riot|Hollister incident, in which the AMA stated that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens and the last 1% were outlaws.

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" (refer to image at right, lower).

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".<ref name=dequiallo>HAMC Overview Document, Overview of the Hell’s Angel’s Motorcycle Club (HAMC) In Canada</ref> There is no common convention as to where the patches are located on the members' jacket/vest.

MembershipEdit

According to the US Department of Justice, HAMC members must be men over 21 years of age and are required to own a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The full requirements to become a Hells Angel are the following: candidates must be White people|white, have a valid driver's license, have a working Harley Davidson motorcycle and cannot be a child molester or have applied to become a police officer or prison guard. <ref> Vancouver Sun June 10, 2005 Behind the Patch: Angels ABCs: by Neal Hall: </ref>

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 'Outlaw biker#Appearance|Full-Patch'.<ref name=membership>NDIC Document, US Department of Justice Report on OMG HA</ref> The term Full-Patch refers to the complete three-piece crest, including the 'Death's Head' logo and two rockers (top rocker: 'Hells Angels'; bottom rocker: Club location). Prospects are only allowed to wear a bottom rocker with the word 'Prospect'.

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 (country subdivision)|state/province/Territory (country subdivision)|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 (bottom location rocker) is then awarded at this initiation ceremony. The step of attaining full membership can be referred to as "being patched".

Official ChartersEdit

File:Hells Angels Mural - Southampton.jpg

The HAMC acknowledges more than a hundred charters spread over 29 countries. The first official charter outside of the United States|U.S. was formed in New Zealand in 1961. Europe did not become home to the Hells Angels until 1969, when two London charters were formed after the Beatles 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 United Kingdom Underground|UK Underground festivals including Phun City in 1970 organised by anarchist International Times writer and lead singer with the Deviants (band)|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’’).<ref>http://www.hellsangelslondon.com/history.php HAMC London Web Site</ref>. The 1980s and 1990s saw a major expansion of the club into Canada.

A list of acknowledged charters can be found on the HAMC club's official web site<ref>http://www.hells-angels.com/charters.htm</ref>.

ActivitiesEdit

The Hells Angels motorcycle club is often viewed as the epitome of the biker counterculture of the 1960s. The club is centered around a culture of motorcycling enthusiasts and its web site states that a member's principal mode of transport has to be a motorcycle. The website adds that members travel on average 20,000 miles a year.<ref>http://www.hells-angels.com/faq.htm Hells Angels FAQ page</ref> The club culture revolves around social events such as undertaking trips as a group, parties and rallies. Most chapters have information on upcoming and past events on their web sites.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club also undertakes a number of charitable activities, such as collecting toys for needy children.<ref>Hells Angels Annual Toy Run<!-- Bot generated title --></ref><ref>http://www.gazette.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/article-en.html?&lang_id=1&article_id=228</ref> Hells Angels also have periodic World Runs, where members from all over the world gather in one location.

Although the club denies any organized criminal activity on a club level, public perception of the club as a lawless, violent organization is often supported by widespread media coverage of club members' criminal activity. Canadian authors William Marsden and Julian Sher further accentuated this view in their book: Angels of Death: Inside the Bikers' Global Crime Empire.

Criminal activitiesEdit

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United States===

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California====
AltamontEdit

Perhaps one of the most notorious events in Hells Angels' history involved the December 6, 1969, Altamont Free Concert at the Altamont Speedway &mdash; partially documented in the 1970 film Gimme Shelter (documentary)|Gimme Shelter<ref name=GimmeShelterIMDB1>IMDB, Gimmer Shelter (1970), accessed February 28, 2007</ref> &mdash; 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 Grateful Dead 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 concert goers.

Crowd management proved to be difficult: many spectators were injured and four died. Over the course of the day, the Hells Angels became increasingly agitated and violent. They had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs; and they may have been concerned at having to control such an enormous crowd. In addition, at least one witness stated that the group of Angels at the concert were relatively young and inexperienced and that "their leaders weren't there".

The Angels used sawed-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 (documentary)|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 hand-gun. 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." <ref>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</ref>

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Nevada====
River Run RiotEdit

The River Run Riot occurred on April 27, 2002, at the Harrah's Laughlin|Harrah's Casino & Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada. Members of the Hells Angels and the Mongols (motorcycle club)|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 Angel 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.

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. <ref>Hells Angels get prison terms, accessed March 29, 2007</ref>

===={{ country showdata</noinclude> | alias = New York | flag alias = Flag of New York.svg | size = | name = }}

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New York====
Roberta Shalaby assaultEdit

On Sunday, January 28, 2007, a woman named Roberta Shalaby was found badly beaten on the sidewalk outside the Hells Angels' clubhouse in New York City. The resulting investigation by the NYPD has been criticized by the group for its intensity. The police were refused access to the Hells Angels club-house and responded by closing off the area, setting up sniper positions, and sending in armored personnel carriers.<ref>Hells Angels slam NYPD over clubhouse raid - Crime, Law and Justice, Manhattan, New York City Police Department - amNY.com<!-- Bot generated title --></ref> 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. <ref>After Police Search, Hells Angels Brace for Fight - New York Times<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>

In March 2008 it was revealed in a BBC documentary interview of an FBI agent that Hells Angels members attempted to carry out a plan to murder Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones in 1969 in response to a dispute with him over concert security they had provided. The gang members planned to kill Jagger by reaching him by sea at his vacation home in Long Island, NY. The plan failed, however, when a storm hit their boat, throwing the men overboard. <ref>Report: Jagger target of Hells Angels murder plot - CNN.com<!-- Bot generated title --></ref> <ref>BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Jagger 'escaped gang murder plot'<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>

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Washington====
Michael Walsh murder, racketeeringEdit

In 2001, Hell's Angels Rodney Lee Rollness and Joshua Binder murdered Michael "Santa" Walsh, who had allegedly falsely claimed to be a member of the Hell's Angels<ref>Local News | "Enforcer" for Hells Angels sent to prison for 15 years | Seattle Times Newspaper<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>. Paul Foster, hoping to join the Hell's Angels, aided in the murder by luring Walsh to a party at his house and helping cover up the crime<ref>Local News | Arlington man gets 7 years for involvement in Hells Angels murder | Seattle Times Newspaper<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>. West Coast leader Richard "Smilin' Rick" Fable, along with Rollness and Binder, were also convicted of various racketeering offenses<ref>Local News | Hells Angels figure gets 7-1/2 years | Seattle Times Newspaper<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>.

===Flag of Canada

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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.<ref>The Vancouver Sun (June 10, 2005), B.C.'s Hells Angels: Rich and Powerful</ref>

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 MC|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 across Canada, with chapters in at least seven of ten provinces and two of the three territories.<ref>Fallen Angel: The Unlikely Rise of Walter Stadnick in the Canadian Hells Angels, by Jerry Langton, John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd, 2006</ref>

Lindsay & Bonner TrialEdit

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)<ref>Bill C-24<!-- Bot generated title --></ref> 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.<ref>http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/2005/2005onsc14135.html R. v. Lindsay, 2005</ref>.<ref>RCMP Gazette, Behind the anti-gang law</ref>

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Quebec====

Maurice Boucher|Maurice (aka Mom) Boucher was the alleged leader of the Quebec chapters and second-in-command of the Canadian Nomad chapter, a chapter with no fixed geographic base. He is currently in prison, having been convicted on two counts of first-degree murder. In May 2002, Maurice received an automatic life sentence, with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years.<ref>CBC News, Mom guilty of murder</ref>

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British Columbia====
Project E-PandoraEdit

In late 2004 to 2005, the culmination of investigations into the actions of the Motorcycle club|outlaw motorcycle gang led to charges against 45 people including members of the Hells Angels and other associates of the gang, including 17 Outlaw biker#Appearance|full-patch Hells Angels members, and a chapter president.<ref name=charges>'45 Charged', Vancouver Sun: 45 Charged</ref> The investigation that brought the majority of the arrests, with a significant media impact, was Project E-Pandora<ref name=epandora>'E-Pandora', Project E-Pandora News Release</ref>, a 23 month covert investigation. The investigative task force for Project E-Pandora was launched in August 2003, and involved the RCMP "E" Division|RCMP, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) and the Vancouver Police Department.<ref name=gazette>RCMP Gazette, Winning the PR war.</ref> The project concluded with 12 search warrants, 17 arrests, and charges against 18 individuals.<ref name=epandora/>

In total, investigators seized<ref name=epandora/>:

1 - more than 20 kilograms of methamphetamine

2 - more than 20 kilograms of cocaine

3 - more than 70 kilograms of marijuana

4 - Restricted and Prohibited Weapons which include 5 Handguns, fully Automatic firearm|automatic weapons including Suppressor|silencers, 11 sticks of dynamite with Detonating cord|detonation cord and blasting caps, 4 grenades and an assortment of ammunition

5 - more than $200,000 Canadian currency

6 - 250 kilograms of Methylamine (a precursor for the production of MDMA|ecstasy)

7 - 2 methamphetamine laboratories

Due to the success of Project E-Pandora, based in large part on the tone and focus of news media stories, the province’s general public now make a direct connection between the motorbike gang and organized crime.<ref name=gazette/>

Criminal Organization Test Case FailsEdit

In the most recent ruling, March 27, 2008, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled against prosecuters who had alleged the Hells Angels are a criminal organization.<ref>Fraser, Keith. "Judge nixes criminal-organization charge against Hells Angel", The Province, March 28, 2008</ref> Although two associates of the Angles, David Roger Revell, 43, and Richard Andrew Rempel, 24, were convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking Justice MacKenzie concluded that with the aquittal 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 of possessing it for the benefit of a criminal organization had to fail as well.

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 prosecuters 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".<ref>Hall, Neal. "Acquittal in key test of anti-gang law", Vancouver Sun, March 27, 2008</ref>

This represents a major blow to law enforcement working to establish the group as a Criminal Organization under Canadian law.

===={{ country showdata</noinclude> | alias = Manitoba | flag alias = Flag of Manitoba.svg | flag alias-1905 = Flag of Manitoba (1905).svg | size = | name = | variant = <noinclude> | var1 = 1905 </noinclude> }}

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Manitoba====

The Hells Angels' expansion into Manitoba began with a relationship with Los Bravos, a local motorcycle gang. In 2000, Los Bravos were "patched over," becoming a full-fledged Hells Angels chapter.<ref name="losbravos">Crown argues biker gang is organized crime. cbc.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.</ref>

The following investigations over the last two years have been executed with the following charges.

Project DefenseEdit

On Wednesday, February 15th, 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<ref name=defense>'Project Defense', Project Defense, Winnipeg Media Release</ref>. 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 of 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 DrillEdit

On December 12, 2007, Project Drill<ref name=drill>'Project Drill', Project Drill, Winnipeg Media Release</ref> 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 InvestigationsEdit

Other joint investigations include:

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The Netherlands===

In 2006, two Dutch newspapers reported that the Amsterdam luxury brothel Yab Yum (brothel)|Yab Yum had long been controlled by the Dutch Hells Angels, who had taken over after a campaign of threats and blackmailing.<ref name=bn>Yab Yum: exclusief én crimineel, BN DeStem, 3 May 2006; 'Ook sekshuis Yab Yum werd afgeperst'. Eindhovens Dagblad, 3 May 2006. (Dutch)

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<noinclude> Hells Angels/doc

</noinclude></ref> 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.<ref>'Hells Angels own Yab Yum brothel', DutchNews.nl, 3 January 2008</ref> The brothel was closed in January 2008.<ref>Amsterdam court says Yab Yum brothel must close, Reuters, 4 January 2008</ref>

Pop cultureEdit

Wild HogsEdit

In March 2007, the Hells Angels sued The Walt Disney Company|Walt Disney Co. for allegedly engaging in trademark infringement. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California|U.S. District Court of California, alleged that the Disney film entitled Wild Hogs used both the name and distinctive logo of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation without permission.<ref name=lawsuit>'Litigation against movie release' (March 8, 2006), HAMC vs Walt Disney</ref> The movie, released in 2007 and starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy, is described on the Internet Movie Database as "A group of suburban motorcycle club|biker wannabes looking for adventure hit the open road, but get more than they bargained for when they encounter a New Mexico gang called the Del Fuegos."

Celebrity membersEdit

While membership in the Hells Angels is kept confidential, some celebrities have publicly acknowledged their affiliation with the club. Actor Chuck Zito, best known for his role on the HBO series Oz (TV series)|Oz, is a former member. <ref>Gatti, Angels, OZ and Chuck Zito | TheSweetScience.com Boxing<!-- Bot generated title --></ref>

Pop culture referencesEdit

  • In The Simpsons episode Take My Wife, Sleaze; guest starring John Goodman and Henry Winkler, a spoof of the name Hells Angels was made (Hell's Satans).
  • In the film The Warriors (film)|The Warriors and more so in the The Warriors (video game)|game of the same name the Warriors encounter a biker gang known as the Satan's Mothers, using the same 'evil and good' moniker the Hells Angels used.
  • In Good Omens, by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who ride motorbikes, have Hell's Angels printed on the back of their leather jackets.
  • In Episode 8 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a sketch called Hell's Grannies depict a group of elderly women who beat up young people. In one scene, they are shown driving away on motorcycles with "Hell's Grannies" crests on their leather jackets.
  • In the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Pee-wee Herman enters a bar ran by a motorcycle gang called "Satan's Helpers". He upsets them when he yells at them to be quiet as he is trying to use the pay telephone in the bar. After being kicked out of the bar Pee-wee accidentally knocks over a row of motorcycles. The gang threatens to harm and eventually kill him. Pee-wee wins them over by dancing in platform shoes to the song "Tequila (song)|Tequila" as a last request.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto Series, there is a reappearing motorcycle gang, mainly in Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories, depicted in similar fashion as HAMC members. The members of The Biker Gang, as they are called, ride painted cross-country motorcycles called Angels.

See alsoEdit

  • Bandidos
  • Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
  • Hells Angels on Wheels
  • List of California gangs
  • Mongols (motorcycle club)|Mongols
  • Outlaws Motorcycle Club|Outlaws
  • Pagans MC
  • Rock Machine
  • Sonny Barger

ReferencesEdit

Books and Newspaper ArticlesEdit

Perhaps the most notorious and colorful account of the Hells Angels was written by Gonzo journalism|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.

External linksEdit

Official sitesEdit

Other sitesEdit


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