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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hells Angels MC turns 70 years old

Houston, Texas (March 17, 2018) BTN — Founded in 1948, the Hells Angels motorcycle club has been a pop-culture mainstay for decades. Books, television and movies have mythologized them endlessly.

The story began on March 17, 1948, in San Bernardino, California, and the name is most-commonly attributed to the Howard Hughes movie of the same name, about World War II bombers. But that is where the military connection ends.

The Hells Angels website refutes the commonly held story that the group was founded by ex-military misfits and outcasts. Of course, later on, members from various branches of the military would join HAMC but it was not a military club to begin with.

The group's logo, the Death Head, is easily one of the most recognizable brands of the 20th century. It's since been copyrighted in the United States and internationally.

The "Berdoo" chapter is still alive and well to this day. That group's 70th anniversary party is scheduled for this weekend. There are no chapters listed in Texas.

More clubs began popping up soon after in and around California. In 1957 Sonny Barger founded the Oakland chapter. He would end up becoming the face of the club in pop-culture, and to this day remains a cult figure.

Barger's autobiography, "Hell's Angel," was released in 2001 to wide acclaim by motorcycle fans and others interested in the biker subculture.

By 1961 the club had a chapter in Auckland, New Zealand, and by the end of the decade the first of many chapters was founded in Europe. Australia, Africa and Brazil were still to come. Today there are even clubs in Turkey.

Nomad Dave shows off  his Hells Angels tattoo as he attends a Hells Angels rally.

In 1965 LIFE magazine went on the road with the outlaw bikers for a series of photos featuring the group riding and interacting with polite society. Two years later Hunter S. Thompson wrote the non-fiction book "Hell's Angels" about his time riding with the club.

They maintain an allure within mainstream culture, with TV shows like "Sons of Anarchy" adding to the mystique. Barger himself appeared on the show a handful of times. The motorcycle club in the TV show is purely fictional, although it does have some elements of the biker culture.

Deadly encounters between the Angels and other clubs have kept them squarely outside the lines, and the actions of bad apples among them haven't helped matters.

Article by: Craig Hlavaty
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

Thursday, March 15, 2018

High ranking Finks MC member charged

Sydney, Australia (March 15, 2018) BTN  —  A high-ranking Finks bikie has been refused bail after police raids discovered guns, ammunition and drugs with an estimated street value of $4 million. Martin Francis Klein, 35, was arrested while visiting a storage case in a residential carpark in Sydney's north-west on Wednesday.

A day earlier, police had executed a search warrant on the cage at Kellyville Ridge, with officers uncovering more than 17 kilograms of MDA pills, 1.7kg of powder suspected to be cocaine, and more than 67kg of powders believed to be MDA, assorted pre-curser chemicals, two firearms, a silencer and ammunition.

An unknown member of the Finks Motorcycle Club 

Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace said the amount of drugs uncovered was significant.

"That is capable of producing what we would say conservatively [is] 200,000 individual pills at an estimated street value of $4 million."

Following Mr Klein's arrest, police also seized a revolver, ammunition, encrypted phones, a hydrogen chloride gas cylinder and various documents during raids on a unit at the same complex and a home at Beaumont Hills.

Ammo seized from the raid

Police step up investigation of bikie feud

Detective Superintendent Wallace said the raids were part of ongoing investigations into violent conflicts between outlaw motorcycle gangs across NSW, and in particular, a dispute between the Finks and the Nomads.

"We are always investigating every crime these criminal groups and outlaw motorcycle gangs are involved in, but particularly where we're seeing violent conflicts — when we're seeing the potential of innocent people being harmed through reckless, ad hoc, random shootings — then we step it up," she said.

She said police managed conflicts between outlaw motorcycle gangs by going "straight to the cause of these conflicts which is usually over turf, money owed [or] drugs".

"So by taking out the catalyst for these disputes is often a way of resolving them for the community."

She said police would be alleging that, as a senior member of the Finks, Mr Klein was a "key player" in the drugs distribution network.

She said police were expecting to make more arrests.

"The bottom line is, if you want to get involved in these conflicts and violence then we will throw every resource we can at it."

Mr Klein on Thursday appeared at Blacktown Local Court on charges of commercial drug supply and 15 firearms offences.

He was refused bail and the matter was adjourned to Parramatta Local Court on March 22.

SOURCE: ABC dot net

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Police watching MC's in Daytona for Bike Week

Daytona Beach, Florida (March 14, 2018) BTN  — More motorcycle clubs are in town for Bike Week but the Volusia County sheriff said police will come down on them “like white on rice” if they break the law. Sheriff Mike Chitwood said he has seen an increase in motorcycle clubs coming to Bike Week in Daytona Beach.

To prevent violence, the Sheriff’s Office has taken a proactive approach and shifted the focus of its motorcycle theft task force that operated during the event for years. The team now monitors local, national and international motorcycle clubs.

“I would say that it seemed when I first got here in 2006, it was high, and then we hit a period where there was a lull, there was a period where we knocked their club house out of Daytona Beach,” Chitwood said.

In August 2007, Daytona Beach police and FBI raided and busted up the Outlaws motorcycle club’s clubhouse on Beach Street. The Outlaws MC tried making a comeback but Daytona Beach police and code enforcement has made it difficult for them to set up house in other locations in the city.

“Daytona is a national run for most motorcycle clubs during Bike Week,” Capri said. “Meaning that most motorcycle clubs require their members to be here.”

Daytona Beach police detectives have met with several of the motorcycle clubs and laid down the rules of the city to them, Capri said.

“Our number one goal is public safety,” Capri said. “We’ve met with them and told them they can have their fun but we’ve let them know that if they cause problems, we’ll be on them. They’ve been receptive to our rules.”

Police on standby as the Hells Angels roll into town

Geelong, Melbourne, Australia (March 14, 2018) BTN — There will be a highly visible police presence across Geelong and the Surf Coast this weekend as police officers monitor a large Hells Angels MC ride. Members of the biker outfit and their families have made reservations at a hotel in Lorne.

The Grand Pacific accepted the bookings after other hotels in the town agreed to police requests not to allow the Hells Angels members to stay at their premises. It is not known at this time if the group will be in Lorne for an organised meeting or a simple social gathering.

However Inspector Gary Bruce says community safety is the force's top priority and officers will be working hard to detect and deter any public order incidents and anti-social behaviour.

SOURCE: Bay 93.9
Source: Biker Trash Network

Ol' Ladies Continued - Biker Trash Network -

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New police task force opening to target the influx of Australian MC's to the region

Tauranga, North Island, NZ, (March 13, 2018) BTN — Police Minister Stuart Nash is in Tauranga today to launch the first new branch of the National Organised Crime Group outside of Auckland and Wellington.

A statement released by the New Zealand Police today says the task force is strategically based in Tauranga to help deal with organised crime, methamphetamine production and importation and asset recovery.

The NZ Herald reports the organised crime taskforce expansion into the Bay of Plenty is largely due to the growing numbers of Australian bikies, particularly the Comancheros and Bandidos, who have been deported from Australia for their past criminal histories and failure of the "good character" legal test.

The encroachment of the long-established Australian chapters of the Comancheros and Bandidos onto Kiwi soil comes after another Australian bikie gang, the Rebels, as well as the Head Hunters, established chapters in Tauranga over the last few years.

"Organised criminals with transnational ties are operating in the region," says Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

The appeal of Tauranga as a base for bikie gangs comes from the presence of the busiest port in the country - and the potential to smuggle large drug quantities through it on container ships.

"Tauranga is an area of growth for New Zealand and good people are setting themselves up in Tauranga," Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said in anticipation of the opening.

"Organised criminals are too. Being on their back doorstep is the right thing to do."

Making up the new team will be six detectives focusing exclusively on organised crime in the Tauranga region, and reporting back to the larger police base in Wellington.

New Zealand police have for years now warned of the threat deported "Kiwi" gang members, many who have spent the majority of their lives in Australia, would in time strengthen New Zealand gangs and increase their criminal efficiency.


Hells Angel fires lawyer in BC Supreme Court

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, (March 13, 2018) BTN — The trial of an Edmonton Hells Angel and two associates scheduled for April will be delayed as the three fired their lawyer in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Monday.

Neil Patrick Cantrill – who goes by “Nitro” in a Nomads Chapter of the Alberta Hells Angels – is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping without the use of a firearm, unlawful confinement or imprisonment, extortion, attempting to choke to overcome resistance, and possession of non-firearm knowing unauthorized.

Charged alongside Cantrill in the alleged incident from Hope in August 2016 is Stephen Cantrill and Robert Lowry. A publication ban prevents any details of the case to be reported at this time.

The matter was scheduled to go to trial on April 9, but the Edmonton-based lawyer for the men, Jake Chadi, appeared via telephone in Chilliwack on March 12 to apply to be removed from the case as the Cantrills and Lowry want a new lawyer. Biker TrashNetwork

“My clients have lost confidence in my services,” Chadi said.

The three men said they are looking for a local lawyer, and should have one by next week but there would not be enough time for he or she to get up to speed by the April 9 court date.

Crown counsel Grant Lindsey pointed out any further delay in the case is as a result of defence so the Jordan principle, which addresses court delays, would not be in effect.

Neil Cantrill, 59, has a long history with the courts, and was once convicted of illegal possession of live rattlesnakes and fined $1,000.

In 1998, he faced much more serious charges after a man claimed three men, one in Angels colours, stormed his home and forced him to hand over property for a debt, according to a Jan. 28, 2001 article in the Edmonton Sun. Those charges were later stayed.

And according to Vancouver Sun gang reporter Kim Bolan, Cantrill was accused of a large methamphetamine production operation nine years ago in Alberta. He was alleged to have supplied the White Boy Posse.

In 2003, he faced further weapons and drug charges that were later dropped due to an invalid warrant, Bolan wrote in 2016 in her blog on gangsters.

SOURCE: Hope Standard

Rebels MC: Several members plead guilty to crimes

Christchurch, South Island, NZ (March 12, 2018) BTN — Four members of the Rebels motorcycle club have admitted being members of an organised criminal group that was dealing methamphetamine and cannabis in Christchurch.

Raids on the clubs's headquarters in Vagues Rd, Papanui, in 2016, found firearms, 38 grams of methamphetamine, 300g of cannabis, and $35,000, Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier told the Christchurch District Court as the group pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

"The Rebels motorcycle gang had as one of their objectives to deal in drugs, notably methamphetamine and cannabis, for profit," she said.

Rebels MC members wait outside their clubhouse while police perform search

Judge Tom Gilbert set sentencing for June 27 and ordered home detention assessments for three who are on bail: Baden Kenneth Clunie, 25, Apirana Ropata Ngata, 23, and a 45-year-old man who has interim name suppression.

A fourth man, Mark Allan Powhiro, 32, is already being held in custody and no home detention report was called for. All have admitted participating in an organised criminal group. Clunie also admitted offering to supply methamphetamine and cannabis. The man with name suppression also admitted offering to supply methamphetamine.

Boshier said the Rebels formed in Brisbane in 1969 and became Australia's largest motorcycle club. Since 2011 they have rapidly expanded throughout the world and established a presence in New Zealand in January 2011. From August 2014 to June 2016, the Rebels Motorcycle Club South City headquarters was in a warehouse in Vagues Rd. It contained a headquarters room, accommodation, and a bar.

The bar area, main room, and accommodation had Rebels paraphernalia such as flags, logos, drawings and insignia on display. There were patched Rebels jackets and vests, Harley Davidson motorcycles and five surveillance cameras with television monitor screens set up in two areas. Boshier said between March and April 2016, the four men were either patched members or prospects of the Rebels Motorcycles South City club.

They were seen wearing Rebels regalia and associating with known members, in Christchurch and other parts of the country. She said Clunie was the "money man" who held the club books and chased members for money owed for club fees.

Firearms were found at the pad when the police searched the premises.

"Gangs such as the Rebels acquire firearms for the purpose of intimidation and protection of the gang. They are readily used by drug dealers for their protection and standover tactics in the sale and supply of methamphetamine and cannabis," Boshier said.

The Crown detailed the firearms – a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition, a cutdown .308 firearm, and air rifles – found at the premises. They also found drugs, a balaclava, and text messages, which they say include "drug talk and drug dealing", although they are sometimes unable to say what type of drug is being supplied.

A fifth person arrested has pleaded not guilty and the case is headed for trial.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Video: Outlaws MC members caught on surveillance camera in bar beating

Bay City, MI (March 12, 2018) BTN — A bar's surveillance camera captured the moment an argument between patrons escalated into violence, when two men associated with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club beat and stomped another man.

The video was recorded in the Whyte Goose Inn, 108 State St., around 1 a.m. on Dec. 27. The Bay City Times-MLive obtained the footage from the Bay City Department of Public Safety after prosecutors played it in court during the March 6 preliminary examination of defendants Eric J. Kerkau, 46, and Arthur R. Miller, 33.

At the beginning of the silent video, 49-year-old Scott M. Peterson stands near the bar in the upper left corner of the frame. He is arguing with a man police have identified as Miller, who stands opposite him. A woman is between them, apparently trying to quell their dispute. Standing closer to Peterson and slightly behind him is a man police have said is Kerkau.

Miller puts a cigarette in his mouth, dons his coat, and walks out of the frame. A few moments later, as Peterson continues speaking with the woman who intervened in his dispute with Miller, Kerkau takes a few steps back, then quickly steps forward and twice punches Peterson in the head. The two begin scuffling as others move in to break them up.

As they grapple, Miller walks back into frame and yanks Peterson from behind. He knocks him to the ground and repeatedly knees him in the face. He and Kerkau then kick Peterson several times, with Miller stomping him at least twice. Peterson stays on the ground for the rest of the clip.

Police responded to the scene and Kerkau and Miller were both charged with a 10-year felony count of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Peterson testified in the March 6 hearing that the incident left him with injuries to his shoulder, knee and ribs. He suffered a slightly detached retina in his right eye, which has required two laser surgeries. He also required six staples to mend a wound in the back of his scalp, he said.

In that same hearing, bartender Ashley Schwartz said the three men had argued over a belief that Peterson had taken a photo of the two bikers on his cellphone.

During the dispute with Peterson, Miller had made comments about being "black and white" and that "nobody needs to have any black and white on their phones," Schwartz said.

"One gentlemen stood up, took his coat off, and tried to initiate a fight," Schwartz said, identifying this man as Miller. "I tried to stop it. The gentlemen that tried to initiate a fight tried to get Scott to come outside and fight him, but he would not go. The other gentleman (Kerkau) who was still in the bar ... took a few steps back and just sucker-punched (Peterson). It just proceeded from there."

Peterson denied having taken a photo of Kerkau or Miller.

Bay City Public Safety Officer Todd Armstrong testified he responded to the scene and recovered a necklace bearing a Black Pistons medallion. The Black Pistons is a support club of the Outlaws. Armstrong added that Kerkau's Facebook page featured references to his "black and white brothers."

Both defendants are free on bond and their trial dates are pending.


New Mexico's mysterious Gang Task Force invites Ex-Sheriff to speak

Las Cruces, NM (March 12, 2018)BTN — The New Mexico Gang Task Force’s recent speaking invitation to Wisconsin’s controversial former sheriff, David Clarke, raised two major questions.

First, why would the task force invite a partisan — and, some claim, divisive — figure to speak to state law enforcement officers at their annual conference in April?

Second, exactly what is the New Mexico Gang Task Force? Answering the first question may be easier than the second.

The organization responded to reporters’ questions about Clarke, the former sheriff of Milwaukee County, with a written statement that also was posted on its website. The task force’s bottom line: Clarke’s 15 years in law enforcement, a career critics say has been pock-marked by outlandish statements and right-wing politics — though, he was elected as a Democrat — would be valuable to share with those in the profession.

However, neither of the only two officials listed on the group’s website — Dana “Duke” Kouri, the task force’s program manager, and “gang specialist” 

Antoinette Apodaca — responded to repeated phone calls and emails asking about the structure, financing and history of the gang task force.

New Mexico State Public Safety Secretary Scott Weaver said last week that for years his department was the pass-through agency that received funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and distributed them to the task force. But, Weaver said, beginning in fiscal year 2016, those funds dried up. It’s not clear how the task force has been funded since then.

Besides his involvement in the task force, Kouri is listed as executive director of the New Mexico Police Athletic League, a position he’s held since the 1990s. According to his LinkedIn page, he’s also worked at former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White’s private investigation company and is a certified police instructor at the state Department of Public Safety.

Although the invitation to Clarke was blasted by at least two major police agencies in the state, even those agencies that were critical had mostly good things to say about the task force’s training programs and its role in facilitating the sharing of intelligence about gangs among various law enforcement agencies.

A long-term problem

The subject of gangs is a big one in New Mexico. Between the late 1980s and late ’90s, reports of gang violence were commonplace in New Mexico media. In Santa Fe, that culminated in the 1997 gang shooting on the Plaza during La Fiesta de Santa Fe that resulted in the death of Carlos Santiago Romero, 19. Two others were injured by gunfire that night.

Though gang-violence eruptions have declined in the years since, those in law enforcement say it never went away. The New Mexico Gang Task Force’s website says, in fact, that it’s gotten worse.

“The gang problem in New Mexico has escalated in the last two decades from relatively traditional neighborhood gangs, found primarily in the state’s urban areas, to criminal gangs statewide,” the site says. “New Mexico’s gangs have evolved and continue to be more mobile, more violent, and more involved in high-level criminal activities.”

The FBI-established National Gang Intelligence Center, in its most recent report in 2015, said “gangs of all types remain steadfast in their objectives to generate revenue and gain control of the territories they inhabit; and in their dedication to these objectives, gangs continue to grow in numbers and expand in their criminal activities.”

That report doesn’t break down statistics by state. It does mention one New Mexico incident, a fight between members of the Banditos and Wheels of Soul motorcycle clubs in March 2015 at an Applebee’s restaurant in Albuquerque. One Wheels of Soul member sustained a nonfatal gunshot wound. He refused to cooperate with authorities during the investigation.

According to the New Mexico Gang Task Force website, the main goal of the group is to provide federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies with training, information and funding to enhance interdiction and enforcement efforts with the goal of reducing criminal gang activity, including narcotics trafficking, throughout the state of New Mexico.

Other goals include training on gang activities and interdiction techniques, compiling data on gang trends and becoming “the centralized clearinghouse for New Mexico in the area of juvenile and gang violence,” according to the website.

Benefits of membership

Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said his agency has been a member of the task force since its inception in the late ’90s.

There are no annual dues for an agency to join, Gallegos said, except for training. The task force’s website says there is an $80 charge for each officer participating in this year’s conference in April. Closer to the event, the price goes up to $100.

The Albuquerque Police Department “shares gang intelligence with other New Mexico agencies and other out-of-state agencies on our network,” Gallegos said. Federal grant funding has been used to cover the costs of joint overtime operations targeting gang activity, he said.

“The biggest benefit is a shared interactive computer database on known gang members and their associates documented in the system,” Gallegos said. “This program has been instrumental in criminal investigations in identifying unknown suspects based on such characteristics as gang membership, tattoos, gang clothing and colors.”

Santa Fe police spokesman Greg Gurule said the department has benefited from information shared by the task force. He said a series of armed robberies and other crimes last year were carried out by a group of youth, some of whom were linked to Albuquerque gangs.

Ex-Sheriff  David Clark flashes V for victory during a recent event

“The investigation resulted in seven arrest warrants being issued and confirmation that Albuquerque gangs such as the Only the Family [OTF] and the Get Hard Crew were operating in Santa Fe,” Gurule said. “If it weren’t for the sharing of information between agencies and collaboration through the New Mexico Gang Task Force, these gang members would have gone undetected within the city of Santa Fe.”

Gallegos described the training offered by the task force as “state of the art.”

Juan Ríos, a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, agreed.

“This is training dealing with large criminal organizations,” Ríos said. “We’re not talking about the West Side Locos,” he said, referring to a Santa Fe gang that was active here in the 1990's.

Confiscated during a recent raid by the New Mexico Gang Task force

Among the classes offered at the April conference are those dealing with Mexican drug cartels, outlaw motorcycle gangs, white supremacists and “sovereign citizen” groups, Native American gangs, social media use by gangs, opioid death investigations, post traumatic stress disorder and psychological safety for officers, the task force website says.

Attendance is limited to those who work directly for public safety agencies and city, county, state or federal departments. Identification is required. And, the website says, the task force “reserves the right to refuse ineligible attendees.”

The Clarke flap - David Clarke is a controversial figure these days.

The former Wisconsin sheriff, who ran as a Democrat, stepped down from the job last year to become a spokesman for a pro-Donald Trump political action committee. He has made a second career out of saying things that delight the hard right and anger liberals. An African-American, he has compared Black Lives Matter to ISIS. He’s also advocated for suspending habeas corpus for Americans suspected of terrorist sympathies. And just recently, he suggested that Florida high school students who are pushing for gun control legislation are being controlled by liberal billionaire George Soros.

His invitation to speak in New Mexico outraged some in law enforcement.

“I don’t know why the gang task force invited this guy. I disagree with that,” said Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia.

Garcia added that if the deputy he’s sending to the conference wants to “go hear this radical speaker, he’ll have to go on his own time and spend his own money. I’m not spending any taxpayer money on this.”

Gallegos, the Albuquerque police spokesman, said in a statement: “It’s disappointing that any New Mexico organization would invite someone with such a radical disregard for civil rights and human dignity to be a keynote speaker. This invitation sends the wrong message at the wrong time, as we bring back community policing and make progress toward restoring public trust in law enforcement.”

Nevertheless, Clarke is scheduled to speak twice at the conference at Isleta Pueblo — once as the keynote speaker for attendees and once at a $150-a-plate “VIP dinner,” which is open to the public.

Responding to criticism about the invitation last month, the task force released this statement:

“Each year we look for speakers who can provide a unique experience that officers can utilize in the training…Ex-Sheriff Clarke served the people of Milwaukee County for 15 years and politics aside, his experiences are invaluable to law enforcement everywhere. … The decision to invite former Sheriff Clarke was made by the [task force] training committee, a committee of 10 volunteers. We stand by our decision to have him as our keynote speaker.”

STORY: Steve Ferrell

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Biker war veteran shoved by cops during charity motorcycle run files complaint

Woodenbong, New South Wales, AU  (March 11, 2018) BTN — A war veteran says he has filed formal complaints about the behaviour of police who conducted a mass stop of motorcycle riders on a charity run in northern New South Wales.

Biker Michael Parr being hassled by the police 

About 150 riders were pulled over in Woodenbong at the weekend as part of a cross-border operation targeting outlaw criminal motorcycle clubs. Police allege officers seized a prohibited weapon, and issued 21 defect notices and 50 traffic infringements.

One man was also charged with using offensive language.

One of the riders, 58-year-old Michael Parr, said there was a single member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club on the ride, with the rest coming from social clubs.

“We had probably 20 to 30 social clubs on that ride, 97 registered bikes on the ride, all social club members,” he said. “Ages from about 18 through to 60, various physical conditions, males and females.”

Mr Parr has alleged he was shoved by one of the officers involved, and said as a returned serviceman and member of the Veterans Motorcycle Club he expected better treatment. Biker Trash Network

“I leaned forward to him to say you are not going to disrespect me,” he said. “I’ve gone overseas to fight for this country. I’ve got my ribbon bars on my vest and you are showing me no respect. “Then he turns around and shoves me, so how do you think I feel?”

Operation a crime prevention strategy, police say

But police have dubbed the joint-agency operation a success, saying it enforced consorting legislation, firearm and traffic laws.

Officers from the New South Wales Police Force, Queensland Police Service and Australian Federal Police carried out 70 random breath tests, 30 drug tests and 69 bike and person searches as part of Operation Chappell.

Tweed-Byron crime manager, Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen, said the operation aimed to disrupt any potential criminal activity on the cross-border run.

“I would say that we intercepted the people before offences were committed, and that was the whole strategy of the operation,” he said. “To stop them as soon as they come across the border so they do not commit offences in this state. “So from that perspective I would say that’s very successful.”

Detective Chief Inspector Cullen said the operation targeted people who chose to associate with members of outlaw motorcycle gangs.

“This operation wants to send a clear message for those who associate with these people who claim to be that 1 per cent of the population that doesn’t abide by the law,” he said. “We will intercept them if they come across the border into New South Wales. We’ll use the legislation that is available to us to make them unwelcome in our state.”

Lawyer questions safety of mass stop

A Queensland lawyer said he was disgusted by the attitude of police during the operation.

Chris Main, from Alibi Criminal Defence, said he had been phoned by one of the riders involved, then called police at the scene to raise his own concerns.

Mr Main said he questioned the safety of pulling a large group of people over on the side of the road, including a diabetic rider who needed water and to relieve himself.

“I was quite disgusted to hear that the police view, after listening to what I had to say about safety and the comfort of the riders, their view [was]‘I don’t care, we’re going to do what we like’,” he said.

Mr Main said as a civil libertarian, he was drawn to the case.

“Motorcycle enthusiasts are a group of people who like motorcycles. That is not criminal,” he said. “If government or police or whatever group suspects someone of criminality, well then they can build a case, and they can charge them for that criminal act" he said.

“I don’t think it’s suitable or appropriate for Parliament to make laws which allow police to criminalise people, anyone, just on the company that they choose or the hobbies they decide to undertake.”

SOURCE: BrinkWire

Friday, March 9, 2018

Canadian military members banned from associating with outlaw bikers

Toronto, Ontario, CA (March 9, 2018) BTN — The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces have issued a nationwide general order banning members of Canada’s military from associating with a variety of groups, including outlaw biker clubs.

The general order was issued in February, almost four years after a military police intelligence report warned that some active and retired troops have an uncomfortably close alliance with outlaw motorcycle clubs.

The February 2018 general order addresses several banned groups. Among other things, it warns members that they must avoid any association that a member of the military “knows, or ought to know, promote racism, sexism, misogyny, violence, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism and discriminatory views with respect to particular religions or faiths.”

Bikers hanging a banner outside the Hells Angels Nomads compound before their Canada Run on July 22, 2016 in Carlsbad Springs, Ont. 

It also bars members from “participation in an activity of, or membership in, a group or organization that a CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) member knows, or ought to know, is connected with criminal activities…”

A Canadian Forces spokesperson told the Star that this includes a ban on associating with outlaw biker gangs. In Canada, the Hells Angels and Outlaws are considered by police to be outlaw biker gangs.

The 2018 general order follows a July 2014 report obtained by the Star under the Access to Information Act which says that some 155 active and retired military personnel associate with outlaw bikers, “threatening security clearances and reliability, and impacting on CAF operations.”

In the heavily censored report obtained by the Star, 48 of 69 pages are totally blanked out for a variety of security reasons, including concerns that its release might reveal the identity of confidential sources or be related to investigations. The 2014 military intelligence investigation, called “Operation Nighthawk,” notes that some 80 active Canadian Armed Forces members and some 75 retirees belonged to veteran-based motorcycle clubs, called “V-B MC.”

“Many of these V-B MCs are associating with .. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG), which are considered criminal organizations,” the report continues. “According to the Personnel Security Screening Office (PSSO), ‘CF members are of interest to OMGs (outlaw motorcycle gangs) in view of their access to weapons, ammunition and explosives, as well as their military training,’” the report says.

The report also notes there is a long and complicated history between outlaw bikers and the military, and that several outlaw biker clubs have military origins that date back to World War II.

“When servicemen returned from the war (WWII) they likely found the transition back to civilian life monotonous or more than they could handle,” the report states. “Feeling disenfranchised and cast out of normal society, they searched for relief and the company of kindred spirits, and perhaps to relive some of the wilder aspects of what they had experienced overseas.”

A Hells Angels MC calendar from 2005

 The report notes that original members of the Hells Angels included American members of a World War II fighter squadron who painted “Hell’s Angels” on the side of aircraft. (The motorcycle club has since decided to spell its name without an apostrophe).

In Toronto, local Hells Angels referenced their military roots in 2004 when they briefly put up a billboard by the Don Valley Parkway, which included a picture of troops by a military aircraft with “HELLS ANGELS” painted on its side. The caption of the billboard stated “Still fighting for democracy & freedom.)

Since World War II, there have been waves of veterans who have formed motorcycle clubs. Returning servicemen from the Vietnam War formed the Bandidos, Mongols, Sons of Silence, Vagos and Warlocks motorcycle clubs, the report notes.

Operation Nighthawk was launched in 2012 after investigators with the Military Police Criminal Intelligence Program noted that “many veteran-based motorcycle clubs emulated the structure and operation of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMG),” the report says.

“More worrisome were observations that DND/CAF members of these MCs were rumoured to be associating directly and indirectly with members and associates of known OMGs,” the report says.

The report continues that many members of veterans’ motorcycle clubs joined them “blindly,” with the intention of not associating with members of outlaw motorcycle clubs.

The report describes membership in veterans’ motorcycle clubs as “a gateway … to the OMG-lifestyle (outlaw motorcycle gang) and the criminal environment.”

The report expresses uneasiness between members of military-based motorcycle clubs and outlaw bikers, stating “it is of concern that any association to these types of groups provide a possible gateway not only to the OMG lifestyle but the criminal environment as well.”

“There exists the potential for members to be coerced into providing access to CAF/DND (Canadian Armed Forced/ Department of National Defence) assets/ expertise and information which can be used to further the criminal enterprise of the OMG,” the report says.

“Currently there is no policy regarding a CAF member becoming a member or associating with members and/or associates of OMGs,” the report says.

“There is no policy or consistent order regulating or banning the wearing of colours or other club identifiers while on DND property,” the report continues. “There also is no policy regarding the invitation of OMG members onto DND establishments.”

SOURCE: The Star

Man says Outlaws MC members beat him in Bay City bar

Bay City, MI (March 7, 2018) BTN — In a quiet courtroom, a prosecutor played video footage of a bar patron being punched by another customer, then stomped by two men. According to witnesses, the beatdown was perpetrated by two bikers who were vexed over a photo the assaulted man had reportedly taken.

And to hear the victim tell it, he hadn't even taken a photo in the first place.

Such was the testimony during the March 6 preliminary examination of Eric J. Kerkau, 46, and Arthur R. Miller, 33, both charged with a 10-year felony count of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm.

Eric Kerkau (L) and Arthur Miller (R) 

Ashley Schwartz, the first witness called by Bay County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas, testified she had been bartending at the Whyte Goose Inn, 108 State St., the early morning of Dec. 27. About 1 a.m., an argument broke out between Scott M. Peterson, 49, and Kerkau and Miller regarding a photo Peterson had supposedly taken, Schwartz said.

"One gentlemen stood up, took his coat off, and tried to initiate a fight," Schwartz said, identifying this man as Miller. "I tried to stop it. The gentlemen that tried to initiate a fight tried to get Scott to come outside and fight him, but he would not go. The other gentleman (Kerkau) who was still in the bar ... took a few steps back and just sucker-punched (Peterson). It just proceeded from there."

Schwartz said Miller came back inside and joined Kerkau in punching and kicking Peterson.

"There was so much chaos at the time, it was hard to tell how many times he was hit," she said. As the assault occurred, Schwartz called 911.

Cross-examined by defense attorneys Matthew Boucher and Brian Jean, Schwartz said Peterson had been sitting at the bar with his girlfriend, playing with his phone. She didn't notice if he had taken a photo of Kerkau or Miller or not, she said.

During the dispute with Peterson, Miller had made comments about being "black and white" and that "nobody needs to have any black and white on their phones," Schwartz said.

Jean asked Schwartz why she told Bay County Central Dispatch that Peterson was being assaulted by members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. She replied that she wanted responding police to be aware of who the assailants were in case they had weapons on them.

"It's just from working in bars and experiences with other fights with different biker groups, it's common for some of them to have weapons," Schwartz said.

Called to the stand after Schwartz, Peterson said he and his girlfriend had gone to the Whyte Goose after having dinner on Midland Street and a drink at Stables Martini & Cigar Bar, 804 E. Midland St. They arrived at the Whyte Goose between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, he said. He said he did not know Kerkau or Miller.

Miller and Kerkau were already at the Whyte Goose when Peterson arrived, he said. He wasn't there long before Miller and Kerkau confronted him, he said.

"They were accusing me of having pictures of them on my phone," he said. "Miller was trying to get me to come outside with him. I didn't know what the heck they were talking about. I refused to go outside with him."

Peterson denied having any photos of Miller or Kerkau on his phone.

Peterson and his girlfriend sat at the bar, with Kerkau sitting nearby. A short while later, Kerkau again accused Peterson of having photos of him on his phone, he said.

"Before I knew it, I got blasted in the back of the head by Eric," Peterson said. "He hit me once that I know of. I turned around towards him and then I got clocked in the side of the head by Arthur. Then we got all tangled up and I went down to the ground and they were hitting me and kicking me. I was just trying to cover up at that point."

Peterson sustained injuries to his shoulder, knee and ribs. He suffered a slightly detached retina in his right eye, which has required two laser surgeries. He also required six staples to mend a wound in the back of his scalp, he said.

Under cross-examination, Peterson said he had two IPA beers with dinner, one at Stables, and half of one at the Whyte Goose. He said he was not feeling intoxicated.

Asked by Jean if he had seen Kerkau and Miller at Stables, Peterson said he hadn't noticed them there. He added he had left Stables due to police arriving there to deal with some issue, and that he's not a fan of police.

Jean then asked him about his prior convictions on larceny-related charges and if he considers himself an honest man. Peterson replied that he does consider himself honest.

Since the Whyte Goose incident, Peterson in January was charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic violence.

Jean asked him to describe the injuries he sustained.

"Senseless and severe," Peterson replied. "It's ridiculous what happened, I'll tell you that."

Bay City Public Safety Officer Todd Armstrong testified that when he arrived at the bar, Peterson was lying on the floor. In the course of his investigation, Armstrong obtained the bar's surveillance camera footage of the incident, which Assistant Prosecutor Hausmann played in the hearing.

The silent footage shows Peterson standing at the bar, only to punched by another man. The first assailant is then joined by another man and the pair proceed to beat Peterson as other patrons try breaking up the assault.

After the video ended, Hausmann asked Armstrong what it means to him when a man describes himself as "black and white." The officer replied that based on his training and experience, he would assume that man would be associated with the Outlaws.

Armstrong added he recovered a necklace at scene bearing a Black Pistons medallion. The Black Pistons is a support club of the Outlaws. Armstrong added that Kerkau's Facebook page featured references to his "black and white brothers."

Questioned by the defense, Armstrong said he was unaware if police searched Peterson's phone to see if he had or had not taken photos of Miller or Kerkau.

After Armstrong testified, Hausmann asked Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly to allow him to add a 20-year charge of gang membership to each defendant's case. Boucher and Jean objected to this and Kelly ended up siding with them.

Kelly did, however, bind both men's cases over to Circuit Court for trial. Kerkau and Miller are free on bond.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established in 1935 in McCook, Illinois. Since then, it has expanded to 28 countries. It has four Michigan chapters, including one in Bay City. In 2006, five members of the Bay City chapter were involved in a shootout with the Hell's Angels in South Dakota.

Through its website, the club is adamant that it is not a criminal organization.

"We may not live by the rules of society, but we do live by its laws," the site states.