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300 biker gangs operate in the US.

Bandidos Motorcycle Club

The Bandidos has a membership of 2,000 to 2,500 persons in the US and 13 other countries. They constitute a growing criminal threat to the US, and law enforcement authorities estimate that the Bandidos are one of the two largest Organised Motorcycle Groups (OMGs) operating in the US, with approximately 900 members belonging to 93 chapters. The Bandidos are involved in transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana and are involved in the production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine. The Bandidos are most active in the Pacific, Southeastern, Southwestern and the West Central regions of the US The Bandidos are expanding in each of these regions by forming additional chapters and allowing members of supporting clubs, known as "puppet" or "duck" club members who have sworn allegiance to another club but who support and do the "dirty work" of a mother club - to form new or join existing Bandidos chapters.

Black Pistons Motorcycle Club

The Black Pistons is the official support club for the Outlaws Motorcycle Club (Outlaws). Established in 2002 with the backing of the Outlaws, the Black Pistons have expanded rapidly throughout the US, Canada and Europe. The Black Pistons have an estimated 70 domestic chapters in 20 states and an unknown number of foreign chapters in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Poland. The exact number of Black Pistons members is unknown but the figure is estimated to be more than 200 in the US. The Outlaws use the Black Pistons chapters as a recruitment source for prospective Outlaws members. The Outlaws also use the Black Pistons chapters to conduct criminal activity, especially for the transportation and distribution of drugs. Members of the Black Pistons are also known to engage in assault, extortion, fraud, intimidation and theft.

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Hells Angels is an OMG with between 2,000 and 2,500 members who belong to over 230 chapters in the US and in 26 foreign countries. The Hells Angels pose a criminal threat on six continents. US law enforcement authorities estimate that the Hells Angels have more than 92 chapters in 27 states with a membership in excess of 800 persons. The Hells Angels are involved in the production, transportation and distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine. Additionally, the Hells Angels are involved in the transportation and distribution of cocaine, hashish, heroin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), ecstasy, PCP (phencyclidine) and diverted pharmaceuticals. The Hells Angels are also involved in other criminal activity including assault, extortion, homicide, money laundering and motorcycle theft.

Mongols Motorcycle Club

The Mongols is an extremely violent OMG that poses a serious criminal threat to the Pacific and Southwestern regions of the US. The Mongols are engaged in the transportation and distribution of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. The Mongols are also known to frequently commit violent crime including assault, intimidation and murder in defense of their territory, and to uphold the reputation of the club. A majority of the Mongols membership consists of Hispanic males who live in the Los Angeles area, and many are former street gang members with a long history of using violence to settle grievances. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) have called the Mongols the most violent and dangerous OMG in the nation. In the 1980's the Mongols seized control of Southern California from the Hells Angels, and today, the Mongols are allied with the Bandidos, the Outlaws, the Sons of Silence and the Pagans against the Hells Angels. The Mongols have also maintained their ties with Hispanic street gangs in Los Angeles.

Outlaws Motorcycle Club

The Outlaws have more than 1,700 members who belong to 176 chapters in the U.S. and in 12 foreign countries. US law enforcement authorities estimate that the Outlaws have more than 86 chapters in 20 states with over 700 members. The Outlaws also identify themselves as the A.O.A. (American Outlaws Association) and the Outlaws Nation. The Outlaws are the dominant OMG in the Great Lakes region. The Outlaws are involved in the production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine, the transportation and distribution of cocaine, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, ecstasy. The Outlaws engage in various criminal activities including arson, assault, explosives, extortion, fraud, homicide, intimidation, kidnapping, money laundering, prostitution, robbery, theft and weapons violations. The Outlaws compete with the Hells Angels for both members and territory.

Pagans Motorcycle Club

The Pagans is a violent OMG whose membership distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and PCP (phencyclidine). The Pagans are one of the most prominent OMGs in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Pagans have an estimated 200 to 250 members among 41 chapters in 11 states. The Pagans have been tied to traditional organized crime groups in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York and have engaged in criminal activities such as arson, assault, bombing, extortion and murder.

Sons of Silence

Sons of Silence is one of the largest OMGs in the United States, with 250 to 275 members among 30 chapters in 12 states. The club also has five chapters in Germany. Members have been implicated in numerous criminal activities, including murder, assault, drug trafficking, intimidation, extortion, prostitution operations, money laundering, weapons trafficking, and motorcycle and motorcycle parts theft.

Vagos Motorcycle Club

The Vagos has hundreds of members in the US and Mexico and poses a serious criminal threat to those areas in which its chapters are located. US law enforcement authorities report that the Vagos have approximately 300 members among 24 chapters located in the states of California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and three chapters located in Mexico. The Vagos produce, transport and distribute methamphetamine and are also involved in the distribution of marijuana. The Vagos have also been implicated in other criminal activities including assault, extortion, insurance fraud, money laundering, murder, vehicle theft, witness intimidation and weapons violations.

-- US Department of Justice

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 19, 2015
Words:984
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