The group claims the U.S. government has violated both immigration law and the Constitution by dubbing the Hells Angels a “known criminal organisation.”
Despite its tough name, the Hells Angels claims it’s just a group “of motorcycle enthusiasts who have joined to ride motorcycles together, organise social events, fundraisers, parties and motorcycle rallies,” according to the CNN report.
So, why does the government believe those motorcyclists are also criminals? We decided to take a look at the alleged criminal past of the notorious motorcycle group to find out.
The Hells Angels have just roughly 2,500 members.
But the group has 230 chapters in the U.S., operates in 26 countries, and poses a threat on six continents, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The group is tied to drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal offenses.
The Angels were formed in 1948, getting their name from bold World War II bomber pilots, according to the History Channel.
They began getting a rough reputation after one of their members killed a spectator at a 1969 Rolling Stones concert just a few feet away from Mick Jagger, the History Channel noted.
In June, the FBI announced that it had arrested 19 people tied to a South Carolina Hells Angels outfit called the Rock Hell City Nomad Chapter.
They were accused of racketeering, money laundering, and other crimes. Authorities said they seized methamphetamine, cocaine, and 100 automatic weapons as part of the investigation.
Former Sonoma County, Calif. Hells Angels chapter leader Raymond Foakes was sentenced to nearly six years in prison in January for his role in a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud.
Foakes got caught falsifying mortgage applications so he could buy land he never intended to live on, the FBI said. Instead, he wanted to use the property to grow marijuana, the feds claimed.
In June 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it had arrested a pair of Canadians after a three-year investigation into a cross-border cocaine and drug smuggling scheme involving the Angels.
The motorcycle gang was allegedly behind a drug ring that snuck drugs in commercial lumber, cargo containers, and large pipes in a propane tanker.
During the three-year probe, the government seized 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of marijuana, and $3.5 million. 30-eight people were charged in connection with the alleged Hells Angels drug ring.
The Drug Enforcement Administration apparently used the Hells Angels' less-than-stellar reputation to the agency's advantage.
In July, the Arizona Republic reported that federal agents posing as Hells Angels members had participated in a sting that led to the arrest of five alleged drug traffickers.
The five men were reportedly associated with the production of tens of millions of dollars worth of the hallucinogenic drug marketed as 'bath salts.'
The bogus bikers said they needed 44 pounds of the drug for a bicycle rally on the East Coast, the Republican reported.
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