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Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

hell Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Motorcycle clubs have long been a staple of American culture, embodying a sense of rebellion, freedom, and camaraderie. However, some groups have gained notoriety for engaging in criminal activities and operating on the fringes of society.

This article delves into some of the most notorious motorcycle gangs in the USA, shedding light on their history, activities, and the impact they’ve had on communities.

1. Hells Angels

hell Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is perhaps the most infamous motorcycle gang globally, known for its criminal enterprises and violent clashes with rival groups. Established in California in 1948, the Hells Angels have been linked to drug trafficking, organized crime, and various violent incidents.

The club’s inaugural official charter was purportedly drafted in Fontana in 1950. Over the subsequent decade, nomadic members who frequently relocated from city to city played a role in the formation of various independent Hells Angels chapters across California. The San Francisco (“Frisco”) chapter, reportedly established in 1954, is said to have originated from former members of the Market Street Commandos.

In 1956, a North Sacramento chapter was formed, and the subsequent year saw the establishment of another Sacramento chapter by two brothers, James “Mother” Miles and Pat Miles, both of whom were former members of the Hell Bent for Glory biker club.

2. The Mongols

mongols 1 Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Founded in the 1960s in Montebello, California, the Mongols Motorcycle Club has a notorious reputation for its involvement in drug trafficking, racketeering, and violent confrontations with law enforcement and rival gangs. The U.S. Department of Justice has labeled them as an outlaw motorcycle gang.

61 members of the Mongols Motorcycle gang, formed in Montebello in the early 1970s, were arrested by Local and Federal police agencies after a three-year undercover investigation. The charges brought against the Mongol Motorcycle Club span murder, attempted murder, assault, and gun, and drug crimes.

The multi-agency investigation included personnel from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Montebello Police Department, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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3. The Bandidos

bandidos Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Originating in Texas in 1966, the Bandidos Motorcycle Club is one of the largest outlaw motorcycle gangs globally. With a presence in multiple countries, the Bandidos have been implicated in various criminal activities, including drug trafficking, extortion, and organized crime.

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In 2014, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a state gang threat assessment, categorizing the Bandidos as a “Tier 2” gang, the second-highest threat level, alongside the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Partido Revolucionario Mexicano (PRM). The Hells Angels, based in California, holds the distinction of being regarded as the most perilous outlaw motorcycle gang in the United States.

4. Outlaws Motorcycle Club

outlaw Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Established in Illinois in 1935, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club has a long history of criminal involvement, including drug trafficking, violence, and organized crime. They are known for their fierce rivalry with the Hells Angels and have expanded their influence across the United States.

During the early 1970s, a power struggle for control of the Outlaws developed between a faction of “beer drinkers” and a rival group of club members who preferred to smoke marijuana. John Davis, the reputed founder of the Outlaws, was killed by a “pot smoker” and Vietnam veteran during a shootout near Lake Shore Drive on the North Side of Chicago as a result of the feud.

5. The Pagans

pagans Top Five Notorious Motorcycle Gangs of the USA: Riding on the Edge

Founded in Maryland in the 1950s, the Pagans Motorcycle Club is recognized for its criminal activities, including drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and violent clashes with rival gangs. The Pagans have a strong presence on the East Coast and have faced numerous law enforcement crackdowns over the years.

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The Pagans are categorized as an outlaw motorcycle club by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They are known to fight over territory with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) and other motorcycle clubs.

They are currently active in California, Nevada, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Washington State and Puerto Rico.

Impact on Society

The activities of these notorious motorcycle gangs have had a profound impact on society, leading to increased law enforcement efforts to dismantle their criminal enterprises. Rivalries between these groups often result in violent conflicts, posing a threat not only to gang members but also to innocent bystanders.

Law Enforcement Response

Federal and local law enforcement agencies have launched extensive operations to curb the activities of these motorcycle gangs. Initiatives such as “Operation Black Biscuit” and “Operation 22 Green” have targeted the criminal enterprises of these groups, resulting in arrests, convictions, and the confiscation of illegal assets.

Our Take

While many motorcycle clubs embody the spirit of freedom and camaraderie, a subset has gained notoriety for engaging in criminal activities that pose a significant threat to public safety. The ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies are crucial in addressing the challenges posed by these notorious motorcycle gangs and maintaining the rule of law on America’s highways.

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