One Percenters

by Aidan Maconachy - Date: 2007-01-02 - Word Count: 433 Share This!

Hells Angels Inc is the most successful enterprise of its kind in Canada.

In 2000 they moved into Ontario in force and absorbed or eliminated much of the competition. They recruited a lot of new members, including 200 rival members from gangs such as Lobos and Satan's Choice.

Prior to 2000, Quebec was the Angel's stronghold, but a protracted turf war with rival biker gang the Rock Machine resulted in the deaths of 150 people. The biker war got national attention when 11 year old, Daniel Desrochers, was killed. He was in the wrong place when a car bomb exploded outside a biker club house. It was Daniel's killing and the mayhem that preceded it that prompted the creation of Bill C-95 that allows for tougher sentences if an offender can be shown to be a member an established criminal organization.

Despite the attentions of law enforcement, the Angels have continued to grow and are now number one from coast-to-coast - overshadowing the Mafia and Asian gangs that tend to have a more localized presence.

The Angels are well established in BC where there is an extremely lucrative trade in marijuana. One reason they have the edge in BC is due to the extensive connections they maintain in the ports. The port traffic is the main artery of the drug trade, and it is the chosen venue because by the admission of Canadian authorities only about 3% of cargo is actually checked out. A report by the Auditor General claims that as many as 4,000 people with connections to bike gangs are employed in Canada's ports and airports.

Big Red Machine has surprised law enforcement and the journalists who have covered their activities over the years, by showing resourcefulness, depth of organizational skills and a willingness to confront the competition when they move into new turf.

There are now more than 30 Hells Angel chapters across Canada.

There have been tensions in Ontario with the Bandidos. The Bandidos have been backed up and severely weakened in Ontario since the Angels become the dominant players. These tensions broke into the open recently in a strip bar in Vaughan, when Angel sergeant-in-arms, David "White Dread" Buchanan, was gunned down by Bandido, Francesco Lenti. Two of Buchanan's associates were also wounded in the shooting.

Some Angel releases dispute the claim that Lenti is a Bandido, but there is good reason to believe he had strong ties to the gang.

Postings on Real Deal News, the Angels' website, offers insider opinion.

Dread Buchanan's widely publicized killing provided the opportunity for a show of strength. The funeral was attended by hundreds of members from across Canada and the U.S.

Aidan Maconachy is a freelance artist and writer living in Ontario

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