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Copy of Organized Crime: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Transcript of Copy of Organized Crime: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
RESPONSIVENESS OF THE LAW
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Size and activities
2,000 to 2,500 members in 27 countries
Production, transportation and distribution of marihuana and methamphetamine
Transportation and distribution of cocaine, hashish, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, phencyclidine and diverted pharmaceuticals
Assault, extortion, homicide, money laundering and motorcycle theft
2,000 to 2,500 members in 14 countries
Transporting and distributing marihuana and cocaine
Production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine
MECHANISMS FOR ACHIEVEING JUSTICE
Identification "Hells Angels"
The largest, wealthiest and most powerful of the gangs
They move and sell marijuana, methamphetamine, hashish, heroin, LSD, PCP, ecstasy, and prescription drugs
Attracted legal attention for fighting, motor vehicle theft, money laundering, and murder
Since incorporation, activities escalated into crime and violence
Have a reputation for violence
Known to move and sell cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine
Lot of members been convicted for above crimes
Puppet club called the Pistorelles of Mississippi
Puppet club- Red Devils assists with crime to prove their suitability for membership and protect leaders
HAMC have done work for the Gambino crime family
Despite the gravity of crimes committed by OMGs, only nine states have passed legislation to regulate gang databases
However, proposals have been to law enforcement agents, to establish gang database models, based on the statutes and policies enacted in the state of Minnesota which established the Minnesota Metro Gang Strike Force (MGSF.)
E.g MGSF has as a three-tier definition; to identify gang members: suspected gang members, confirmed gang members, and confirmed and convicted gang members.
They fit each respective definition, with a set number of 10 distinct criteria which individuals must match,
Such as; “admits gang membership or association” or “is in a photograph with known gang members and/or using gang related hand signs”
Not only are they a threat domestically, but also have a presence in countless foreign countries (e.g., Canada, Germany, and Australia).
Tailoring policy to bolster anti-gang efforts, would also allow greater cooperation with international law enforcement agencies,
This way, they have more tools at their disposal to combat OMGs that have expanded beyond the reach of the United States
One of the main problems is that OMCG'S are nationwide problem but are dealt with different by each state. In Australia, each state has its own way of dealing with problems arising from OMCG'S activities.
Media attention and public concern following some violent OMCG'S violent activities have prompted some important legislative responses. Some legal responses to OMCG'S are:
Making laws to prosecute individuals for the specific crimes they have comitted, such as assult or drug offences
establishing specific police task forces and increasing police powers to gather intelligence and information on OMCG'S and target their specific ativities.
Creating laws that aim to criminalise the clubs as a whole organisation or the individuals who participate within the clubs.
The first motorcycle was invented in 1885 in Stuttgart, Germany and motorcycles were commercially available by 1894.
What was started as harmless groups of people coming togther as they shared an interest and love in motorcycles and riding has now turned into a front for ciminal activity.
These members use the structure of a motorcycle gang to participate in criminal activity such as distributing illicit drugs, money laundering, exortion, prostituion, violent crimes, motor vehile offences, trade in stolen goods and trade in illegal firearms.
The first report of OMCGs was on July the 4th 1947, American independance day when the American Motorcycle Association held a series of races in the town of Hollister, California. One of the motorcycle groups involved initiated drag racing in the main streets of town along with drunken bralwing.
Since then many other incidents have occurred causing Outlaw Motorcycle gangs to become a growing problem around the world and the present a real danger to the Australian community.
Outlaw motorcycle gangs are a growing problem around the world but especially in Australia where according to the Australian Crime Comisssion (ACC) Outlaw motorcycle gangs present a real danger to the Australian community and the ACC estimates there are currently 39 active OMCG'S in Australia with approximately 3300 members.
The largest gang in Australia is the Rebels with 2000 members. Other well known gangs include Hells Angels, Bandinos, Comanchero's, The Finks and the Gypsy Jokers.
In NSW alone between October 2008 and March 2009, there was 185 gang members charged with 527 offences. Most offences were mainly related to violence, drugs and weapons.
Although outlaw motorcycle gangs are not good, this does not mean that all motorcycle groups aren't good things to be involved in.
Some people legitimately join motorcycle groups for their love of motorcyles and riding them, and participate in harmless rides and group activities.
Red and white winged death's heag logo
The letters HAMC (Hells Angel Motorcycle Club) and often the number 81.
A variety of patches all over their jackets
Full members wear two rocker patches on their back, a curved "Hells Angel" patch across the top and a second across the bottom that identifies their territory or chapter.
Another common patch is "AFFA" this stands for Angels Forever, Forever Angels". This refers to their lifelong membership in the motorcylce club.
Members are only known to each other by their road name.
A diamond shaped patch with 1%er
Red border and gold background around the Mexican Patch
Other patches may include the number 13, this stands for the thirteenth letter in the alphabet which is M for Motorcycle, F.T.W(F... The World) or BFFB, which stands for "Bandidos Forever, Forever Brothers"
OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS AND ORGANISED CRIME
OMCG'S present a threat as they partake in highly complex network of criminal activity and organised crime. The cost of OMCG'S criminal activities is estimated at around $2.2 billion per yer. They are said to be involved in:
The manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs
Trade in illegal firearms
Trade in stolen goods
Violent crimes and motor vechile offences
money laundering and extortion
On the other hand, some OMCG'S are involved in legitimate businesses such as finance, entertainment, private security, transport, construction and natural resources.
Laws targeting individual crimes
Prosecutions of particpants in OMCG related criminal activities would be made under standard criminal laws like asult, murder or offences of dealing in illegal drugs.
One of the difficulties police faced was that prosecuting for individual crimes can seem inadequate when looking at the widespread nature of the OMCG problem. It was extremely hard for police to prosecute individual crimes due to the time comsuming and resource-intensive police work. This is made even harder as OMCG'S have a "code of silence" among all thier members. This is due to fear of speaking out, on both the victims and other people associated with the club.
Convictions of individuals who can be proved to have comitted crimes involved with OMCG'S can have little to no impact on the wider structure and organisation of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Activities.
Task forces and intelligence
Another legislative repsonse in Australia has been to give greater powers to law enforcenment agencies to prevent, disrupt and investiagte OMCG'S or other organised crime activities. This can sometimes involve the setting up of special law enforcement agencies, such as "Task forces" that have special powers to investiagte and therefore prosecute the more serious crimes. Some special powers may include:
Special Coersive powers
The use of surveillance devices
Sharing intelliagnce between state, national and internation agencies.
Some of these special powers although are believed to be controversial as they increase the traditonally accepted power of government and law enforcement agencies. For example, they give certain powers to police that allow police to use coersive powers to compel witnesses to give evidence, these powers are usually only held by the courts. These powers when allowed to be used usually have a large degree of oversight, to ensure they are not abused. Some task forces that have been set up to keep up with demand with the increases in OMCG activity include:
The OMCG National Intelligence Task Force
Serious and Organised Crime National Intelligence Task Force
Strike Force Raptor in NSW
Operation Ranmore in NSW
Purana Task Force in Victoria
Laws targeting Organisations and Membership
This is probably the most controversial approach to OMCG'S. This is the introduction of laws that target or criminalise the clubs as wholes rather than individual crimes committed. This is the most scandalous of laws created as the law attempts to criminalise individual memberships or association with clubs. Some difficulties with this mechanism concern questions such as:
Precisely how and by what process is a group defined as a criminal organisation?
What level of individual involvement is criminalised?
For example, a group of 7 teenagers breaking into a shop and stealing the shops products. Is this group considered a 'criminal organisation'? Would all seven be found equally guilty? The questions being asked were who should determine this and what crimes should be covered?
There are a number of other responses to consider in addition to those of lawmakers and law enforcement agencies. These are:
The general public
The OMCG'S themsleves
THE MEDIA AND POLITICS
The media can shape the publics opinion and therefore pressure politicians to respond to OMCG'S. Media reports and media coverage have played a major and crucial role with laws relating to Outlaw MotorCycle Gangs. The increasing violent incidents related to OMCG'S are always being covered by the media, whether it is by newpaper, radio or internet the media is always informing and shaping the public's opinion of OMCG'S therefore forcing politicians to to reassure the public they are being tough on laws relating to Outlaw MotorCycle Gangs. For example, after the Syndey Airport Murder the New South Wales government was rapid in their response to OMCG activities due to media coverage of the incident and public pressure. The media has the ability to influence the way issues are dealt with relating to OMCG'S by the police and legislatures.
Many members of the public have voiced their opinion on OMCG'S and the laws response through demonstrations. Many demonstrations that are being held are by the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs themselves. In March 2009, 700 members of OMCG'S including the Hells Angels, The Finks and the Gypsy Jokers organised a ride through towns in South Australia to protest against the Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008. Another peaceful protest held by OMCG'S was in May 2009 where 300 memebrs of different OMCG'S met at Parliament House in Adelaide and presented a petition against the new legislation. Although these protests took place, South Australian Premier Mike Rann described the law as being 'the toughest anti-bikie legislation' and stated 'We are talking about drug dealers on wheels and we are not going to break or bend due to a few protests'.
FORMING POLITICAL PARTIES
This is a unique response to the OMCG issue, this respnse saw members of the South Australian Public who were strongly against the Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008 formed a political party to have their voice heard by politicians. They named this party the 'F.R.E.E' Australia party. This party is opened to anyone who is registered ot vote in South Australia. Among its members are a lot of motorcyclists concerned about the intorduction of the act. The spokesman for the party, Paul Kuhn said that the party opposes the Act, but is concerned about a number of other issues aswell. The name 'F.R.E.E' stands for Freedim, Rights, Environment and Education"
The main reason laws are changed to address OMCG'S are for safety and public order. All states in Australia have made their own laws regarding OMCG'S and they are all different. Different laws and legislations in each state, some people would say haven't helped the problem of OMCG'S around Australia. Following the bashing of a young man at Sydney airport, all states amped up tougher laws except for Victoria and the ACT who stated that their current laws were sufficient. When making laws regarding OMCG'S these laws need to be carefully weighed so they are not too harsh and to avoid sacrificing fundamental principles such as the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, the seperation of powers, or a individuals rights like freedom of asociation and freedom of movement. Most laws that have been made are still too new to judge the effectiveness of or to criticise. So far it is hard to tell whether these laws have minimised violence or other criminal activities related to OMCG'S, these laws will be judged over time and then the effectiveness of these laws will be seen.
RESPONSIVENESS OF THE LAW
The taskforces that have been set up all aim to disrupt, dismantle and investigate Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. These taskforces such as The National Anti-Gang Task Force and Australian Gang Intelligence Centre, Serious and Organised Crime National Intelligence Task Force, Operation Ranmore in NSW and Purana Task Force in Victoria are all extremely new and are unable to be judged on the effectiveness. The only thing that is known is that these taskforces aim to have a positive effect on the community and to minimise criminal acitvity related to OMCG'S.
On September 2nd 1984, a firearm battle bewteen rival motorcycle gangs, the Bandidos and the Comancheros took place in Milperra, a south-western suburb of Sydney. There was 7 people killed, 4 Comancheros, 2 Bandidos and one fourteen year old innocent bystander, Leanne Walters. The Comancheros and the Bandidos each lind up at opposie end of the carpark at the Viking Tavern and after William George "Jock" Ross, the founder of the Comanchros signalled the beginning by waving a machete in the air and the two gangs charged at each other. This massacre occured because a group of Comancheros broke away and formed the first Bandidos chapter in Australia and therefore resulted in intense rivalry. Police responded and it took 200police officers 10 minutes to break up the massacre. On top of these deaths, 28 people were seriously wounded with 20 of them needing hospitilisation.
Tony "Dog" Mccoy:
He was shot with two blasts to his upper right chest and face. He was hit with such force it was believed he was dead before he hit the ground.
Robert "Foghorn/Foggy" Lane:
"Foggy" was shot in the centre of the chest with a .357 magnum "Rossi" rifle. He died almost instantly.
Phillip "Leroy" Jeschke
: "Leroy" was the Comancheros sergeant at arms and was a specific target of the Bandidos. He was shot with a .357 magnum "Rossi" rifle and died instantly. Entry and exit wounds suggest he was crouching down and was shot in the back.
Ivan "Sparrow/Sparra" Romcek:
He was shot with one round of a shotgun and was shot at such close range that the cartlidge wadding can be clearly seen embedded in his right ear, he died instantly.
Mario "Chopper" Cianter:
Was shot with two blasts of a shotgun and died instantly.
Was shot in the throat by a shotgun and died instantly.
As a result of the Milperra Massacre, the NSW Firearms and dangerous weapons act 1973 was amended. The court case that followed the Milperra Massacre was the largest in Australian history at the time. 43 people were charged with seven counts of murder, during the trial armed members of the Tactical Operations Unit were stationed in the courtroom and witnesses required armed guards from the Witness Security Unit to escort them home. The case went for longer than two years and on June 12, 1987, the jury delivered 63 murder convictions, 147 manslaughter convictions and 31 of affray. The judge in the case named the instigator of the violence as William “Jock” Ross, the “supreme commander” of the Comancheros, saying “Ross was primarily responsible for the decision that members of his club go to Milperra in force and armed”. Ross received a life sentence for his role in the violence.
Leanne Walters, the innocent 14 year old that was shot dead
A comanchero member who was shot and killed
The aftermath of the