Thursday, February 07, 2008

Does the Mob Partner with Motorcycle Gangs?

The Target 12 Investigators take you inside the mafia, revealing a partnership you might not expect, the mob and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

The Target 12 Investigators uncover secrets from decades ago. Documents shedding light on an historic partnership between the mob and outlaw motorcycle gangs. But does that relationship still thrive?

At first glance, any relationship between the rough exterior of an outlaw motorcycle gang member and the image of a dapper Italian mobster may appear strange. But it's a loose partnership that has survived for decades.

Motorcycle gangs and La Cosa Nostra; strange bedfellows in the world of organized crime.

Supervisory Special Agent Sallet: "It's a cooperative relationship..."

Here in Rhode Island, the partnership was forged, decades ago.

Major Steven O'Donnell, Rhode Island State Police: "Raymond Patriarca Senior pushed them aside, but had his thugs around him kind of embrace them, where they would pay tribute."

Known simply as "The Man," Raymond Patriarca Senior ran the powerful New England crime family, and nothing happened without his 'OK'.

Major Steven O'Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police says Patriarca looked the other way when bikers committed crimes-of-profit, including moving and manufacturing drugs. The Target 12 Investigators obtained a classified DEA report from that era. In it the feds, in 1979, called it a "marriage of convenience... It allows the [motorcycle gang] To continue its activities without interference from organized crime and in return pays a percentage [to the mob.]"

Supervisory Special Agent Jeffrey Sallet of the FBI Providence, says wiseguys view outlaw biker gangs as valuable in a very specific area.

Supervisory Special Agent Sallet: "Create fear. And I think that's something outlaw motorcycle groups specialize in, is creating fear."

Outlaw bikers were an effective tool in making someone, pay-up. But does that relationship exist today?

Major O'Donnell: "Yes, without question."

Investigators say wiseguys still turn to outlaw bikers as a tool for intimidation. O'Donnell cites a recent case when an associate of the Patriarca crime family, David Achille, was caught on a police wiretap. He was discussing the use of a Hell's Angels member for a classic shakedown.

Major O'Donnell: "They'd have him take a ride and go see one of these people that were affecting the bottom line at their job."

Achille was scooped up by police before anything went down. Special Agent Sallet says for a victim of an extortion case, an outlaw biker is a scary presence.

Supervisory Special Agent Sallet: "They advertise who they are. That's how they generate their fear."

Advertising, like this: gang jackets, patches, tattoos. These pictures are part of a federal criminal case against Jeffrey Dillon. A man the government says is the head of the Fall River motorcycle gang The Sidewinders.

Dillon is facing charges for weapons possession and intent to deal drugs. Prosecutors are using the photographs of Dillon's "one percent" tattoo, as evidence. O'Donnell says the tattoo boasts they are the one percent of biker's that proudly, break the law.

Major O'Donnell: "That puts you in a higher regard in the biker world, which is a warped regard."

The U.S. Attorneys office hasn't linked Dillon to any faction of the Patriarca crime family. Dillon's defense attorney Jack Cicilline, says his client is an avid hunter, and that Dillon was unaware as a convicted felon, he was not allowed to possess firearms.

Dillon's trial is set to begin next month. O'Donnell is quick to point out there is a world of difference between the everyday motorcycle enthusiast and those considered an outlaw. He says the bad guys represent about one percent of the biker population.

To know more about this partnership, including an extensive interview with investigators about outlaw motorcycle gangs watch the extended video within this web page.

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