Pubdate: Wed, 12 Dec 2001
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: Randy Richmond


The Hells Angels appear to have won the battle for control of London crime, 
leaving their bitter rival, the Outlaws, struggling for survival.

Up to eight bikers have quit the Outlaws in the past two weeks, says a 
source with contacts in both clubs.

"It doesn't look good for the Outlaws," the source said. And the Hells 
Angels' own sign outside its supporters' clubhouse confirms a shift in power.

"Welcome aboard Hammer and Cheeks," the sign reads. Hammer is the street 
name of the acting Outlaw president and Cheeks is another Outlaw member, a 
source said.

It's unclear how many other former Outlaws have signed up with the Hells 

"Some might have to wait a year before joining," said the source. Aside 
from small amounts of cocaine delivered by Toronto-based freelancers, the 
Hells Angels have consolidated control over the London drug scene, said 
another source.

"They're running everything," the source said.

For reasons of safety, sources refused to be identified. Police would 
neither confirm nor deny the switch in biker allegiances. Nor would they 
offer much comment about the fact they may face one large outlaw motorcycle 
club instead of two.

"Whether there is one club or two, it doesn't make us feel any easier," 
said London police spokesperson Const. Ryan Holland. "We don't take any 
comfort in the fact we have any outlaw motorcycle clubs in the city."

Police earlier put the total membership of the Outlaws in Woodstock and 
London at no more than two dozen.

Supporters of Hells Angels, the world's largest outlaw biker club, opened a 
clubhouse at 732 York St. in the spring.

Most of about a dozen hard-core prospects and several associates -- many of 
them former Loners from St. Thomas -- make up the club.

The club is not a full chapter, with leadership still provided by Hells 
Angels from Quebec.

London's Hells Angels supporters and Outlaw members have had several 
confrontations, sources say.

The traditional tensions between the two outfits haven't been helped by 
manouevres on the provincial and national level.

First, some Outlaws in Ontario joined the Quebec-based Rock Machine, the 
Hells Angels' bitter enemy in a turf war in Quebec that killed more than 
150 people.

Some Outlaw/Rock Machine members then hooked up with the Bandidos, the 
world's second-largest outlaw biker club and the most serious threat to 
Hells Angels domination outside the mob.

In London, the long-established Outlaw chapter got caught in the middle.

Some younger members wanted to join the Rock Machine, but older ones, 
including high-ranking leaders, resisted, sources said.
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