Pubdate: Thu, 02 Oct 2008
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2008 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Mike McIntyre
Bookmark: (Outlaw Bikers)


Group's Revival Nothing To Fear: Spokesman

This time, they promise to come in peace.

The resurgence of the notorious Rock Machine motorcycle gang in Canada
- -- eight years after they vanished following a long and bloody war
with the Hells Angels in Quebec -- is no reason for police or the
public to be alarmed, the group's spokesman insists.

That's because they claim to be more interested in selling you a house
than pushing drugs in your neighbourhood.

"There's lots of money to be made legally. The real estate market is
looking really good right now," long-time biker "J.D.", who didn't
want his full name published for security concerns, told the Free
Press this week in a telephone interview from his Saskatchewan home.

"We're just trying to be a law-abiding alternative to the Hells
Angels. We're not going to be competing with anybody. If you get
caught selling drugs, you're kicked out. Losers sell drugs."

The Rock Machine had been off the national criminal radar until
recently. But last month, two members of the Australian chapter
sparked concern when they showed up at the Winnipeg airport claiming
they were headed out to the Interlake for a week-long fishing trip.

In fact, the Sydney residents had flown halfway around the world at
the invitation of several bikers in western Canada who have been
setting up a new Canadian Rock Machine chapter since last winter. They
were all planning to meet last week in Gimli to begin mapping out the
process, but plans were scuttled when suspicious customs agents began
asking questions and eventually searching luggage. Inside they found
several biker vests, flags and other paraphernalia.

Michael Xanthoudakis and Eneliko Sabine were detained in custody on
Sept. 19 after it was also learned both men had criminal records in
Australia. The two men were ordered deported earlier this week. Two
Canadian bikers were at the airport to greet them -- including one man
found with marijuana.

A government lawyer told court Canadian police had recently circulated
a national bulletin warning of the impending resurrection of the Rock
Machine and the rumoured meeting in Gimli. Police were told to be on
guard for any foreign bikers who may be travelling to Canada.

The government cited the Rock Machine's dark history in Canada, which
included links to 150 murders in Quebec during the violent turf war in
the 1990s. Among those victims were two prison guards and an
11-year-old boy hit by shrapnel in a car bombing. The Rock Machine was
absorbed into the Bandidos in 2000. Several members actually joined
the Hells Angels when the Bandidos refused to grant full-patch status
to them immediately.

"The police made it sound like we had some big summit planned. We were
just gonna celebrate the fact one of the (Canadian members) got
engaged, do some fishing, talk some business," said J.D.

He said the meeting went ahead despite the best efforts of police to
rain on their parade.

J.D. says the Rock Machine was born again because of the fall of the
Bandidos, which culminated in the murder of eight members in Ontario
back in 2006.

"The killings just killed the club," he said.

He claims the Rock Machine has about 75 members across Canada but that
there will be no presence in Quebec "out of respect for the Hells
Angels" and their violent past in that province. Their goal is to be a
club of motorcycle enthusiasts who pursue legitimate business
investments like buying and selling real estate.

They even plan to register the Rock Machine as a federal company, pay
their taxes and report all earnings.

J.D. denied claims by the government lawyer in court that Winnipeg
biker Ron Burling will be the leader of the new Rock Machine. Burling,
the former leader of the Manitoba Bandidos, was recently sentenced to
eight years in prison for a drug-related kidnapping in which the
victim was tortured.

Burling, and other Bandidos currently incarcerated, will be welcomed
into the Rock Machine fold if they can live a crime-free life, said
J.D. -- himself an admitted former Bandido.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin