HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Police Fear BC Biker War
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jul 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC) 
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Chad Skelton and Lori Culbert


Bandidos And Hells Angels Are Vying For The Drug Trade

Organized crime experts with the RCMP say the Bandidos motorcycle gang, 
arch rivals of the Hells Angels, are planning to set up a chapter in B.C. 
-- a move they fear could spark an all-out biker war.

"The Bandidos intend on setting up a chapter in British Columbia," said 
Insp. Bob Paulson, the leading motorcycle gang expert with the RCMP in B.C. 
"It will be soon. And it will be troublesome."

The Hells Angels have had a presence in B.C. for years and have repeatedly 
been identified by police as the province's No. 1 organized crime threat.

The Bandidos, a Texas-based motorcycle gang with chapters in North America, 
Australia and Europe, have an established chapter across the border in 
Bellingham, Wash.

But Paulson said the Bandidos have begun to realize there are big drug 
profits to be made north of the border.

"[The Bandidos] want to get into B.C. because it's lucrative turf," he said.

Police intelligence indicates that while the Bandidos currently have no 
formal presence in B.C., two members of the Bellingham chapter already live 
in the province, including one in Abbotsford.

The Sun has learned the identity of the members, and contacted one 
Thursday, but he refused to comment.

Paulson said police are concerned that the presence of the Bandidos could 
spark a turf war with the Hells Angels similar to what was seen in the late 
1990s in Quebec, where a biker war erupted between the Angels and the rival 
Rock Machine.

That rivalry has resulted in more than 160 deaths in Quebec since 1994. 
Some were innocent victims, including two jail guards and 11-year-old 
Daniel Desrochers, who was hit by shrapnel from a car bomb nine years ago.

Desrochers' death, which remains unsolved, sparked public outrage and led 
to a police crackdown on bikers in Quebec.

During the Quebec biker war, the Bandidos formed an alliance with the Rock 
Machine, which was officially folded into the Bandidos in 1999.

Police fear a similar turf war could erupt in B.C., where in recent years, 
the Hells Angels have had little competition from other outlaw motorcycle 

"This Bandidos thing is going to be trouble," Paulson said. "This is going 
to be really bad."

Superintendent Dick Grattan, head of the RCMP's criminal intelligence unit 
in B.C., said outlaw motorcycle gangs are already considered the top 
organized-crime threat in B.C. -- and the presence of another group will 
just make things worse.

"If another outlaw motorcycle gang comes into the neighbourhood, there's 
definitely going to be some confrontation," he said. "If and when the 
Bandidos show up in the province, there will be some clashes between the 
two motorcycle gangs."

Paulson said there are also fears that the Hells Angels may expand their 
presence in B.C. -- opening additional chapters -- to try to consolidate 
their hold before the Bandidos arrive.

"I think you're going to see an aggressive expansion of Hells Angels 
throughout the province in anticipation of the Bandidos coming to B.C.," he 

Paulson said the Angels, which already have seven chapters in B.C., have 
established a fledgling "shadow club" in Surrey and are expected to expand 
soon into Kelowna.

The Hells Angels and Bandidos are historic rivals, implicated in biker 
violence across the globe.

In Ontario, a rivalry between the two gangs was blamed for seven murders 
between August 2001 and May 2002.

And in Scandinavia in the mid-1990s, a biker war between the two resulted 
in the deaths of more than a dozen people.

The Bandidos' expansion into Canada so far includes two chapters in each of 
Ontario and Quebec, and a probationary chapter recently set up in Edmonton.

The Bandidos' website promises more chapters "coming soon" to Canada.

In late January, just before the fledgling Edmonton chapter being 
established, two men linked to the Bandidos -- including one from Surrey -- 
were shot outside an Edmonton strip club. Bandidos prospect Joey "Crazy 
Horse" Morin of Edmonton and Bandidos "hang-around" Robert Simpson of 
Surrey both died.

At the time, police and biker experts warned gang violence could erupt on 
Edmonton streets -- in particular involving the Hells Angels -- in 
retaliation for the deaths. But that does not appear to have materialized 
to date.

Bellingham Police Sgt. Flo Simon said drug-smuggling investigations in the 
1990s were linked to the Bandidos chapter in that city. However, she said 
the gang has been involved in little violence in Bellingham.