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Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC) http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=0982f3a9-0bc 4-4015-8d00-b642539c222d Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun Contact: http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/477 Author: Chad Skelton and Lori Culbert POLICE FEAR B.C. BIKER WAR 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 gangs. "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 said. 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.