Hells Angels at the Lake – no reason for concern?

Local law enforcement at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri is preparing for a large group of Hells Angels in the coming week, but say they don’t have special concerns about their time at the Lake. The group is holding a club meeting for their midwestern chapters, and is planning their own meals, entertainment, and security, reported ABC17 and Lake News Online.

Authorities expect 500 to 600 members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) for the rally, which is set for Monday through Friday, July 31 – Aug. 4. Little coverage of the event was found, but apparently it is a prelude to BikeFest 2017.

The HAMC  is considered by law enforcement to be an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG). The FBI says:

OMGs are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. Although some law enforcement agencies regard only One Percenters as OMGs, the NGIC covers all OMG criminal organizations, including OMG support and puppet clubs.

Many of the stars of the TV series Sons of Anarchy were at one time HAMC members.

Fuel Truck with Hells Angels graffiti
‘Support your local Hells Angels’ graffiti on military vehicle in Iraq

The HAMC includes military-trained gang members. Along with the Outlaws and Black Pistons, the HAMC are most often identified as having members in the military. The FBI is especially concerned with the dangerousness of OMGs with members who have received military training.

Military-trained gang members pose a serious threat to law enforcement and to the public. They learn combat tactics in the military, then return home to utilize these new skills against rival gangs or law enforcement. Military training of individual gang members could ultimately result in more sophisticated and deadly gangs, as well as deadly assaults on law enforcement officers. 

That’s the standard finding for the biennial National Gang Intelligence Center report that summarizes the national threat of gangs and other crime groups. It applies to Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs), as well as to street gangs, and Domestic Terrorist Extremists (DTEs).

Military-trained gang members (MTGM) include street gang, prison gang, OMG, or DTE group member per the applicable jurisdiction’s definition, with military training or experience, as perceived by a reasonable, typical, police officer.

MTGMs display indicators that they received military training either directly or indirectly. Indicators of military training include the use of military tactics, weapons, explosives, or equipment to conduct gang activity, and the use of distinctive military skills, particularly if gang members are trained in weapons, tactics, and planning, and then pass the instruction on to other gang members. Military tactics include the techniques and strategies taught in a variety of military occupational specialties, ranging from tactical assault to organizational leadership strategies.

The FBI has reported military-trained gang members in all branches of the military since 2005. Of all the issues with gangs and the military, street gang, OMG, and DTE members who have transitioned from the military back to the civilian community are the biggest threat, and the only issue that can be addressed without assistance from the military. Estimates of the number of MTGMs run from between 20,000 and 200,000, or between one and ten percent of the gang members in the country, and that doesn’t include the members of gangs in the military.

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