Hells Angels: An Organized Crime Group

Essay by angelsmagUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2008

download word file, 11 pages 3.0

Hells Angels an Organized Crime GroupIn 1948, one of the first non-mafia organized crime groups was formed on the West Coast of the United States called the Hells Angels. This organized crime group is a motorcycle club that has thousands of members and operates across the United States (US) and Europe. The group operates out of legit storefronts and garages. However, the group has been involved in illegal crimes since its inception. Law enforcement agencies in the future will need to develop strategic plans to combat this organized crime group in order to reduce crime.

Although there have been multiple definitions created for organized crime, it can be agreed upon by all that the Hells Angels meet the criteria. Since not long after their founding in Fontana, California, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has been on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's list of organized crime groups and one of the top concerns of the bureau's Organized Crime Unit.

In order to be considered organized crime, it was determined during an international conference in Warsaw that this type of organization would consist of a "Group activities of three or more persons, which permit their leaders to earn profits or control territories or markets, internal or foreign, by means of violence, intimidation or corruption, both in furtherance of criminal activity and to infiltrate the legitimate economy (Abadinsky, 2003, p. 2)." To this standard, the Hells Angels fit like a glove. The Angels have been engaged in illegal activities since their development, which include but are not limited to drug trafficking, assault, murder, racketeering, intimidation, and gambling. These illegal activities were used to support the working definition of organized crime.

In addition, the Hells Angels are a self-defined organized crime group. As the group's history, structure, operation and activities, are examined along with...