As if a violent Mafia war raging through the city of Montreal wasn’t enough for Canadians, they now have to seriously brace themselves for a new biker war between the Hells Angels and their bitter rivals Rock Machine.
News of the brewing biker war came last week when police busted eleven members and associates, including Dale Sweeney, the president of the Manitoba chapter of the Hells Angels during Project Flatlined. The police operation exposed a large drug distribution ring that sold crack cocaine to customers in the Manitoba province.
The Manitoba Hells Angels chapter is the dominant force in the criminal underworld in the province, police claim. They used their ‘puppet club’ the Redlined Support Crew as enforcers and drug dealers.
The entire bust was based on wiretaps and undercover drug buys. Police did not use any informants. It was simply, as the Winnipeg Free Press called it, “old-fashioned detective work”.
According to court documents obtained by the Winnipeg Free Press, the Hells Angels, though still the dominant power in the city of Winnipeg and Manitoba province, faced tough competition in the form of the Rock Machine gang. Both clubs fought a bloody war in the 1990s that saw 160 people killed and many of both clubs’ members end up behind bars. But Manitoba police now say both clubs are at it again.
A report by Winnipeg organized crime Det. Wes Law, quoted by the Winnipeg Sun, states: “Numerous street sources indicate that the conflicts between the Hells Angels and Rock Machine stem from the Rock Machine’s (desire) to move in on the Hells Angels established drug market and overtake the Hells Angels ... as the dominant outlaw motorcycle gang in Winnipeg and Manitoba.”
The Hells Angels responded by using the Redlined Support Crew as muscle. “Redlined members assumed more responsibility; Redlined members were tasked by the Hells Angels with fighting ... the Rock Machine and its support gang Vendetta,” states the report.
So far this latest biker conflict has led to more than fifty violent acts since the Rock Machine came on police’s radar in January 2010, according to authorities. The report by Det. Law states: “The incidents of violence have included and are not limited to shootings, fire bombings and beatings.”
With a Mafia war already underway in Montreal, Quebec, it looks like Winnipeg, Manitoba, can get ready for some murder and mayhem as well.
For more on outlaw motorcycle groups, check out our BIKERS section.
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