Wisconsin law officers worry about Outlaws vs. Hells Angels
Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin say that Wisconsin chapters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club are congregating in the Northwestern part of the state in response to the Hells Angels, and they're worried that violence could erupt due to tension...
Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin say that Wisconsin chapters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club are congregating in the Northwestern part of the state in response to the Hells Angels, and they're worried that violence could erupt due to tension between the two rivals.
"If the Hells Angels were to ride into Wisconsin, the Outlaws may confront them," said Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden. "We don't want that to happen, but if it does happen we'll be ready for them."
The Outlaws share a similar trait to the Hells Angels in that its leaders have a history of drug trafficking and murder convictions. However, both groups have clashed in the past, most significantly in 2006 when Dryden said there was a shooting in Sturgis, S.D.
Dryden said Outlaws consider Wisconsin their state, while Hells Angels consider Minnesota theirs. According to some Internet reports on the Outlaws, one of their mottos is ADIOS -- Angels Die in Outlaw States.
"We want to make sure that the Hells Angels don't ride their colors into Wisconsin," Dryden said. "If they run into each other in large groups, that could be a problem."
A law enforcement operational center has been set up in Washburn County, which Dryden said is staffed with local, state and federal law enforcement "with hundreds of officers" involved to gather intelligence and respond to any situations between the two motorcycle gangs.
Dryden said he does not know where the Outlaw Club riders are staying in the area and does not know how many will be coming.
He said he expects the Outlaws to disperse around Monday, when the Hells Angels are expected to leave the Carlton area.
Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said officials in Minnesota are also monitoring the situation and working with Wisconsin law enforcement. She emphasized that no Outlaws had entered Minnesota as of Wednesday afternoon.
"We would obviously be concerned if they moved into Carlton County," she added.
Pine Journal Editor Lisa Baumann contributed to this report.