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A Former Bike Gang Member Explains “The Life”

This article is more than 5 years old.

Our conversation on the criminal biker gangs of Texas in the wake of a Sunday shootout in Waco, Texas that left 9 dead and 18 wounded spurred fascinating calls from listeners who were familiar with life in a motorcycle gang. Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY with a fount of information about what it’s like in “the life.” He said he was in the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang, for almost two decades, and he didn’t sugarcoat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

Larry: It’s no big surprise because I mean every time you have any type of conflict like military you get a lot vets coming home and then the clubs expand. And they start looking for more and more area. You know, it’s just common. When I joined the club back in 1993, I’d just come home from Somalia. You look for that same brotherhood and same type of people that have your back that you wanted in the military. About 90 percent of your one percenters are ex-military.

Tom Ashbrook: I understand that desire for brotherhood, but when you say they’re looking for area what exactly do you mean?

Larry: It’s everything. I mean, you got dealers in every club. You got drug dealers, you got gun dealers, you got prostitution, you got racketeering, you got extortion. You got everything, I mean that’s just part of the clubs, that’s not gonna change.

TA: So, forget all this talk about how it’s just guys having fun. This is crime!

It’s a business.

TA: A business…

I mean, realistically that’s what it is.

TA: So, what should society’s reaction be? Same as with any other criminal business crackdown?

It’s basically gonna be that way any way. I mean that’s the way it should be, and that’s the way it’s gonna be. But it ain’t gonna change nothin’. More and more of these clubs are getting more and more members with more and more soldiers and that coming home. They’re expanding so they need bigger areas. You got more members so you can take control of more areas.

You know and as far as police clubs- I mean, being up in Philadelphia and Long Island and all that — I’ve dealt with a lot of police clubs...and they’re just as dirty. I’ve bought so many guns off of them and bought dope off of them that they had confiscated off of people we told them about. I mean, it’s all one hand washes the other in that.

Listen to the full call with Larry above, and listen to our full conversation on biker gangs here.

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