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5
The Pagan's

The Other 99 Percent

With all the talk about the violent acts of the 1 percenters, it's easy to forget that most "bikers" are just normal people out to have a good time. For example, the Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club is a predominately African-American club named in honor of black soldiers in the American Civil War. They try to promote a positive image by doing charity work on top of riding their hogs [source: NABSTMC].

The Pagan's, founded in Maryland in 1959, is one of the Big Four outlaw motorcycle clubs. The Pagan's is much smaller than the other Big Four clubs, with only about 200 to 250 members spread over 41 chapters [source: U.S. Office of the Attorney General]. Their turf is mainly centered on the Mid-Atlantic region in the United States, especially Pennsylvania. While they may not be as big as rival gangs, the Pagan's are considered extremely dangerous by both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Among other reasons, the gang has close ties to other organized crime enterprises, including the Italian mafia and the Aryan Brotherhood, a powerful prison gang that has declared war on non-white races [source: Barker].

On top of dealing drugs like meth, cocaine and PCP, Pagan members have been tied to arsons, assaults, bombings and murders. They have also been known to illegally purchase and stockpile machine guns. Just to be initiated into the group, members first need to steal motorcycles to prove they're worthy [source: Peirce]. In the early 2000s, Pagan's chapter leader Pete Overly was convicted of assault for attacking a couple in which he shocked them both with a taser, broke the woman's foot with his steel-toed boot and bludgeoned the man with a steel baton -- all over an argument about bike parts [source: Peirce].

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