FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they are seeing an increase in biker gang activity in Florida as the Outlaw Motorcycles Club tries to maintain dominance over other clubs, especially in South Florida.
The Sun Sentinel of South Florida (http://bit.ly/2qsIuFN ) reported Saturday that the FBI sent out a memo late last year warning law enforcement agencies to expect an uptick in biker gang activity in South Florida, particularly in the Florida Keys.
The memo advised that various gangs are trying to establish dominance in South Florida, and the Outlaws may respond aggressively. The memo also cautioned that gang fights at motorcycle festivals could be expected.
The four main biker gangs aiming for dominance in South Florida are the Outlaws, the Hells Angels, the Pagans and the Pistons, said Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay.
“We were told that the Outlaws gang was generally trying to take more control in South Florida, especially in the Keys,” he said. “But we’ve seen an increase in all four of the main biker gangs down here.”
Florida’s biker gangs have already claimed various parts of the state, with the Outlaws being the dominant club, especially in South Florida.
In South Florida, the Dirty White Boys have a clubhouse in Davie, and the Black Pistons have one in Riviera Beach. Central Florida is home to the Warlocks, and the Pagans have a chapter north of Tampa. The Los Angeles-based The Mongols also have been known to operate in the Tampa area.
Authorities are blaming the biker gangs for several recent acts of violence.
In Leesburg, Florida, northwest of Orlando, more than a dozen Outlaws members ambushed a member of the Kingsmen biker gang last month. They held a knife to his throat and demanded that he remove his Kingsmen Motorcycle Club jacket. When he refused, they shot him in the back. He died two weeks later, authorities said.
Last month, an Outlaws member was fatally stabbed in a Daytona Beach, Florida bar. Authorities believe the man’s killer belong to the Pagan Motorcycle Club.