Word on the Street: Hells Angels in Setting Up Shop in Greenville Area?
I got a couple of emails from readers who saw Hells Angels gang members flying their colors in various locations around Greenville County. Coincidentally, the Mrs. and I were in Simpsonville a couple of days ago and saw two Hells Angels riding through the downtown like they owned the place. Needless to say we rushed home and I loaded my shotguns.
I did a little digging and the word on the street is this: the recent round up of members of The Outlaws MC by Federal authorities, which included members in both Carolinas, Tennesee and Virginia, has left a vacuum in the south that the Hells Angels believe they can fill while the Outlaws are under the gun. The Angels are especially interested in the new drug market of Greenville, driven by Northeastern transplants who are leery of some of the rougher areas of the Dirty South and do a lot of their buying on the bar circuit and in the clubs. The recent biker fest in Simpsonville was indeed a chance for many 1%er clubs to scout the local area and see what’s what.
The Angels, like the Outlaws, also make money in “prostitution” which in their cases is actually sexual slavery. Women (many times strippers or runaways because they are easy to victimize) are kidnapped, raped and forced to service the club as well as being pimped out for money to outsiders. As I understand it, the “gentleman’s” clubs in the area are not run by people willing or able to stand up to an organization like the Angels, so now is a good time to get out of the business if you’re a dancer.
The Angels run drugs and guns as well, and many groups up north and especially across the southern border would like to get their hands on some good old fashioned South Carolina firepower. The Hells Angels are known to be allied with the Mexican Mafia so it’s likely they will be working as middlemen for Mexican gangs.
Now, this is a big territory and it’s just as likely the Hells Angels will set up shop in one of our neighboring states, putting in the occasional appearance to maintain control of the area. But Greenville, flush with money, drug users and unclaimed territory, is a prize that groups like the Angels can’t afford to pass up.