The first Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) charter was started in 1948 approximately 11 years before the Pagans Motorcycle Club (PMC) was started. By the 1960s both clubs were in full swing; with the HAMC incorporating and the PMC getting involved with the Mafia. Both clubs try to recruit members based on the prospect’s skills as well as the club’s needs. As you will be able to see both of the clubs are involved in violent crime and drugs, the difference is to what level. Today the HAMC is still going strong and is still a viable threat and the PMC is not as strong but still considered a viable threat. Club Beginnings
The first Hells Angels chapter was first formed in 1948 by Otto Friedli, originally from the Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington (P.O.B.O.Bs), in Fontana California. The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) that we know today was formed in Oakland, California by Ralph “Sonny” Barger. This club is then took in the other existing chapters of the Hells Angels. (Ralph, Keith, & Kent, 2000) In 1966 the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club incorporated; it was at this point that the club started to spread outside of California. (Barker, 2005) As of 2002 the approximate membership of the HAMC is 3000 members and over 228 chapters internationally.
The Pagans Motorcycle Club (PMC) was formed in 1959 by Lou Dobkins in Prince George’s County, Maryland. By 1965 the club had forged ties the mafia on the East Coast and had become fierce group. By the 1980s the group had grown to 900 members in 44 chapters from New York to Florida. (South Eastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group) It is now estimated that the PMC has approximately 400 members and 44 chapters; this is due to many arrests and defections over the years. (University of Maryland)
The Hells Angels as well as the Pagans recruit members based on their skills and abilities. That is, if an individual has skills that the club can benefit from they will try to recruit the individual....