Friday, November 5, 2010

Jay Dobyns Is Unforgettably No Angel

Jay DobynsThe Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) is known to many as a worldwide one-percenter motorcycle club and organized crime syndicate. Their primary motto is "When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets."

I've always been fascinated by the strange and frightening world of Hells Angels. It is the most famous of the "big four" motorcycle gangs, and known the world over.

The group's website clarifies that the name was suggested to the founders of the club by a friend of theirs, Arvid "Oley" Olsen, who was a member of the Flying Tigers. You can find a detailed history of the Hells Angels on their site. The book by Jay Dobyns includes another story for history. His own.

Into A Place Few Ever Remember.

No Angel by Jay Dobyns offers a glimpse into the dark and dangerous world of the Hells Angels through the eyes and experiences of a man who lived it. Dobyns isn’t your typical outlaw biker who changed his ways.

He was an undercover U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent who did what few have ever done. He was the first law enforcement officer to truly infiltrate the Hells Angels, even becoming a “patched” member of the Skull Valley (Arizona) charter.

His mission, known by ATF as Black Biscuit, involved running stolen guns, moving drugs, and learning firsthand about a variety of violent crimes. One of the most infamous took place at Harrah’s in Laughlin, Nevada, where a deadly brawl broke out between the Angels and members of a rival motorcycle club, the Mongols.

Bullets flew, blood was shed, and middle aged folks in town to try their luck on the slots found themselves caught in the cross fire. Two Angels and a Mongol were killed and the ATF focused on the Angels. The premise was that the motorcycle club (read: gang) was a racketeering organization.

Dobyns wasn’t involved in the Harrah’s melee. He wasn’t part of the club yet, but he was there and he saw it happen.

Trading In His Identity To Become Someone Else.

Dobyns was a former college football player, lawman, and father when he traded in his identity to become Jay “Jaybird” Davis, also known as Bird. No Angel is the story of his transformation into Bird and how he was so convincing in that role. He was so convincing, he almost forget who he really was too.

The book follows Bird’s gun running to Mexico, serving as a collections thug, development of the Black Biscuit undercover team, an introduction to key Angels and associates, and his obsession with being accepted into the Angels’ inner circle. But Bird was already walking a fine line.

In between spending time with the bad guys and writing reports about his findings, he drove home to spend time with his wife and kids. But wearing so many hats can only last for so long. And with each page, as Jay transforms into Bird—with plenty of tattoos, an ever-present cigarette, and, of course, a Harley—he becomes less interested in following the rules or spending time with his wife. Eventually he stops answering his phone. He skips family visits.

Black Biscuit case agent Joseph Slatalla wisely ended the case before Dobyns could become a casualty. As case fell apart, Dobyns’ life nearly did as well.

No Angel by Jay Dobyns Earns A 7.7 On the Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Dobyns, along with co-author Nils Johnson-Shelton, does a great job sharing his story, including many frightening details. He received death threats against him and his family after the case ended. No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels is available on Amazon.

Dobyns had so thoroughly convinced many Hells Angels members that he was one of them that a few refused to believe he was an ATF agent even after his cover was revealed. The movie rights to No Angel have been sold, so Jaybird might be on the big screen in the near future. You can also learn more about Dobyns on his website.
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