Top Mountie takes aim at Outlaws Motorcycle Club
One of Newfoundland and Labrador's top RCMP officers says the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is a criminal organization, and public relations by the club are just a smokescreen.
RCMP Chief Supt. Andrew Boland said the statistics show the true nature of the Outlaws.
He said members of the club have been convicted of drug and assault offences, and are charged with even more.
"In our view, they're involved in a considerable business of criminal activity," Boland said.
He said the public shouldn't be duped by messages from club members, including ones on Facebook assuring people they have nothing to fear.
"The police forces across the country certainly recognize these are organized crime groups," he said.
"When we hear things about toy runs and community activities, our view is these are simply public relations ploys to perhaps lead people to believe they are just a bunch of fun-loving people."
RCMP say Outlaws members in the province have 11 convictions for drugs, six for assault and one for uttering threats.
According to police, biker assaults can be part of the intimidation involved in staking out turf in the province.
Outlaws member Pat Bemister, 26, is currently charged with assaulting two off-duty RCMP officers at a club in Gander early in October, but he's not the only club member currently facing charges.
Their new clubhouse in Gander is set to officially open on Friday, after it's inspected by fire officials.