Hell To Pay: Hells Angels vs. The Million-Dollar Rat

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9780470680964: Hell To Pay: Hells Angels vs. The Million-Dollar Rat
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The fact that Michael Plante was a trusted associate of the East End Hells Angels certainly caught the attention of police, who had been trying for years to find someone to infiltrate the gang. The police alleged that East End Hells Angels were well known in the criminal underworld for controlling the cocaine trade at a wholesale level, using violence to persuade potential competition to stay away.

In recent years the bikers had expanded into the production and distribution of synthetic drugs as ecstasy and methamphetamine, know on the street as crystal meth, as well as moving into internet porn and online gambling, police claimed.

Plante was taken to an interview room where he was visited by two Mounties, who would eventually become his police handlers. ... One of the officers told him that, based on the witness statement relating to his extortion charges, he was looking at doing prison time. But Plante was told that if he was interested in cooperating, the police would make the charges go away.

Plante told the cop he was interested but hesitant, knowing that people who cooperate with the police in Hells Angels investigations usually end up dead. ...

The only good rat is a dead rat, he had been told repeatedly.

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From the Inside Flap:

Vancouver's East End chapter of the Hells Angels had a reputation for being among the club's elite. One of the wealthiest chapters in the world, it has also proven to be nearly immune to prosecution. The cops had long wanted to take down the Vancouver chapter, and when they arrested enforcer Michael Plante on charges of extortion and assault, they offered him a deal: turn informant, walk away from the charges, and earn some serious coin. Ultimately, Plante could have a million-dollar payday.

Ratting on the Hells Angels may have been Plante's get-out-of-jail-free card, but he soon realized he had possibly bargained his life away. He was also stuck: there was no turning back.

Wired up and kept under tabs nearly 24/7, Plante became the cops' eyes and ears as he went about his everyday business for the Angels. Through Plante's undercover work and testimony, veteran crime reporter Neal Hall introduces the reader to numerous and powerful Hells Angels. Through their own words, Hall reveals the extent of their criminal operations and allegiances, and the means they use to protect their turf and deal with people who have either the lack of brains or the overabundance of balls to try to rip them off.

The cops push Plante to his limit before they pull him off the case. The hammer falls on the Angels-mass arrests that eviscerate the East End chapter. The tense and dramatic trials that follow prove to be another test for Plante-and for the evidence the cops worked so hard to collect.

Through eyewitness accounts, interviews, court testimony and police wiretaps, Neal Hall opens a window into the operations of the world's most powerful outlaw motorcycle gang and the massive efforts used by law enforcement to bust and try the bikers. As the Hells Angels prove, even in court they are a force to be reckoned with.

About the Author:

Neal Hall is an award-winning reporter at the Vancouver Sun, where he has been a rock music critic, feature writer and crime reporter. He grew up in Vancouver's east end.

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