The Hell’s Angels is a group so well known that in some areas, the name doesn’t need any further explanation at all. An infamous motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels have been known for their criminal activity and violent outbursts, of which they were responsible for many in the early 2000s. While the majority of members looked to the group simply as a way of celebrating their motorbikes, it is believed that other went further, stirring up trouble wherever they went. For one Arizona official, the local Hell’s Angels group had taken their liberties far enough and, going undercover, he set about bringing things to a halt.
Jay Dobyns was no stranger to bizarre cases, having worked at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for some time. Despite having several brushes with danger, Dobyns didn’t get into the thick of it until some way into his career, when the Hell’s Angels and the Mongols – a rival motorcycle gang – got into a bout of serious violence. After meeting head on in a casino, the gangs broke into fighting and at the end of it, three men were dead. For professionals at the ATF, the incident was the final straw and spurred on by the events, Dobyns decided to take out the group from the inside out.
Making himself up as a gunrunner and a motorcycle enthusiast, Dobyns began to cozy up to certain Hell’s Angels gang members in the hopes of joining their troupe. In order to earn their respect, Dobyns staged a fake murder of a rival gang member, showing off his “killing” in order to win his way in. Presented with the evidence of Dobyns’ credibility, the Hell’s Angels let him in, unwittingly giving the ATF an upper hand.
Over the course of his time with the motorcycle crew, Dobyns got closer than ever to some of the local troupe’s habits. As well as speeding down the highway, it wasn’t unusual for him to spend his nights partying with women of the night, and getting closer to some of the motorcycle underworld’s most notorious figures. After paying his due and proving his loyalty to the Angles Dobyns was finally given the key to the kingdom and was presented to Sonny Barger, the “godfather” of the local Hell’s Angels.
Getting to the top proved to be a challenging journey for Dobyns. Although he moved up the ranks with relative ease, he found his double life to create a huge strain within his family circles. As if this wasn’t hard enough, Dobyns admitted to feeling a sort of respect for the Hell’s Angels gang members, despite the threat they posed against ordinary citizens. Despite this, Dobyns delivered on his promise, giving the ATF countless tips that they could use against the motorcycle crew. For the officials, the mission was deemed as a success, helping them to get the upper hand.
When the Angels figured out the betrayal, inevitably, they were none too happy about Dobyns’ betrayal. Towards the end of the legal case, Dobyns began to receive increasingly alarming threats, with some planning to capture and torture his family. When the ATF found out about things, however, they turned their head and following an act of attempted murder on Dobyns’ family, the officials claimed it was his own fault. Unsurprisingly, Dobyns took the ATF to court, winning a sizable sum. Now, he has retired onto the special circuit, occasionally talking about his notorious time with the Hell’s Angels.