Famous Undercover Infiltrations
In Gangland Undercover, former gang member turned infiltrator Charles Falco recounts his time working undercover in some of the most notorious motorcycle gangs, joining the ranks of undercover agents who did exactly that. Including the following:
Joseph Pistone AKA Donnie Brasco
A pioneer of long-term undercover work, FBI agent Joseph Pistone spent six years with two American Mafia crime families, infiltrating the Bonanno family and the Colombo family in the 1970s. Pistone went so deep that even other federal agents and the NYPD believed him to be a real member.
The operation was closed before Pistone could be ‘made’ and become a fully initiated member. After his identity was revealed to the Mafia, two family members were murdered, a $500,000 contract was put on Pistone’s life and the Bonanno family were removed from the Commission.
Pistone’s work led to over 200 indictments, more than 100 convictions and nearly destroyed the Bonanno family.
Joaquín García AKA Jack Falcone
Posing as a Sicilian jewel thief (his Cuban ethnicity going unnoticed), Joaquín García infiltrated the Gambino family in New York, working undercover for almost three years.
As with Pistone, the operation ended (March, 2005) before García could become a made man, but his work led to the arrest and conviction of 32 people, including two of the top ranking members of the family.
William Queen AKA Billy St. John
Like Charles Falco, William Queen infiltrated the Mongols Motor Cycle Gang whilst working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (AFT) in 1998; an operation it later described as “its most successful penetration.”
Not letting the nickname, ‘Billy the Slow-Brain’ work against him, Queen advanced through the ranks of the gang to become the vice president of his chapter. His work led to 54 arrests.
Another AFT agent, Jay Dobyns infiltrated the Mongols’ rivals, the Hells Angels. After staging a murder of one of the Mongol’s ‘members’ (another agent), Dobyns spent two years with Hells Angels, leading to numerous indictments.
After he was exposed in 2005, Dobyns and his family were threatened with extreme violence and death from crime organisations, including plans to give him HIV and the gang rape of his wife and daughter.
Four months later, his home was targeted for an arson attack while his family slept inside. Luckily, they survived and Dobyns became a federal whistleblower, accusing the government of not doing enough to protect undercover agents.
Yaron Svoray AKA Ron Furey
The Israeli detective Yaron Svoray (who lost much of his family in the Holocaust) posed as an Australian journalist for a neo Nazi magazine to infiltrate German neo Nazi groups in the 1990s. Luckily no one did any research, as the magazine he claimed to work for never existed.
During his time with them, Svoray discovered a large network of neo Nazis and exposed war criminal Erich Priebke.
Robert Mazur AKA Bob Musella
For five years in the 1980s, US Customs Special Agent Robert Mazur infiltrated Colombian drug cartels, creating a traceable paper trail for millions of dollars of drugs money.
85 people were indicted and Mazur helped to bring down drug lord Pablo Escobar.
As a black policeman, Ron Stallworth was probably the least likely candidate to ever infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, yet this is exactly what happened in 1979 when a local chapter started advertising for new members.
Contacting the group primarily over the phone and by email (and sending in a white officer to impersonate him to meet Klan members), Stallworth was able to stop a number of cross burnings.
After a year, he was voted leader of the chapter.