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The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, incorporated as the American Outlaws Association or its acronym, A.O.A., is an outlaw motorcycle club that was formed in McCook, Illinois in 1935.
Membership in the Outlaws is limited to men who own American-made motorcycles of a particular size. Their main rivals are the Hells Angels, giving rise to a phrase used by Outlaws members, "ADIOS" (the Spanish word for "goodbye", but in this case doubling as an acronym for "Angels Die In Outlaw States").
The Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established out of Matilda's Bar on old Route 66 in McCook, Illinois, a southwestern suburb of Chicago, in 1935. The club stayed together during World War II, but like most organizations at that time, their activities were limited.
In the 1950s, the club's logo was changed; a small skull replaced a winged motorcycle, and Old English-style letters were adopted. This design was embroidered on a black shirt and hand painted on leather jackets. In 1954, the Crossed Pistons were added to the original small skull. This design was embroidered on a black western-style shirt with white piping. The movie The Wild One with Marlon Brando influenced this backpatch. The Skull and Crossed Pistons were redesigned in 1959, making them much larger with more detail. The A.O.A. logo was adopted as an answer to the A.M.A. logo.
The club featured in a work of photojournalism called The Bikeriders published in 1967 by Danny Lyon, a collection of photographs and interviews documenting the lifestyle of members of the club in the early 1960s.
The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive#453, Taco Bowman, known World Leader of the AOA, in prison since 1999 for three murders, was the international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. During the time that Bowman was a fugitive in 1998, it had chapters in more than 30 cities in the United States and some 20 chapters in at least four other countries. In 2001 he was tried in Jacksonville, Florida, Federal agents along with the Daytona Beach SWAT Team raided the Outlaws clubhouse on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Florida looking for drugs, weapons, contraband, paraphernalia, etc.; they tore the Daytona Beach clubhouse apart for the better part of the day and found nothing, but removed as many of the club's pictures and any other possibly identifying information as they could find. Federal agents also raided a home in Ormond Beach and two other clubhouses around the state. The search of the Jacksonville clubhouses netted federal agents 60 weapons including pocket and kitchen knives.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced a Detroit grand jury indictment of 16 of the Outlaws National Club's members. The Detroit grand jury indictment included various charges, including assault and drug distribution. Eleven Outlaws leaders and high-ranking members of the gang were arrested after a five-year investigation. The FBI said several gang members were charged with conspiracy to commit assault on members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Indiana.
In early 2012, a small batch of Outlaw Motorcycle Club members were sent out to the state of San Andreas. Operations were slowing down within the home charter with local law enforcement on their tail at all times. It was only a matter of months before the nomadic charter had settled down in Red County. Many members were settling in just fine, with business at an all time high for the new charter. It was only a matter of time before they had got the green light to make their charter official within the new state. Douglas Warner and Frank Hines were selected to spearhead the operation, taking the new charter under their control.
When 2016 arrived, the charter had their fair share of issues. Multiple run ins with local law enforcement, including the Los Santos Sheriff's Department, had patched members serving time in the San Andreas Correctional Facility. Charges include: fraud, arson, narcotics trafficking, and extortion. Since then the charter has been on its heels, trying to regain power in the criminal underworld over time.
In recent times the club is still controlled by the President Douglas Warner and Vice President Frank Hines. Although they have taken a hit in the past few years, there is signs the club is bouncing back. With members still joining the Red County charter, the club is still a threat to local law enforcement.