This is the high-octane, no-holds-barred, true story of a bad guy turned good who busted open one of the most violent outlaw motorcycle gangs in history.
George Rowe’s gritty and harrowing story offers not only a glimpse into the violent world of the motorcycle outlaw, but a gripping tale of self-sacrifice and human redemption that would be the stuff of great fiction—if it weren’t all true. Rowe had been a drug dealer, crystal meth addict, barroom brawler, and convicted felon, but when he witnessed the Vagos brutally and senselessly beat his friend over a pool game, everything changed.
Rowe decided to pay back his Southern California hometown for the sins of his past by taking down the gang that was terrorizing it. He volunteered himself as an undercover informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and vowed to dismantle the brotherhood from the inside out, becoming history’s first private citizen to voluntarily infiltrate an outlaw motorcycle gang for the U.S. government.
As “Big George,” a full-patched member of the Vagos, Rowe spent three brutal years juggling a double life—riding, fighting, and nearly dying alongside the brothers who he secretly hoped to put away for good. During this time, Rowe also became entwined in a tumultuous relationship with a struggling addict named Jenna, never once revealing that he was actually working for the Feds. The road to redemption was not an easy ride. Rowe lost everything: his family, his business, his home—even his identity.
To this day, under protection by the U.S. government, Rowe still looks over his shoulder, keeping watch for the brothers he put behind bars. They’ve vowed to search for him until the day they die.
In this roughhewn memoir, one-time meth dealer and reformed felon George Rowe describes his undercover mission to infiltrate the notorious Vagos motorcycle gang. When Rowe walked into an ATF field office in March 2003, he was looking for revenge. A good friend had vanished after a clash with the Vagos, and Rowe figured that the body was in a hole somewhere in the Mojave Desert. This began a three-year odyssey for Rowe as he rode and fought with the Vagos, while at the same time gathering evidence that would put his "brothers" away. Rowe describes his Vagos adventures in bawdy, profanity-laced prose that suits the topic. At times his macho posturing becomes hard to bear he beats up pretty much everyone who crosses him, and is apparently irresistible to women yet he also writes with candor about his substance abuse, racism, and bad decisions, including a 22-year-old heroin-addict girlfriend. The depiction of the troubled relationship lends unusual depth to what could have been a boilerplate tough-guy memoir. After warrants are served and doors kicked in, Rowe ends up in the witness protection program with a newborn son to care for. While he seems to have found some peace with his decision, almost all of the Vagos he put away ended up back on the street.