In 1998, William Queen was a veteran law enforcement agent with a lifelong love of motorcycles and a lack of patience with paperwork. When a “confidential informant” made contact with his boss at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, offering to take an agent inside the San Fernando chapter of the Mongols (the scourge of Southern California, and one of the most dangerous gangs in America), Queen jumped at the chance, not realizing that he was kicking-starting the most extensive undercover operation inside an outlaw motorcycle gang in the history of American law enforcement.
Nor did Queen suspect that he would penetrate the gang so successfully that he would become a fully “patched-in” member, eventually rising through their ranks to the office of treasurer, where he had unprecedented access to evidence of their criminal activity. After Queen spent twenty-eight months as “Billy St. John,” the bearded, beer-swilling, Harley-riding gang-banger, the truth of his identity became blurry, even to himself.
During his initial “prospecting” phase, Queen was at the mercy of crank-fueled criminal psychopaths who sought to have him test his mettle and prove his fealty by any means necessary, from selling (and doing) drugs, to arms trafficking, stealing motorcycles, driving getaway cars, and, in one shocking instance, stitching up the face of a Mongol “ol’ lady” after a particularly brutal beating at the hands of her boyfriend.
Yet despite the constant criminality of the gang, for whom planning cop killings and gang rapes were business as usual, Queen also came to see the genuine camaraderie they shared. When his lengthy undercover work totally isolated Queen from family, his friends, and ATF colleagues, the Mongols felt like the only family he had left. “I had no doubt these guys genuinely loved Billy St. John and would have laid down their lives for him. But they wouldn’t hesitate to murder Billy Queen.”
From Queen’s first sleight of hand with a line of methamphetamine in front of him and a knife at his throat, to the fearsome face-off with their decades-old enemy, the Hell’s Angels (a brawl that left three bikers dead), to the heartbreaking scene of a father ostracized at Parents’ Night because his deranged-outlaw appearance precluded any interaction with regular citizens, Under and Alone is a breathless, adrenaline-charged read that puts you on the street with some of the most dangerous men in America and with the law enforcement agents who risk everything to bring them in.
This harrowing, turbocharged account of undercover life is reminiscent of Joseph D. Pistone's Donnie Brasco. After military service in Vietnam, Queen began his law enforcement career, eventually spending 20 years as an ATF special agent. In 1998, through contact with a "confidential informant," he began to hang with the Mongol Nation, a violent Southern California motorcycle club ("a tight-knit collective of crazies, unpredictable and unrepentant badasses") with 20 chapters in several states and 350 members both in and out of prison. Assuming the role of bearded biker "Billy St. John," Queen entered into a 28-month undercover operation. To gather evidence of homicide, weapons and narcotics violations, he sometimes wore a wire, knowing that its discovery could lead to his murder. Indeed, he was suspected at first of being a cop and forced to prove himself in more than a few dangerous situations. But after months of hazing, he became a trusted member. Queen steers clear of melodrama and captures both sides of his double life; the sadistic characters and criminal camaraderie are contrasted with his own inner turmoil, as he thought of the Mongols as his friends while the investigation escalated. The strength and white-hot intensity of the writing make this read like a movie, and Hollywood is certain to take note. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (On sale Apr. 5)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great read!!! You can feel the energy of his day to day life. Very well written and payed out.... keeps you coming back for more.
The first person telling if this story kept me want more with the turn of each page. Unbelievable sacrifice, hard work and dedication leads William Queen through the underworld of OMG the Mongols. His story provoked my every emotion. If you like motorcycles, intrigued by the Outlaw biker lifestyle but pull for the justice...this book is for you!!
Charged me 3 times the amount!!!!
I want my money back. The book was advertised at $7.99 but charged me $24.46!!! WTH?!?!?