Gangland Undercover (2015) s01e01 Episode Script

Going Under

undercover informant in a biker gang, I did it to save my own skin.
But over the next three years, putting bad guys away became my personal mission.
I saw it as a chance to make amends for my past mistakes.
But I paid a heavy price.
I'm Charles Falco, and this is my story.
-Gangland Undercover S01E01- Falco: Before we go any further, let's just get one thing clear.
It's pronounced Vah-goes, not Vay-goes.
It comes from the Spanish word for 'vagabond'.
The Vagos Motorcycle Gang, they're five times bigger than the Hell's Angels in California - and they are that much more violent.
Schizo: Yeah, that's deep enough.
Falco: They're mixed up in all kinds of organized crime.
So to try to keep a lid on things, the Feds put an informant in the gang.
But things didn't go quite as planned.
There's one occupational hazard that all informants face - getting found out.
Schizo: So, uh which of you gents wants to have the honor? Lemme do it.
Be my guest, Prospect.
Shut up, snitch! Look into my eyes.
You see a real man in there? Good, 'cause that's the last thing you're ever gonna see.
Schizo: AlrightFill it up.
Falco: So at that point the Feds are down an informant.
And now they need a new one.
(Loud music and motorcycle engines roar) Falco: Why me? I guess it's the price I had to pay for my past mistakes.
The trouble with me? I'm not very good at looking ahead.
Back in 2003, I thought I had it made.
Big house, three cars, beautiful wife.
I'm making a hundred K a month cooking and dealing crystal meth.
But you know how it goes.
You get a taste for these things and you can't stop.
A meth high lasts for hours and makes you feel sharp, at first.
It affects the neurotransmitters in the brain that release dopamine, and dopamine is all about pleasure.
And, uh, I love to experience pleasure.
Come out, come out wherever you are There you are.
I gotcha.
But before you know it, it's got you.
See? See? See? See? With the black windows.
I see you.
Falco: And the longer you go, the lower you go.
You forget things - like the fact that your wife walked out on you.
And your friends, they are long gone.
Oh man, what a waste.
SWAT Team: (various voices): Don't move! Don't move.
Keep your hands up Don't move or you're dead! Agent: Asthma and you smoke crystal? Falco: Back then I just wanted to stay out of jail.
They want names.
I give them names.
But they're not impressed.
Not until I give them over my partner, Bernard.
He's a big fish.
Buys me time.
For the next six months I have to piss in a vial every few days.
Gets me clean for the first time in years.
I even quit steroids.
Looking back, that bust probably saved my life.
Falco: What's up, Boss? Agent: Hands in the air! Falco: I keep cooperating helping bust mid-level dealers.
I start to realize I got a chance to make amends.
But I'm Iimbo, I know it can't last.
That's when I get a call from the San Bernardino organized crime unit, Samantha Kiles.
Kiles: Well, it doesn't look good.
You know, you're looking at a minimum twenty years? Maybe I can help.
You ever heard of the Vagos? The biker gang? Sure.
Kiles: They're a big problem around these parts.
Drug trafficking, murder, assaults, extortion.
We're trying to build a case against them.
And? You think you could get inside? You want me to join a biker gang? You wanna stay out of prison, right? Look lady, I know dealers, alright? I don't know anything about bikers You don't have to.
Look at it this way: In many respects you're the ideal candidate.
Most informants have to invent whole previous lives.
But you grew up in the valley, right? You know the streets.
You know the dealers.
And given your background, I'm sure you can figure it out.
So what, so do I get paid for this, or? It doesn't work that way.
How you go about it is up to you.
All we ask is that you gather evidence for us, and in return we'll think about reducing your sentence.
You'll think about it? Kiles: No promises.
What if I don't find any 'evidence'? Kiles: Then I guess you go to prison.
So where is this biker gang? Falco: San Bernardino County, the birthplace of American biker life.
Hell's Angels, Mongols, Outlaws they've all left their tire tracks on the desert roads.
And so have the Vagos.
Voice on TV: But you ain't cuttin' it honey.
We are not makin' the bills Falco: By now I've done my research on the gang.
They were formed back in '65.
And they're divided into 47 chapters.
The chapter that I'm going to try and infiltrate - one of the most notorious of the lot.
The question is, how do you get close to them? I don't even look like a biker.
Falco: You know I was just this tweaker kid, right.
I rehearse my story.
I try to think of all the questions they'll ask.
A Vago saved my life.
What would make me someone they'd want to recruit? A Vago saved my life.
I just wanted to buy 'em a beer to thank 'em.
Falco: As a so called one percenter motorcycle club, Vagos are notoriously violent.
And nowhere is more dangerous than their local bar, The Rat Catcher.
As I walk to the door, I feel this huge adrenaline rush.
It's like the first time I did a deal.
But this, this wasn't like any kind of deal I've ever done.
Falco: As I step into the Rat Catcher, the first thing I notice, besides the smell of rancid beer and stale piss, is the tension.
It's like a countdown to the next fight.
Where the real party starts, and there's blood all over the floor.
Excuse me, can I get a beer? Red: You lookin' for something? Is that a leading question? It depends on what you're looking for.
Just a friendly place to have a beer.
Well, that is about 20 miles west of here.
You do know where you are, right? Sure.
Is there a problem? See that guy over there? That's my old man, Kid.
Vice President of the local Vagos.
And he's wondering what you're doing in their bar.
You might want to take that as a polite invitation to leave.
Yeah, I might.
Or, I might want to meet him.
Falco: So now I'm on.
What I say next I've practiced a thousand times.
Now it's show time.
Kid: Do I know you? I just wanted to buy you a beer.
Oh yeah? You wanna tell me why? Well, it's a long story.
Is there a short version? Sure.
I wanted to thank a Vago.
For what? Well, that's the long version.
Why don't you sit down and try not to waste my time? Okay.
So back in the mid-90s, I'm in Vegas.
And I'm tweaking.
I'm outta money.
And that, that caused me to do the most dumb-ass thing I've ever done in my life.
Falco: I'm staying at this hotel and there's this huge jewellery convention, stalls and booths, with like thousands and thousands of dollars' worth of gold and silver and diamonds.
And at the end of each day, they just pack up all their stuff and they carry it up to their rooms.
And I'm thinking that's gotta be like taking candy from a baby, right? Falco: So I spot this old couple and I follow them onto the elevator-- I got it all planned.
I'm gonna force them into their room, grab their stuff, point the gun in their faces.
By the time they're done- I'm long gone, right? I didn't plan on that.
Sounds tough.
So did you get the hell out or what? Well, I figure I'm screwed, right? Do I run? Or do I get what I came for? Stash: So what'd you do? I'm the one with the gun, right? Get in there! They got cameras in the elevators, so I take the stairs.
This is the ingenious part of the plan, okay? Falco: I've got two sets of clothes on.
They'll be looking for the guy that robbed that couple.
Not this guy.
So I hit the casino floor, I'm walking out, heart's in my mouth.
I can see the exit.
I'm thinking, I did it.
I'm home free baby! Casino Security: Hey, stop right there! Stop right there! Stash: So? I did a year for armed robbery.
Darko: It's federal.
Where'd you do your time? Just in, uh, Lompoc.
laughing Lompoc.
That's my second home.
Oh yeah? Well, it was my first time.
Long setup I know.
I'm sorry.
Falco: So in prison I'm just this tweaker kid.
I didn't know any of the rules.
I don't know what I did to piss this guy off, but he decides he's gonna kill me.
He's got a shiv.
And out of nowhere comes this huge guy.
Hauls him and just starts kicking.
Falco: That guy, he had a tattoo of a 22.
And then I found out later that it stood for the twenty-second letter of the alphabet.
Kid: V for Vago.
A Vago saved my life.
I promised myself when I get out of jail, I'm gonna find a Vago.
I'm gonna, I'm gonna thank him.
It took me a while, but-- Did you get his name? Hmm? The Vago in Lompoc.
Did you get his name? No man.
I never got the chance, you know.
The deputies, they broke it up and then they just transferred him to different unit.
What kinda piece were you carrying? Oh man, just a cheap nine millimeter.
You know, I traded this kid some rocks for it back when I was cooking meth.
You wanna know the funny part of the story? It wasn't even loaded.
So you're a chef? I was.
You still into that? Nah, man.
I got too messed up 'bro.
Nah, I just stick to weed now.
Anyway, I won't take up any more of your time.
Thank you.
What's your name? It's Charlie.
And my young old lady, Red.
Falco: The best bull is always half true.
The true part of my story - the robbery.
I'm not proud of that.
The jail part? I got probation, instead of prison, because the gun wasn't even real.
And the Vago who saved my ass? Word for word one of THE best lies I've ever told.
By the end of the night, I got myself some new friends.
Nice story.
Falco: And like it or not, those were the only friends I was gonna have until this whole thing was over.
Falco: A couple of months into my infiltration, I have a routine.
I'm not getting paid to be undercover, so I work at this garage all day.
When I get home, I just want to sleep.
But that's when the real job starts.
Most of the Vagos ride bikes.
Then there's Stash.
Stash: [SCREAMS.]
He's just too wasted to ride anything.
Let's go! But since he's tight with the gang, I become his chauffeur.
Yeah!!! You ready to party tonight or what? Yeah man, of course.
I almost forgot.
You know what that is? That's a 44 magnum.
That's pretty sweet, right? [Makes shooting sounds.]
Yeah, where the hell did you get that? What's it to you? Nothin' man.
Just put it away.
I don't wanna get pulled.
Falco: I quickly learn to be careful with the questions.
At that point, I'm friendly with some of the gang members, but I'm no closer to becoming one of them.
That was all about to change.
What's up, man? Check out the I.
What's the problem? Inland Empire.
A skinhead in our bar.
Falco: That was the first time I witnessed a Vago stomping.
He was lucky to get out of there.
But he didn't go quietly- Darko: Tell the rest of your friends! Vagos: Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey! Falco: It's an unwritten rule you never touch a biker's bike.
But I didn't know at that time.
Red: Did you catch him? Stash: Nah.
But I got his plate number.
We'll find him.
You touch my bike? I was just making sure it was okay, man.
Somebody get the hang-around a beer.
I was at the Rat Catcher last night.
Falco: The next day I call Samantha Kiles.
So I'm a hang-around now.
Falco: Being made a hang-around is the first step in becoming a Vago.
I'm in now, right? Falco: Suddenly there's someone she wants me to meet.
You Mike Kozinski? Koz: Yeah.
Falco? Yeah.
How ya doin'? I'm alright.
You? Have a seat.
They call me Koz.
Koz? Yeah.
Got it.
Can I get a coffee? Now Detective Kiles tells me you're interested in some undercover work.
Yeah sure if it keeps me out of jail.
You clean? You sober right now? Uh-huh.
Eight months.
That's good.
You married? No.
Not anymore.
Girlfriend? Nope.
No ties.
How much d'you know about the Vagos? Well, I know a few of the guys.
Other than that not much.
Kiles said you're a hang-around.
Well what happens from here, if one of the guys likes you and wants to sponsor you, you become a prospect.
It means you become their slave 24 hours a day seven days a week.
And your life's gonna be pretty much over.
I get it man.
It's hard.
Just tell me what you need.
Well what I need is for you to gather evidence.
Any kind of illegal transactions.
Now if you're gonna be of any use to me at all you need to get in deeper than just a hang-around.
Well, they did invite me on this run.
Really? Huh.
What's your ride? Whadda you got out there? Whadda you mean? Your bike.
What's your bike? I drive.
I got a car.
You just follow behind in your Honda Accord? Well, it's a Ford.
It's a Ford.
You know how to ride a motorcycle? No.
You wanna infiltrate a motorcycle gang you don't know how to ride a motorcycle? Do I have a choice in this? What's this? That's your probationary contract between you and the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
I thought you were DEA? No.
I'm a special agent with the ATF, but we're all in this together one way or another.
Now, this is a lot of legal, but the essence of it is that you agree to become a Confidential Informant and I'm your handler.
Okay? You're gonna check in with me on a nightly basis.
You think of me as sort of a cross between your wife and your mother.
Now the important part is the part that says we stay your charges as long as you're working for us.
You got a pen? So how long is this thing gonna run for? Depends how long you last.
What do you think's the most dangerous part about being in a motorcycle gang? Say obviously gettin' found out.
Riding a motorcycle.
You might wanna think about some lessons.
You gonna pay for those? That was fun.
Falco: The biggest deal for every bike gang is a bike run.
It's a road trip and a party rolled into one.
Lizard: Fire it up.
And it usually results in casualties.
(Loud bike engines roar) This is the first time I lay eyes on the chapter president, the boss, Schizo.
Ready to ride? Let's roll.
If I'm gonna get inside this gang and stay out of jail, Schizo's the man I need to get to.
(Motorcycle engines roar) Falco: On a run, every outlaw biker chapter rides in strict formation.
Up front is the chapter's road captain, Lizard.
Falco: Next comes the president, Schizo.
Falco: Alongside him, the vice-president, Kid.
Falco: Then, sergeant-at-arms, Darko.
Falco: The rest of the chapter, they all follow behind in pairs.
At the back are what bikers call cages- cars and trucks good for hauling beer and prospects without bikes.
Stash: You know how long I've been a prospect? Two years.
I done enough to earn my patch ten times over.
So why are you not patched? I can't afford the wheels.
Falco: Three hours later, we arrive at our destination.
And that's when I discover that biker runs serve another purpose marking territory.
What? Is that them there? No, no, no.
Keep going.
Falco: Lake Havasu in Arizona marks the very edge of the Vagos patch.
Stash: Here.
Here, here, here.
This is it.
Yes! (Yelling and cheering) (Yelling and cheering) Darko: Hey prospect.
Dance on one leg for me.
Falco: As a prospect, Stash is forced to do anything that a full patch gang member wants.
Darko: Come on man! Falco: As a hang-around, I just have to carry beers.
Green: And we had Glocks all over the table.
Falco: Puts me in the action though.
And I hear things that could put people away for years.
The guy starts talking, so my brother picks one of them up.
Shoots him right in the face.
BAM! Darko: Sit down.
I said sit down.
You like to smoke, right? You like to smoke? Yeah, sure.
It's for you.
Go ahead.
Toke up.
Take it.
So now then.
This Vago in the story you told about Lompoc.
What was his name again? I told you, man.
They transferred me before I caught his name.
I thought you said that they transferred him.
C'mon man.
They transfer people all the time.
It wasn't this guy, was it? This is Green.
Hang-around here has this story about some Vago saved his ass in Lompoc in what was it, '94? '95? '94, mostly.
I was in from '93 to '97.
You two guys never saw each other? No.
Lompoc's a big pen, right? I know it's a big pen.
I've been there.
You know what I don't buy about your story, hang-around? I don't buy that a Vago would put his ass on the line for some tweaker.
Green: You know what? There was this Vago.
Up on a weapons charge.
A pair of 22 tatties.
One side or both? On his neck.
Dude's name was Bongo.
It could be.
Well, we got Fresno guys here.
Maybe he's one of them? Yeah, you want me to check? I want you to check.
Well, you can try but you're not gonna find him.
Bongo's dead, man.
Get us some frickin' pretzels or something.
Just get out of here.
Hey Prospect! Did I say you could stop? Let's go! Come on.
(Loud Music) Falco: After 5 hours of playing waiter You got any more pretzels? I'm still no closer to Schizo.
How are you doin'? See that civilian down there? Yeah, which one? The pretty one on the right.
I think she likes you.
Well maybe when I get a second I'll say hi.
Just so you know, the girl she's kissing, that's Schizo's wife, Stella.
And? Well, I'm just saying Charlie.
Do you want a patch? There's an easier way in than being Darko's butler.
Falco: As the Vagos get drunker, Stash's hazing gets ever more extreme.
Strip off.
Man: Woo hoo! Darko: Keep going.
Falco: Meanwhile, I take Red's advice and I look for a chance to talk to the girl with Schizo's wife.
Stella: I'll be right back.
Chorus of Voices: Woo! Hey.
Suzanna: Hey.
You're friends with, um Stella.
I'm Suzanna.
Can, can I sit? You been to a lot of these things? No, this is my first run.
I thought I liked to party, but these guys Yeah.
It's not my usual scene.
No? What about you and Stella? We were friends from high school and we just sort of hooked up again.
She's pretty full on.
Yeah, I'd say.
You don't look like a biker to me.
No? What do I look like? Chorus of Voices: 13, 14, 15 More interesting.
Chorus of Voices: 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
Well I'll take that.
Chorus of Voices: 21, 22.
Cheering Yeah.
Are you serious? I forgot you don't have a bike.
Hey, it's a good thing we're giving you that one.
Five minutes to sew that patch on your cuts, boy.
You're working on your Master's? Sort of.
Why'd you quit? Uh, I broke up with some guy.
Falco: Later that night, I'm deep into it with Suzanna, when suddenly things go quiet.
It's like something out of a dream.
Why would a rival biker gang crash a bar full of Vagos? Three's hardly an army.
But for bikers, it's all about showing you're not scared.
Darko: Sorry.
Falco: With the Vagos, maybe they should have been.
You made your point, man.
Let's get a beer.
What are you smilin' at? I have no idea.
Next time remind me to bring some aspirin.
Oh, yeah? There's gonna be a next time? If you play your cards right.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Are you dating any of these other guys? Why? Are you jealous? No.
I just don't want any enemies.
No claims on me yet.
Well maybe I'll make one.
[Phone buzzes.]
Suzanna: Oh leave it, leave it, leave it, leave it, leave it.
Yeah, okay.
No, no, don't do that.
I got it.
No, no, no.
I gotta go.
Where you going? Falco: The text is from Darko.
Do me a favor? Just give me your number.
Falco: I'm ordered to church.
We'll see.
Falco: All outlaw bike gang hold weekly meetings they call 'church.
' But only full patch gang members are allowed inside.
So why am I here? I'd run if I were you.
What're you talking about? You're screwed What do you mean? Darko.
Somethin' you did on that run to piss him off.
I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes.
Falco: Schizo, I wanted to meet him What's goin' on? Have a seat.
Now, I'm not so sure.
So, hang-around, we've been talking about you.
Tell me again why it was you came down here? I told you, man.
I just wanted a change of scenery.
Schizo: Yeah, see the problem is nobody here knows you.
So some of the guys've been wondering if you are who you say you are.
I'm going to need you to fill this out.
What's this? It's a background check.
Just to make sure you haven't forgotten to tell us somethin'.
You got a pen? You want me to fill it out now? No you can bring that back.
And 400 bucks to pay for it.
Because you see I got good news and I got bad news for ya.
The good news is Kid here has agreed to sponsor you as a prospect.
You see but the bad news is Kid has agreed to sponsor you as a prospect.
Now you might think that's a promotion, but well you'd be wrong.
As a prospect your ass belongs to the Vagos, to this chapter.
You do everything a full patch tells you.
A full patch wants a beer, you go get him a beer.
A full patch calls you in the middle of the night because he needs smokes, what are you gonna do? Go get him a pack of smokes.
A full patch tells you to fight? I fight.
If I ask you to kill someone? I kill someone.
If I call you up in the middle of the night, tell you to come over and screw my old lady while I watch, what are you gonna do? I'm gonna ask you to reconsider that.
Laughter Hey, if you want me to come over and screw your wife at three in the morning while you watch, I'm your man.
Come anywhere near my old lady, I'll cut your balls off.
Laughter It's a joke dickweed.
You survive being a prospect, god knows how long that could take, you make it to full patch there's only one thing that I can guarantee you.
You're either gonna wind up dead or in jail.
Are you good with that? Yeah.
I'm good with that.
What's this? Your prospect kit, genius.
Needle and thread.
Pain killers.
And tampons.
Tampons? It's for plugging up bullet holes.
Welcome aboard.
Come here.
Vagos: clapping and cheering You ever make me look stupid, you're dead.
Let's party.
Yeah! Twenty-two.
Falco: I'm one step closer to the brotherhood.
And one step further from prison.
Get me a beer, prospect.
Falco: But this thing, it's just getting going.

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