Fargo Police keep close watch on biker gangs

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) You may have noticed more motorcycles on the road recently. Many of them are heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which is going on right now.

While most bikers are simply motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a small percentage that Fargo Police officers say they are keeping a close eye on.

Fargo Police Lt. Shannon Ruziska leads the anti-gang unit in the F-M area. He says there is always more activity among bike gangs around the Sturgis rally time, but officers say they are aware of the problems they can bring to town.

Lt. Ruziska says in our area the Sons of Silence claim North Dakota as their territory. He says Hells Angels have southern part of Minnesota, but the Sons of Silence have the northern part of Minnesota. He says like street gangs, the bike gangs are a focus of the Metro Street Crimes unit. He say the bike gangs, "fund themselves through prostitution, drugs, intimidation. There are assaults and weapons."

Ruziska says the bike gang problem isn't growing necessarily in Fargo, but it is on their radar. Just last month, Fargo Police responded to a fight by Specks and Rick's bars between members of the Sons of Silence and the Hells Angels.

Lt. Ruziska: "We have had some friction here lately. It's about who gets to be the big guy on the block."

While officers say bike gangs don't affect the average person, they do worry innocent bystanders could get hurt.

Officers say that these bike gangs aren't going anywhere, since they have members across the country. But, they say the Metro Street Crimes unit plans to limit member numbers and problems they feel are associated with the groups.

Police say the bike gangs identify themselves as one percenters, which means they account for just one percent of motorcyclists. So, by the bike gangs' own definition... 99 percent are good.