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First Hells Angels appear in Carlton

Members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club began rolling into Carlton County on Monday, the beginning of a week-long visit that area police have been preparing for.

Members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club began rolling into Carlton County on Monday, the beginning of a week-long visit that area police have been preparing for.

"It's starting to happen as we've been told it would," said Cloquet Police Deputy Chief Terry Hill.

The group is holding its annual USA Run in the area before heading to Sturgis, S.D., next week.

"We're getting reports that members of the Hells Angels are checking into local campgrounds -- some arriving in their RV's with motorcycles on trailers," Hill said.

The Lost Isle restaurant and bar in Carlton, which has been rented from Wednesday through Sunday for exclusive use by the club, had just a few motorcycles outside Sunday, but a long lineup of motorcycles was out front by Monday afternoon.

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"What we heard is that prospects and hang-arounds come early to make sure everything is ready," Hill said.

He said "prospects" and "hang-arounds" are the club's underlings trying to earn full membership and the embroidered "death head patch" that denotes it.

Local law enforcement has also received word from agencies in neighboring states that members are indeed heading to Minnesota, according to Hill.

"Everything seems to be on schedule," Hill said.

Although law enforcement has been in contact with members of the Hells Angels, they have not shared much of an itinerary. It is believed the motorcyclists will venture to Duluth and up the North Shore for daily rides.

Local, regional and national law enforcement has been planning for the visit for nearly six months. Community meetings were held in the past two weeks to give information and answer questions from residents -- many of which focused on the club's criminal ties.

Related Topics: CARLTON
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