Under and Alone by William Queen
The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

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Synopsis

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About William Queen

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WILLIAM QUEEN spent twenty years as a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A Vietnam War veteran, Queen served with the U.S. Army Special Forces and was awarded the Silver Star during his 1971 tour of duty. After his military service, Queen devoted his entire career to law enforcement. For his groundbreaking undercover work playing the part of biker "Billy St. John," William Queen was awarded the 2001 Federal Bar Association's Medal of Valor, the Director's Award from the Department of Justice, the Robert Faulkner Memorial Outstanding Investigation Award from the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigator Association, the Medal of Valor from the International Narcotics Investigators Association, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published April 5, 2005 by Random House. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Apr 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

Kirkus Reviews

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This doesn’t come as a big surprise, however, considering that the Special Forces veteran spent 16 years at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, working undercover to buy cocaine from the Crips in Los Angeles and machine guns from neo-Nazis in West Virginia.

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The New York Times

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William Queen recounts two years he spent as an undercover cop in a motorcycle gang.

Jul 24 2005 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

NPR

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NPR coverage of Under And Alone: The True Story Of The Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang by William Queen. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

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Entertainment Weekly

William Queen, an under-cover ATF agent in L.A., posed for over two years as a ratty-bearded, foul-smelling biker named Billy St. John and infiltrated the Mongols, ''the most violent motorcycle gang in America, a tight-knit collective of crazies, unpredictable and unrepentant badasses.'' He ev...

Apr 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

Gather Books

- 5 Stars - Reviewed by Michael Timlin, Authors on the Rise Book Reviews

Dec 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

Bookmarks Magazine

After military service in Vietnam and 20 years with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Queen infiltrated the notorious Southern California motorcycle gang known as the Mongol Nation.

Jan 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

Alternative Control

Maybe if everybody wasn’t so busy snorting crank, they would have wondered why some guy named Billy St. John came out of nowhere wanting to hang out with them… "Billy St. John" But Queen/St. John does develop real friendships with some Mongols – a fact that weighs on his conscience as he colle...

Sep 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Under and Alone: The True Sto...

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