Tales of an undercover agent: Infiltrating the Hells Angels | The FOX True Crime Podcast

Tales of an undercover agent: Infiltrating the Hells Angels | The FOX True Crime Podcast

Retired ATF Special Agent Jay “Jaybird” Dobyns joins Emily Compagno to discuss his involvement in a two-year-long undercover operation to infiltrate Hells Angels, the dangers he faced during his assignment, and how he was able to bring justice by taking down some of the most dangerous members. #FoxNews #TrueCrime

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Jay Dobbins I have the honor right now Of sitting down with you you have Frankly been someone I've admired and Looked up to for so many years after I First had the gripping pleasure of Reading your book no angel my harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle Of the Hell's Angels and one of the Things that is so fascinating about you And your story Jay is that frankly that Wild ride started within one week of Becoming an undercover special agent for The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms so sir welcome and why don't we Jump right into what happened that first Week on the job for you yeah well thank You uh for having me and um I was a the Way I landed in law enforcement as I was A failed athlete as a kid I never had a Plan B and my plan a was to play Professional football and so I went to the 1985 NFL combine which for For your audience who isn't sports fans Or football fans the NFL combine is Their meat market where they measure you And test you and put you all kind Through all kinds of drills and I went Into that I had a very nice college Career football career and I went into That with a lot of confidence and so My first interaction there was uh the Owner of the Oakland Raiders was on the Field for the drills Al Davis And like I grew up a football fan and so

I recognized coach Davis and went up to Him and said coach how am I doing like Like you know do the Raiders love me do You want me and he and he looked at his Score sheet and he found my name and He's like Dobbins oh there you are he Goes you're the fastest slow guy I've Seen today right so my spirit was not Broken I I knew like what I could do and What I couldn't do so during the drills I meet a couple young athletes who I Hadn't heard of Um and I had somewhat of a name coming Into this and so one guy was from a Little school called Kutztown state And I shake hands with him and I'm like Dude where's cuts down and he's like It's in Pennsylvania and I'm shaking Hands with him and thinking to myself Internally hey good luck because I'm Gonna whip your ass today right so I Meet this other guy from this little School in Mississippi and we start Drilling and we go out to the grass And 10 minutes into these drills my plan A had failed because I could not do what These guys who I'd never heard of could Do Well it turns out the kid from Kutztown State was Andre Reed who went on to play 15 years for the bills and is in the Hall of Fame and the kid from the small School in Mississippi went to Mississippi Valley State it was Jerry

Rice so I wasn't judging myself against the Fairest competition now in hindsight I Realize that but as a young person Like my dreams crashed in 10 minutes I Didn't I didn't have a plan B And at the time this is mid 80s the Television show Miami Vice was very Popular And so I didn't really know anything About law enforcement but seeing Don Johnson play Sonny Crockett driving a Lamborghini around South Beach and and His Hugo Boss suit in meeting kingpins And and models were bringing him Mojitos At these mansions and I was like man That that That might be kind of cool right so I Started to chase that I ultimately got hired by ATF uh on a Monday in November Uh four days later I was taken hostage in shot so four days After I raised my hand and took the oath Of office and received you know my badge Um I was taken hostages in shot Um that hole right there is where the Bullet went in my back Oh then the hole right there Is where it came out of I'm I don't know If I'm showing that to you well enough Um Saturated with blood that shirt but one

Shot with Blue now is the color it's the Whole thing's color of rust Ah so after after four days you know Thinking that I was coming in and I was Going to be like I wanted to be the next Sonny Crockett right four days later I Got shot Point Blank the bullet went in My back it passed through my lung it Narrowly missed my heart it exited my Chest and I was bleeding to death in the Dirt and garbage of a trailer park south Of Tucson a neighborhood that that's Known as Dog Patch and I had blood Coming out of my chest like you're Holding your thumb over the end of a Garden hose And I was like man this isn't like my New plan a wasn't working out either Like this isn't how this is supposed to Go Um now luckily like I was surrounded by Great Partners uh the the guy that shot Me the suspect that shot me was killed On the scene a massive uh a massive Shootout took place the actual shooting Took place inside a vehicle And it was if you can imagine the Craziest shootout scene you've ever seen Hollywood create it was a million times Worse than that it was a 5 10 second Lead and glass storm with bullets going Everywhere in this car Um but my my partners got me to the Hospital I was in pretty rough shape I

Was I mean I was bleeding to death Um and so an amazing thing happened one Of the greatest things that happened to Me in my life came from that shooting I Crossed paths with a young trauma Surgeon Who um ultimately through his career Became the Surgeon General of the United States Dr Richard Carmona and I don't Know if you're familiar with Dr Carmona Or not but his story Is incredible like way better than mine Way way more spectacular than anything I Ever accomplished in life and so Dr Carmona like did the operations and Saved my life Can you share a little bit more about That undercover operation the events That led to you being in that car to Getting shot and then ultimately Surviving yeah yeah the actually uh it Wasn't an undercover operation it was an Arrest operation Um and and ATF is charged with enforcing The federal firearms and explosives in Our sin laws and so the the suspect was Was in violation of the federal firearms Lost and so being a brand new agent My team had placed me so far away from The action that there's no way I could Ever get involved in it I was there more As an observer to see how uh the Mechanics of an arrest took place than I Was to actually be a participant in it

So as the agent says the veteran agents Squeeze in on the suspect he takes off And starts running and just by Natural Instincts like I didn't know what I was Doing I didn't I hadn't even been to the Academy But I see the suspect running and I Start chasing it and so as I'm chasing Him I'm passing these other agents I'm Running past them towards the suspect so Like I wasn't fast enough to play in the NFL but I was pretty dang fast for a cop Right so I chased this guy down he ends up hiding We can't find him we're searching the Area looking for him and he had hidden Like underneath a trailer A single wide trailer in some really Tall grass and weeds and when I passed Him he crawled out from behind that Concealment and got behind me and was Holding the gun to my head and and Forced me into the into the vehicle and Like was basically wanting to use me as His Escape mechanism he was screaming at Me like get me out of here let's go Let's go and the whole time he's he's Got one arm around my neck and one and The gun to my head And my first thought was I saw a Telephone pole about 30 yards in front Of us And I was going to ram our car into that Telephone pole I knew this guy would had

Bad intentions for me but I wanted him If that if it was going to go down that Way I wanted it to take place there and Then with my partners around me versus Having him Take me 20 miles down the road and Execute me on my knees in the ditch off The side of the highway And so that was my plan a my plan B when I went to start the car Is I was like there might be a better Solution to this I took the keys out of The ignition and dropped them to the Floorboard And I said dude I dropped the keys and As I bent forward to grab the keys he's Lean he's writing me forward and the gun Comes off my head and moves to my back And then that's when the shootout took Place and in this shootout he shoots me In the back he shot uh multiple times Um and then actually My transportation to the hospital was The same vehicle that was used for the Shootout so my partner stuffed me in the Back seat where the suspect had just Previously been dragged out of Um and so we're going to the hospital And we're bouncing around and I'm like Blood squirting out of my chest and Glass has fallen on me and it was it was A crazy crazy way to begin a career for Sure Oh uh and at that point was your family

Like I thank God you survived obviously and Were they like look law enforcement's Not the right path this is too dangerous Well my family uh had that position had That perspective To be honest with you I had the exact Opposite reaction to it I was young I Was 26 years old I'm 61 now so that was You know that was quite a while ago Um but I felt like I was Bulletproof I Had a bullet go through my chest the First week on the job and I'd survived It and all I wanted was a chance to come Back and try again and see if I could do It without making a mistakes see if I Could do it without embarrassing myself See if I could do it without getting Hurt or anybody else hurt You know and when I was in the hospital Attorneys were lining up like to come Into my hospital room and one after Another it was almost like uh they were Taking a number waiting to speak to me One after the other how much money you Want kid and I was like what are you What are you talking about they're like You know what a million dollars looks Like Like I grew up in a blue-collar house You know my dad was a carpenter my mom Cleaned houses and cut hair and Um I like I never knew what that kind of Money was how about five million dollars

I was still puzzled by that And their uh answer to me or their their Pitch to me was You were placed in a position by the Federal government that you were not yet Prepared for or trained for and they've Created a huge amount of liability by Allowing this to happen to you So tell me how much money you want tell Me how many zeros you want placed on That check and I will get it for you They want you to go away they want your Story to disappear it's an embarrassment To them that this happened to you And all I could think of was get out I Didn't there's no cop that I've ever met In my career in my time on Earth Who took a badge and a gun With um the motivation of money behind It that's none that I've ever met no Cop Out There is getting rich no school Teacher out there is getting rich no uh No construction work let people take Jobs for reasons other than the paycheck And all I wanted was a chance to come Back and try again And it's my understanding you decline Disability and came back frankly Immediately immediately you came back to Service I did so I got shot Um the end of November in 1987. and so Before Christmas Um I showed back up at the office and I Still had like sutures in my chest and

And I still had like a a tube in my Chest from the from the the uh I had a Sucking chest wound I had a chest tube On my side and I showed up at the office And my boss who was like a very well Respected admired loved uh supervisor He's like Bubba what are you doing here And I'm like I I'm I'm back to work I I Know that I'm limited with what I can do But I can do something and he's like you Have 90 days of medical traumatic Medical leave coming to you you can Extend that for another 90 days or Another 90 days beyond that you don't Have to be here and I was like like I Was 26 years old I said do you think I Took this job to sit home and watch TV Like I know that I can't go on the Streets right now until I'm Healed but I Just wanted to come back to work that's All So against that backdrop then of this Preternatural resilience that you have Been describing that you held at that Time fast forward to you being placed as An undercover agent at that time with The Hell's Angels a two-year one million Dollar operation walk us through the Beginning of that well that's you're Correct but there's there's a preamble To that so when I came back to work When the opportunity uh to to work on The the Hell's Angels was presented I'd At that point I'd had 15 years of

Undercover work under my belt so I Wasn't walking into that Hell's Angels Case uh as a as a as a rookie undercover Agent Um I had bought Um over the course of those 15 years I Had bought drugs everything from dime Bags to cartel level dope I bought guns Everything from Saturday night specials To shoulder launch missiles I'd bought Bombs from homemade PVC bombs that some Meth head was making on the workbench in His mom's garage up to Servo activated Remote control C4 devices I've worked on Home invasions I played the Hitman in Murder For Hire cases Um so 15 years later the opportunity is Presented to to be the lead undercover Agent on this Hell's Angels case but Like I had laid a pretty good foundation Of experience and trade craft that that Gave me a chance that gave me a chance At that Hells Angels case And so how did that initial assignment Begin Well Uh the Hells Angels uh in Arizona were Like base they were operating with Impunity Um they had become very Brazen very Violent very aggressive Um but there's two events that were

Significant in kicking off our Investigation Um The one the one that was most important To me is that there was a lady Named Cynthia Garcia and Cynthia had uh Three or four kids she was a single mom And she was enticed to come to a Hells Angels party at the Mesa Arizona Clubhouse And when she was at that party She she spoke out of turn she used the Wrong language in that environment she Insulted the Hell's Angels which like There was two fatal flaws to that Um she was in the wrong place at the Wrong time and you don't insult the Hell's Angels and you don't insult them In their house that you so In reaction to that she was beaten Unconscious in the Hills that she was Outnumbered by a bunch of bikers She was beaten unconscious at the Hells Angels Mesa Clubhouse then they rolled Her up in a carpet and they stuffed her In the trunk of a car and drove her to The desert outside of Phoenix And they stabbed her Close to 30 times and they cut her head Off That was it the the people we are Working on that was their mentality as To what A proper response to being insulted was

So that was that we knew that that uh Murder had taken place we just didn't Know the mechanics of it we didn't know The details of it we didn't know who's Who in the zoo for that case Um so that got us moving and then There was a uh the Hells Angels rival in The west their primary they have Rivals All over the world But their rival in the west was another Motorcycle gang known as the Mongols Motorcycle gang And at the Laughlin River Run which is a Biker rally in Laughlin Nevada There was a riot that took place between These two gangs and shootings and Stabbings and beatings were captured on Hundreds of closed circuit television Cameras and so the the gang violence had Spilled into the public uh Common Man Citizens were were being affected by This and so that is what in essence Inspired The investigation and Laughlin Nevada Where this Riot took place I had an Undercover house right across the Colorado River from Laughlin Nevada in Bullhead City Arizona and so I had Established A reputation in the criminal Community As a debt collector and a gun Runner so When all this kicked off like I had a Head start I was not the Perfect Choice By any means to to infiltrate the Hell's

Angels when the case agent came to me And asked me for my participation and we Discussed it My first response is I can name 10 guys That I know that are my peers that will Serve this role better than I can these Guys are biker experts they've lived in That culture they've operated in that Culture it's its own world I was like I Don't I don't really understand these Guys I'm not even a great motorcycle Rider by any means Um but the fact that I had an established reputation in the Criminal community and I was living now In an undercover house but I was living Amidst them it just gave me a head start And so it there was no glamorous start To it for me like I was chosen almost by Default And walk us through what that first then Introduction the first exposure that the Hell's Angels gang had then to you in That way not withstanding Your Head Start that you were already there you Already had that reputation what was That initial approach like so we started Pushing forward this this reputation Um I was I went by the name of Jay Davis My nickname was Jaybird and that Criminal reputation of being a gun Runner and being a debt collector was Already solidified so I just started Promoting that more focused to the

Hell's Angels And I was told Uh if you want to continue to operate in Arizona you have to come and meet with Our hierarchy like I had to be Sanctioned to continue And so I went to uh I was I It wasn't a request it was an order I Was ordered to the Hells Angels Mesa Clubhouse Um the same location where Cynthia Garcia was initially beaten to near Death before they dragged her out to the Desert So I show up there and I've got a couple Partners with me and and we show up on Our motorcycles and we're greeted in the Streets by several Hells Angels holding Guns carrying baseball bats one guy had A like about a four foot section of Three-quarter inch rebar Um I mean these guys were ready to Handle business and said hey man like Like pump the brakes like like we were Told to be here So we're escorted to the clubhouse and I Carried in Arizona you can open carry Firearms you don't have to you know you You you can anybody can open carry a Fire in any any legal possessor or Firearm can just carry it in the open You go in Arizona you go to the grocery Store you go pump gas you're going to See some guy with a with a pistol strap

To the side of his leg or on his belt So I carried two guns Um in a shoulder holster like a double Rigged shoulder holster so I had a Glock Pistol hanging under each arm And I'd get to the Hell's Angels Clubhouse door and one of the members Puts his hands out in front of me and Says you can't come in here with those You can like no one brings guns into our Clubhouse except us So right off the bat I had an initial Test to see like how I was going to React was I going to stand up for myself Was I going to let them start dictating Terms to me And so my reaction was like look I'm not Taking these guns off for anybody I'm Not taking them off for the Hell's Angels I'll wait outside I'll wait for my meeting and my lecture And my instructions out here on the Sidewalk But I'm not taking my guns off people Don't like you you think there's people After you there's people after me too And so I I almost reasoned my way Through it if I'm friends with you and You have a problem you want me to have Guns you want me to have my pistols with Me you don't want me like unarmed when Things break bad And then at that point The boss of

The the Mesa Hells Angels came out and He slung his arm over my shoulder and he Said like I make the rules come on in And so that was my first real like Face-to-face meaningful meaningful Interaction with any of the Hell's Angels And what did that mean for you Emotionally in the form of your your gas Tank your confidence gas tank that you Passed that test in such a glowing way With the leader of the chapter of the Clubhouse saying this guy's with me come On in I make the rules did that set the Scene for you in terms of your Confidence and if so how did that affect The further execution of your role you Know what it it it it did for me what it The same thing it does for uh anybody in A relationship in a business in a family Is that it showed the people that I was Interacting with that I was going to Stick up for myself that I wasn't going To be bullied or pushed around and that I was going to speak but on behalf of Myself and my partners and not be a Puppet and and and not be uh dictated to Like like how I was gonna live my life What I was gonna do Um but there's a preface to that to be Actually actually Emily in that Um I I view myself very much as a common Man who was placed in uncommon Situations and just did the best I could

Every day to succeed or survive them Um and this was just an example of that There was nothing special about me like I I wasn't uh super cop I wasn't and and Never claimed to be the best undercover Operator out there I wasn't Donnie Brosco I wasn't Joe pastone I was a guy who had a job to do And every day tried to do it the best I Could there was days I failed there was Days I made mistakes that I have regrets I there's things that I'm ashamed of Um but but every day Um from the first day I took My oath and took my badge I always considered it an honor and a Privilege to be a Lawman I felt like my Community my agency Was asking me to stand up On their behalf on on behalf of good and Innocent people who wanted to live Peaceful lives and take a stand against The Predators who've wanted to interfere With that and who wanted to disrupt that And take advantage of them and so Like that mentality stayed with me for My entire 27-year career like like you Are here to serve and and I served In a way as an undercover agent where I Felt like I was fulfilling my obligation Uh to the public and to my agency One of the most remarkable Parts about your book to me in your Description of your of this in

Particular this undercover operation You've had multiple in your 27-year Career but involved the lengths to which You were immersed and embedded and the Resources that you deployed to ensure That your cover was always protected can You share about staging the murder yeah Um And I did uh I ran routinely what we Call Street Theater And Street Theater is Inaccurate conclusions based on accurate Observations So I would invite members of the Hell's Angels to see me In criminal activity I would invite them hey come with me I Need someone to back me up on this gun Deal and I'd bring a Hells Angels with Me and then I would do a machine gun Exchange with a Criminal hey back me up Or watch like make sure no one sneaks up Behind me and hits me on the back of the Head on the back of the head with a beer Bottle when I do this drug deal and we'd Go into a bar and I would do a drug Transaction Um They saw me in fights and in beatings They saw me in debt collections where I Would invite them saying hey look just Sit on my shoulder I'm gonna go take This guy's money I'm gonna take his car Keys and his watch and his rings and his

Identifications and uh all because he Owes money and I'm doing a debt Collection they would witness all those Things What they didn't realize is that they Were plays they were Skits the criminals That I was meeting with in the presence Of the Hell's Angels were other Undercover agents and officers who were Playing a role they were playing the Role of the of the drug seller or buyer They were playing the role of the guy Who was selling me the machine guns they Were playing the role of being the Victim of a debt collection But in the eyes of the Hell's Angels all They saw was Jaybird went out there I Saw him uh sell a kilo of dope I saw him Stuff in machine guns in the trunk of His car I saw him confront this guy at This restaurant and shook the Dude down And took his wallet took his car keys Took his money took his credit cards Took his watch took his ring he Collected everything of value this guy Had So I was showing them Myself involved in criminal activity And and they had no choice but to Believe it they were seeing it and Hearing it and touching it and smelling It themselves it wasn't some story I was Telling him I was putting them in the

Middle of the play all to Um enhance my credibility and and Elevate my believability So in the process In any other undercover operation you're Trying to gain trust you're an outsider You're an unknown you don't knock on the Hells Angel's front door and asked to Fill out an application it doesn't work That way Slowly through time through Association You build trust and just like just like In a personal relationship when trust is Formed then you start to build loyalty And and people start to care about you And then occasionally you build love And and and you love people and they Love you Now the the downside of that is uh the The psyche side of that the human side Of it is that God doesn't build us Um doesn't build normal people at least To intentionally go out to build trust And loyalty and love all with the Intention and knowing that at some point Down the road you're going to betray all Of it Um and so there's you know there's at That aspect of it uh of of undercover Work in general Can you can you tell us about the stage Murder the that you participated in in That theatrics yeah so like probably uh Maybe one of the most if not the most uh

Audacious Street theaters undercover Operations ever like attempted Um I told the Hells Angels there's a Mongol Who I mentioned earlier the Mongols were Their rival there's a Mongol in Mexico Who's running his mouth and he's saying That he's going to start trafficking Methamphetamine up through Mexico right Into Arizona right into our backyard There's nothing we can do about it he's Saying that he was at the Laughlin Riot And that he kicked the hell's Angel's Ass and he's mocking us and he's uh Running his mouth And I told him I said I I want to go Kill him I want to kill this guy I want To prove myself Their reaction to that Like they didn't pump the brakes their Reaction to that was not like oh hey Wait a minute man slow down now their Reaction to it was yes right on go kill Him here's the gun to kill him with we Remove the serial numbers from it after You kill them take the gun apart and and Destroy it and and Scatter the pieces so It can never be found or never be traced So We enacted exactly what I told him I was Going to do we found our Mongol We duct taped him at the wrists and at The ankles we'd like beat him silly with A baseball bat we dug a shallow grave in

The desert dragged him into the grave Executed him shot him in the head with The gun that we were given by the Hell's Angels then we photographed The murder we photographed this dead Mongol in the in this shallow grave we Cut his Mongol vest off his back and I Took those pictures and the Mongol vest Back to the Hell's Angels to prove that I wasn't just telling them a story that I actually had Participated in And accomplished What I had promised them I was going to Do which was Commit This murder So they absorbed all this information What they didn't realize is that it was Just another elaborate Street Theater it Was a complete fabrication The the Mongol that we killed Quote unquote air quotes killed was a Member of our task force and we dressed Him up in the Mongols colors and we we Uh used a homicide detective To come out and build our crime scene And he used uh Blood and Guts from The Butcher Shop And made it look exactly as I described It I told the homicide detective this Has to look like I beat this guy's head In with a baseball bat like we dragged Him into the desert and I shot him in The head and so he after with all his Experience as a homicide detective and

Seeing hundreds of violent crime scenes Built us visually a crime scene that fit The story that I was going to portray So we took pictures of it and we took The evidence Before we delivered it back to the Hell's Angels this homicide detective Took it into a meeting of his homicide Peers a homicide unit meeting and he put Pictures in front of his peers and he Said do any of you guys have Information on this John Doe that was Found in the desert there was a John Doe Out there that was duct taped and beaten And shot so all the homicide detectives Are looking at these pictures and They're examining them And once he was convinced that they were Convinced that it looked real that's all We needed to know like we've done this Right and now we've put ourselves in the Very best position possible to present This Um evidence of this murder a fabricated Murder nonetheless two murderers and Deliver it to murders and sell them that You know that that it was true because If they didn't believe it if they felt Like they were being Um brought in becoming co-conspirators In this murder You know the the their reaction to that Would not have been Um like hey like we think you're playing

A game on us we think you're trying to Trick us we don't want you to come Around here anymore their reaction to That would have been a baseball bat on The back of my head And so what was the result for you after You brought that street theatered murder Back to the Hells Angels what level of Reception did you get Well If I'm Presenting if I'm presenting evidence of This mer this freshly uh committed Murder that that I just Uh participated in and I'm showing you Evidence and I'm telling you this story Or any person with logic and reason and Common sense in their brain as they're Running the other direction they're Dialing 9-1-1 the Hells Angels were the Exact opposite it was hugs and kisses And Embraces Um the leadership I was uh running with A a Hells Angels Charter uh in Skull Valley Arizona which is outside of Phoenix near uh Prescott uh in between Prescott and Sedona Arizona is where the Charter that I was that I was Prospecting in That leadership said you've you've shown You've got what it takes you took care Of business you're a Hell's Angel now Um One of the members took his vest off and

Put it on my back and said you wear this Until you get your own Um So Um I guess to to give a long answer to Your short question is that that that Murder was it was embraced it like they Were flattered by it Part of what was so remarkable about Your service and in that undercover Operation J is exactly what you just Described which is that for an organized Social group that had a very distinct Hierarchy and very distinct titles and Chapters you have to proceed through to Be able to wear the vest become an Official member Etc you penetrated that Organization to the fullest amount you Talked earlier about relationships so This the the fabricated murder story is Explosive and certainly a highlight in The form of this compelling story but The day-to-day building of relationships That's the building blocks that your Credibility was based on so in light of How far you got how successful you were In that regard describe to us what Building those relationships were like And how you differentiated between real Life meaning service law enforcement and Your family and being Jaybird and having These relationships that Weren't real but they were Well as far as the relationships between

Jaybird and the Hell's Angels Um one thing I found is that you can Never undercover out of the human factor So I was interacting with people that Not just in violent crime events or in Criminal conduct or criminal acts I was Interacting with them for two years on a On a daily basis in in sometimes very Common situations Um Hells Angels slept at my house I slept At their house I ate with them I Socialized with them I shot pool with Them I held their babies Um and so when you do that You you you form bonds now now they're They're false Bonds in the in the Pretext that I'm presenting them a false Persona of who I am but the bonds are Real they they believed in Jaybird Um while they still knew me to be Jaybird Davis there's no doubt in my Mind that there was Hell's Angels who Would step in front of a bullet for me To protect me Um And and just like any like any other Group of people you put together there's Some you like more than others clicks Form there's people that you enjoy being Around there's people that you enjoy Socializing with there's others that you Would not so much care to be around and Vice versa there were guys that liked me

And and solicited my my presence and and My friendship and my participation there Was others that like didn't care for me Didn't it's it was it was human nature Um and so all those things that just Take place in real life for us as human Beings in Social settings it was no Different Um the separation of Playing this this gangster Um and now like I did this for for 27 Years this Hell's Angels case was a Two-year window out of a 27-year career Um when I talked about regrets and Failures and shame and guilt and Mistakes Um most of those were made in my Personal life Um I I conducted myself professionally I I I wanted to be the best I wanted to be At least the best that I could be And I made decisions That were selfish decisions they were For me about me about my career about What I wanted to do I did not Uh consider like how they would impact My wife I didn't consider how they would Impact my kids I didn't consider how They would impact the future Um I was doing everything for myself and You know there's one time I came home After a long run I hadn't been home for For an extended period of time And I walked in the house and my wife

Said You cannot be gone For months at a time and then walk in Here and treat us like we are the Suspects that you're investigating on The street you can't treat us like that You can't talk to us like that And my reaction my response was I can't I can't turn this on and off I have to Be on I'm not a light switch people who treat What I do for a living as a hobby end up Dead I have to be on my game all the Time And then her reaction was Well you better install a dimmer switch Instead of being a light switch and dial That criminal attitude down when you Come to this house and if you can't do That don't come back until you can Um and you know what like that was my Permission slip to run even Wilder That was my permission like I just had My wife say if I can't change don't come Back and I was like well I can't change I've got a job to do Um and so this this false solution I had Created in my own mind like I'm out here Protecting the public and and trying to Save people my own family was crumbling Like right before my eyes and I didn't Even see it I couldn't I was blind to it because I Was so selfish

Um I my my kids were were fairly young at The time I'll tell you a story that I Think has some meaning maybe for your Audience because it goes beyond Undercover work it goes to Um any person that might be out there Listening to this I was so committed to What I was doing professionally that I Had become blind and just expected love And loyalty and admiration from my wife And my kids So I would come home from these Operations and then I would do the bare Minimum I had to do to keep my family Functioning I'd pay the bills have a cup Of coffee with my wife Pat the kids on The head and I couldn't wait to get back Out on the street and be smoking and Joking with gangsters that's where I was Most comfortable that's where I felt Like I had control And every time I'd get ready to leave And go back to work my son would run out In the yard and he'd say Dad don't leave Yet and he'd grab a rock out of the yard And he'd give me these these Stones These good luck charms and so over the Course of years I I kept every single one of them and I Kept one in my pocket all the time I had Them in the saddlebags my motorcycle my Undercover car my undercover house I was Handing them out to my partners I was

Telling my partners I don't know what it Is about the blessing that Jackie is Putting on these rocks but keep one of These with you we are in the midst of Violence and murders and all kinds of Craziness and here we are we're thriving We're surviving there's something about These rocks that that this these good Luck charms like please keep one with You Um so right before I get ready to leave To go do the fake murder that we just Discussed the same routine Jackie runs Out in the yard and he grabs a rock Don't leave yet dad and he comes running Up and he hands me this rock and I've Saved this one for 20 plus years And he's like Dad I've been saving this One for you it's special it's shaped Like a heart And So I was trying to comfort my Eight-year-old I was 40 plus years old Trying to comfort my eight-year-old son And I took the Rock and I said dude Everything that I should have been doing With you I'm almost done and when I get Finished I'm going to come home and We're going to ride bikes and we're Going to play catch and we're going to Wrestle we're going to go to the movies And we're gonna do all that stuff and It's all because of your good luck Charms it's all because of these rocks

I've given them to everybody I work with Dude they work And this little boy stand on my driveway And he starts crying and there's tears Running down his cheeks And he said Dad those weren't good luck Charms and you shouldn't have given them To anybody else they were just for you That was for you to put in your pocket And every time you thought someone was Going to hurt you you could put your Hand in your pocket and touch it and That would be like me being there to Help you fight back That was like the best day of my life And the worst day of my life The best day was that like my heart was Open to all these things that I had been Blind to Um The the worst part was that it took an Eight-year-old boy to teach me what my Job was my job wasn't to be a federal Agent my job wasn't to be an undercover Agent or super cop my job wasn't to Infiltrate the Hell's Angels my job was To raise good kids and I was failing and I was failing miserably Um And so when you ask about like like how Does Like like how did how did you handle That with your family I like I I failed I I put massive

Amounts of battle damage on my on my Family all trying to do the things that I wanted to do and that I thought were Important like completely uh ignoring What it was doing to them And in terms of the relationships with The Hell's Angels How hard is it to extricate yourself Immediately in has it's there's a slow Ramp up period but then in in one Instant you are gone permanently during Those two years good people do bad Things or at the end of the day do you Separate Service from Criminal and it's easy for You to walk forward without looking back On those relationships well and as as Much as as I was trying to elicit trust And loyalty and love Um I was giving those things too I was I was trusting Hell's Angels and And I was becoming loyal to Hell's Angels and and there was some members That I worked with that I had love for That I had personal concern and care for What I could what I reminded myself Every day was Like the the team that I was playing for Um I was a federal agent Um that there's elements of that Lifestyle that are sexy that are Glamorous Um that are appealing that are exciting That are fun

Um But there's also sides to it where it's Just a nasty dirty bloody vomit covered Scab of a life and everything in between And so You know in the end uh the the case Ended the infiltration case ended in a Very traditional way Um with raids and search warrants and Arrests Um and when everyone gets arrested and Everyone's sitting in the jail cell Except hey man where's jaybird Like it didn't take them long to figure Out that that I was the infiltrator and Then through the um Through the discovery process through The legal Discovery process of Presenting our case to the defense Reports evidence testimony uh recordings They find out that who they believe to Be Jaber Davis the debt collector Hitman Uh gun Runner was actually Jay Dobbins An ATF agent you know the tiger doesn't Change his stripes they all of a sudden Didn't like throw their arms up and say Okay well like we got tricked like the The death threats on me and my family my Wife and my kids Um the Hell's Angels will held murder Contracts on me they had farmed murder Contracts to the MS-13 and to the Aryan Brotherhood Um a murder contract was picked up by

18th Street uh Street gang in Los Angeles Um There were threats to uh kidnapping gang Rape my wife there was threats to kidnap My kids off the school bus and torture My kids Um in the summer of 2008 my house was Burned To The Ground by arsonists so Um there's a price to pay if if you want To do that job and if you want to do it The way I did it and I'm not suggesting That anybody does I'm not suggesting That somebody should go in and be so Immersed in what they were doing and so Blind to what they were doing that they Wreck their lives and their families Lives I'm not suggesting that but I did and There was a price to pay for that And on the flip side of that As a federal special agent You know 55 Hells Angels members Were indicted 16 For racketeering I mean there was an Incredible upside For upholding and protecting the United States Constitution thanks to your Service and that incredibly deep Organization that that resulted in that Was that your proudest moment or there Was something during your undercover Operation that was your proudest moment That there was there's an element a

Pride to that but with the pride uh Pride will betray you and and pride will Will crash on you so like you mentioned 55 uh Hells Angels and Associates Indicted 16 were indicted on Rico we had A couple that were capital murder cases Death penalty cases for the murder of Cynthia Garcia Um and as the case like now gets turned Over into the legal process and gets Turned over the attorneys there was Arguments uh between uh the U.S Attorney's office and ATF as to how to Present the case and what evidence to Present and and how to how to uh put This case before a judge and a jury the Arguments Got pretty uh Wicked on the the good Guys side and when the good guys start Fighting and banging heads that's good For the bad guys because we like we did Had not have a unified house we were not Presenting a unified argument and so you Know some of those charges were Dismissed some of them were were reduced So after two years of Blood Sweat and Tears and taking like these these Audacious risks to try to prove a case And with you know hundreds of pieces of Physical evidence thousands of hours of Recorded criminal conversations and Reports and witness testimony and agent Testimony the actual prosecution of the Case in my mind was a failure it did not

It did not meet anything close to what It should have been and that case is Every bit as prosecutable and winnable Today as it if it's based on Evidence testimony recordings all those Things that you present at trial But The good guys couldn't get along and and We see it happen time and time again Where like we betrayed ourselves in the Prosecution During your two years undercover was There ever a close call for your Identity emerging what was that like There was there was a one event where um Some Hells Angels uh got some Information that I was counterfeit that I that I might not be who I was Portraying myself to be they didn't Necessarily think I was a cop but they Thought maybe I was in an informant at Some kind of uh external infiltrator not A not a federal agent Um And like I was questioned about that Like at on the very spot that Cynthia Garcia was murdered I was questioned About that at gunpoint and so that is Where like experience and tradecraft Come into play like how are you gonna Escape this and stay alive Um there was another event Where I got a phone call and I was from One of the Hell's Angels officers in

Skull Valley and said bring all your Hardware to the clubhouse right now so I Show up at the Skull Valley Clubhouse And I've got guns and knives and you Know I'm following orders I'm being a Step in Fetch I was trying to make my Way And I was told There's a group of Banditos Bandidos is Another motorcycle gang based centrally In Texas but they're they're everywhere They're worldwide there's a group of Banditos that are going to be in Las Vegas The Hell's Angels perspective was we own Las Vegas that's our territory we Control that they have not asked for our Permission to be there it was described To me as like they haven't they haven't Got a hall pass from us to be in Las Vegas You're going to go up there we're Sending you up there They gave me the location and they said When these guys show up you better shoot Them off their motorcycles before they Get their kickstands down and if you Don't we're going to be watching from a Distance and we're going to shoot you So in this trip between Skull Valley and Las Vegas I was able to get on the phone To um my case agent told him the Situation told him the scenario the case Agent intercepted the Banditos

Everything the Hell's Angels had told me Was true but the the case agent and some Cops intercepted the Banditos before They could get to the point to the Location where I was told to engage with Them and just held them there and so in The eyes of the Hell's Angels they're Watching I'm there I showed up I did What I was supposed to I was ready to Take care of business the suspects the Targets the victims never showed up but In the eyes of the Hell's Angels I was a Hero because I had done what I was told To do Was the murder of Cynthia Garcia ever Prosecuted was there ever a conviction Obtained for that There was that was um an element to Um The prosecution that did not unravel on Us uh thank goodness Um that we were able to get at least Legal justice for Cynthia and her kids Um when when someone's murdered like That and brutalized like the way she was And I I I don't know that I have the Imagination to even project like what She was thinking what she was going Through Um when she'd been beaten and stuffed in The trunk of a car and dragged into the Desert up like I'm not going to pretend To even know or imagine what that was Like

So when I say that we got Justice For Cynthia I I I I think that's an overstatement But what we did was the the people that Murdered her uh they were held Accountable For that murder and and uh the the Primary Um assailants in that received uh 25 Years to life sentences which is the max In Arizona And you talked about the hit that was Put on you once your identity was Revealed and your home being burnt down Hits on your family at this point every Day do you live under that same Cognizance the same fear or is that Dispelled you know the the the case Ended you know 20 20 plus years ago Um I live with caution Um I've seen firsthand the uh level of Violence that these guys can create I I Was a personal witness to it Um the people that I was dealing with They don't uh They're not necessarily book educated But they have Master's degrees on the street they have Phds in violence and intimidation And and and and they know how to do it And they know how to do it well Um I'm not looking for a fight I don't I Don't want to fight

Um I try to avoid conflicts I I avoid Situations where I might be in a Conflict Um I'm not like trying to stir the pot Um but I also it like take a position Like like I'm the good guy in this I'm Not the one that went out and cut This Woman's head off I wasn't selling the Guns and the drugs and doing the Extortions and the arsons and the Threats I I wasn't doing that so if I Run and hide If I'm afraid to speak up if I'm afraid To show my face they win They've won if I if like if if I'm not At least willing to lead Like a normal uh hopefully good life Like I don't want to be Osama Bin Laden And like live in some cage in some cave Waiting for someone to shoot a rocket at Me Like like like I'm not I'm not trying to Poke the Tiger But like but I'm the I'm not the bad guy In this and when people like criticize Me or criticize law enforcement Um or criticize undercover work oh you Shouldn't be allowed to do that Um it's you you shouldn't be allowed to Conduct yourself that way use that Tactic undercover work and deception is Is legally sanctioned law enforcement Technique it's a tool in an

Investigator's toolbox that that is Fully authorized to use it deception is Is part of how we investigate at times At least cases and so When you're criticizing me like how Could you do that how could you make Friends with these guys how could you Betray them you're a rat you're a snitch Um I'm like they cut Cynthia Garcia's Head off what did you want me to do you Want me to just give them a free pass on That because they have a blood drive or Because they do a toy run and take teddy Bears to kids at the hospital at Christmas I was on those on those toy Runs I had a teddy bear strapped to the Back of my motorcycle I did a Methamphetamine deal in the bathroom at The hospital at the same place we were Doing the toy drive so stop with the Whole moral ethical thing about how I Should be conducting myself when the People I'm investigating I mean are a Billion times worse Stop You spoke earlier about the human Element to being an undercover agent Describe for us you are Jay Dobbins Your identity was Jaybird J Davis Another thing that struck me from your Book the tattoo that you had which was For your children and you how you had to Describe it to the group you know what It meant and of course you had your

Story for everything was Jay Davis was Jaybird a hybrid of Jaybird and Jay was It a completely separate character Um well in my experience and I know Um The undercover operators you know uh at Least from my era from this era of History Um the ones that have done deep cover Infiltrations for the most part they all Know each other Um there's there's an uh like an Informal fraternity or sorority for the Women involved Um that In that and getting to know these people Getting to know uh uh Joe pistone and Becoming friends with Joe pastone who's Donnie Brasco who is like the Kingpin For us in in the people in my world I Mean his face is the first face in the Uh on the Mount Rushmore of undercover Right Um but guys like Ron Stallworth who was The black klansman Um who's a friend of mine and and Everybody in between Um There's some operators that like they Come to work and they put on like a Costume and then they inherit the Persona that comes with that appearance Um they're they're they're they're truly Actors they're acting a role I was never

Good at that I was just like what you See is what you get Um because I was always afraid I was Going to stumble and make a mistake Trying to pretend to be someone that I Wasn't so The way I communicated with with Suspects as Jaybird Davis isn't very Fair far off from how I communicate with You or anybody else that I might Interact with so if if you Emily or Anybody I meet if you happen to like Jay Dobbins you probably would have liked Jaybird Davis if you don't like Jay Dobbins you wouldn't have liked Jaybird Davis because they're one in the same And can you speak to what has been Arguably a glorification of organized Crime and biker gangs in especially you Know TV and and entertainment can you Speak to that knowing that really the Currency and the undercurrent is such a High level of violence and illicit Industries speak to how you feel about That I I was a victim of Hollywood Myself when I when I told that opening Story that I was intrigued by a Miami Vice I was like it was so glamorous and so Sexy and just so cool and slick and like As an audience We had not seen uh cops portrayed in That way before before Miami Vice the Cop shows we had seen were very

Procedural They were detectives that were showing Up reactive to a crime machine and Evaluating evidence and CSI type work And doing interviews or they were Officers in uniform that were on patrol And and responding to Radio Calls and Doing those kinds of things then Sonny Crockett shows up and he's like this Undercover plain clothes guy and super Cool and like he's handsome he's got Beautiful hair and he's like he's got Everything that like I wish that I had That I didn't have you know and um And so but the reality of it is and I Found out very quick and I made this Statement earlier I found out very quick After I showed you my shirt the reality Of it is is that That life is just a nasty dirty bloody Vomit covered scab of a life Um and the thing is is that I had this Vision of what it was going to be like Based on this world that Hollywood had Created for me Then when I saw the reality of it and How rough and violent and dirty it was It did not change my perspective I loved Every day that I went to work I I was Excited every day I couldn't wait for my Alarm clock to go off I would put my feet on the ground I'd Have a cup of coffee I'd pour the kids Some Cheerios and I couldn't wait to get

Out the door to see if that day I could Hopefully maybe impact someone's life in A good way Now there was days when I failed there Was days when I made mistakes there was Days when I did things wrong said things Wrong Um that if I had to do it over again I Would do it better but I would do it Again but I would do it better Before we go is there any final message Or story that you'd like to share today You know I think the thing for me on a Very personal level is that Like through all the events of my Professional career through getting shot And and playing these undercover roles And the threats and the violence and uh Some of it that that became very Personal for me Um it's it's it's been great for me Because it is elevated my uh my Spiritual life Um I I learned something and I learned It the hard way Um but I learned that if the only time You're talking to God is when you're in Trouble You're in trouble Um and and that was me I went to God When I needed help I went to God when uh I was in trouble or I made a mistake or I needed a rescue and I kind of held him Off like in that kept him in that spot

And I realized meant like now I talk to God every day talking to God right now As I'm talking to you Um and I wish I hadn't had to go through All that to learn that to understand That I wish I hadn't had to go through All those events in my life to to come To this place and time Um but I hope to live the second half of My life better than I did the first half And and I know that God will guide that Amen we know that our future days will Be better than those behind us and all Things work for the good of those who Love the Lord which is exactly what you Just articulated it's obvious to me that He's blessed you indeed and he's Enlarged your territory and I know you Know what that means thank you Jay for Your service first and foremost this Book No Angel you've written two books Which everyone should read No Angel My Heroine undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hell's Angels that's why I've been such a big fan at admirer for So many years and then eight years later You wrote catching hell the true story Of Abandonment and betrayal you are one Of the most gripping storytellers I've Ever had the honor of meeting Jay but Truly Um I know you're no Hell's Angel but I See you as an angel in service and the Compelling nature that you share these

Stories and the emotional honesty with Which you share them especially how so Much of your childhood shaped your Character your absolute resilience your Refusal to ever give up those have stuck With me through the years and I'm very Grateful for so much of your sacrifice And your family sacrifice because you've Been really honest with that too and all Of it has benefited all of us in America Here we appreciate your work Emily in Our conversation Um any cop out there has got Glory story Hero story I love me stories I mean all Of them do But if if that's those are the only Stories I tell if I don't tell you Stories and answer your questions with Transparency and honesty that takes away From The credibility Of of the good stuff and so that's what I try to do I try to be honest I try to Um Uh when I'm answering questions I try to Give and honest answers not necessarily Flattering answers but honest answers Because I want to be transparent

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