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From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Under and Alone "comes an intimate and riveting account of federal law-enforcement agent William Queen's relentless hunt for one of America's most cold-blooded criminals. As an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, William Queen must tackle a number of challenging cases, including going undercover to investigate a group of violent skinheads and infiltrating and busting a ring trafficking in high-powered explosives, drugs, and firearms. In the winter of 1985, he faces his toughest mission to date: he must apprehend Mark Stephens, a notorious narcotics trafficker who has been terrorizing the communities around Los Angeles with frequent rampages involving machine guns and hand grenades. A recluse living in the treacherous backwoods outside the city, Stephens is a cunning survivalist. Nobody has been able to catch him, but Queen is determined to take him down. Queen's unique expertise is not taught in any police academy or ATF training seminar- he honed his outdoorsman abilities as a kid. Stephens may have finally met his match in the unwavering Queen, who is adept at hunting and trapping and living for weeks in the wild. Queen will use these skills- along with surveillance, confidential informants, and intelligence gathering- as he doggedly tracks his dangerous quarry, a chase that culminates in a gripping showdown high in the San Bernardino Mountains. A fascinating look into the daily life of an ATF agent and a taut portrayal of a month-long manhunt, "Armed and Dangerous" depicts a classic race against time- lawman versus outlaw- in a harrowing true story of life-or-death suspense.
Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gangby William Queen
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.