Riding with Evil: Taking Down the Notorious Pagan Motorcycle Gang (Hardcover)
Sons of Anarchy meets The Departed in this fast-paced, high-wire act memoir from former ATF agent Ken Croke, the first federal agent in history to go undercover and successfully infiltrate the infamous—and infamously violent—Pagan Motorcycle Club, a white supremacist biker gang.
Longtime ATF agent Ken Croke had earned the right to coast to the end of a storied career, having routinely gone undercover to apprehend white supremacists, gun runners, and gang members. But after a chance encounter with an associate of the Pagan Motorcycle Gang created an opening, he transformed himself into “Slam,” a monstrous, axe-handle wielding enforcer whose duty was to protect the leadership “mother club” at all costs. He befriended the club’s most violent and criminally insane members and lived among them for two years, covertly building a case that would eventually take down the top members of the gang in a massive federal prosecution, even as he risked his marriage, his sanity, and his life. With today’s law enforcement largely moving toward the comparative safety of cyber operations, it became one of the last of its kind, a masterclass in old school tactics that marked Croke as a dying breed of undercover agent and became legendary in law enforcement.
Now for the first time, Croke tells the story of his terrifying undercover life in the Pagans—the unspeakable violence, extremism, drugs, and disgusting rituals. Written with bestselling crime writer Dave Wedge and utilizing the exclusive cooperation of those who lived the case with him, as well as thousands of pages of court files and hours of surveillance tapes and photos, Croke delivers a frightening, nail-biting account of the secretive and brutal biker underworld.
Ken Croke began his career in 1990 in Los Angeles, where he infiltrated street gangs and busted drug and gun rings. He also served in Washington D.C. before moving to the Boston Field Division in 2000. In 2015, he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of the Denver field division, where he oversaw all ATF operations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. In 2016, he was promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of Field Operations for the bureau’s eastern region, putting him in charge of 10 ATF field offices on the East Coast. He finished his career as the ATF’s Assistant Director. Over the course of his career, he has taken part in 1,000-plus undercover operations, including gang, drug and firearms trafficking cases. Today he is a security consultant for global corporations.
Dave Wedge is a Boston-based investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author, and co-author of Hunting Whitey, 12, and Boston Strong, among other titles.
Dave Wedge is a New York Times bestselling author, podcaster and writer based in Boston. Dave was an award-winning investigative journalist for the Boston Herald for 14 years and has co-written five books with acclaimed author Casey Sherman. He has also written for VICE, Esquire, Newsweek and Boston magazine and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, E!, France 24, Fox News Channel, and Good Morning America. He is co-host of the acclaimed true crime podcast “Saints, Sinners & Serial Killers” on the MuddhouseMedia network.
"Reads like a fast-paced action thriller but much scarier because it’s all too real. Each page is full of hair-raising details of a deadly, secret world of drugs, violence and debauchery… a remarkable true story that will keep you awake at night." — Providence Journal
"A nail-biting account of how [Croke] became the first ATF agent to infiltrate the Pagans, a violent white supremacist motorcycle gang...This engrossing account about the realities of undercover work is must reading for true crime aficionados." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The authors pack the brisk narrative with insider details and compelling action, creating a riveting hybrid of true-crime journalism and intensive memoir...A breathless, enthralling thrill ride.” — Kirkus Reviews