Pigpen, Harpo, Savage and also Caesar room behind the bar, their ashes sealed within the cylinders that the panhead and shovelhead motorcycles the they loved and also rode if they were alive.

You are watching: Are the sundowners mc a 1 club

These urns stand guard inside the red, gold and black brick home on Edison Street near 900 south that is house to the Barons Motorcycle Club, wherein a glowing soda-pop machine dispenses cans of beer, and on a Thursday night at 5 p.m., Barons are trickling in, the growling of Harleys noting their arrival.

Founded in 1966, the Barons to be for decades one of two renowned local motorcycle clubs. The other is the Sundowners.

Now, though, motorcycle clubs are proliferating in Utah. According to law enforcement, the number of motorcycle club members in Zion has actually shot up by 300 percent in the past five years.

click come enlarge
Austen Diamond Barons president Ron “Dirtbag” Simmons

There is small hard data to assistance this figure, despite from his perch, Ron "Dirtbag" Simmons, chairman of the Barons, says this number looks more like 1,000 percent.

"There provided to be 3 patch clubs: us, the Sundowners and also the Vietnam Vets started, then come the Bandidos, and now there"s 10 15," states Dirtbag, who, in addition to Barons Vice president Lebowski and former Barons president Parker, was interviewed on a Sunday morning end breakfast at a bar on State Street. "Every day ns see an additional patch."

But as well as having more bearded, leather-jacketed, patch-wearing, motorcycle-riding men on the streets of Utah, the presence of this clubs has actually resulted in tiny trouble.

No one is an ext aware the this than the Barons, which, that is ranking officers say, is a lot like a club that a pack of youngsters would build in the backyard: a group of human being who think alike, live alike and share a enthusiasm for motorcycles.

Dirtbag says the rough and carefree job of the 1960s, funny as they were, are just a point of the past.

"Times have actually changed," that says. "And over there are probably some groups that still shot to abide by the "60s mentality, and also it just doesn"t work."

But, to win by the increasing number of motorcycle clubs in Utah, part in the law-enforcement neighborhood have fixed to take a stand.

In July, throughout a meeting of the state legislature"s legislation Enforcement & Criminal justice Interim Committee, lawmakers fielded a almost hour-long presentation indigenous Utah ar Sheriff"s Sgt. Lane Critser, who told them that outlaw motorcycle gangs room on the climb in Utah. He also related a cable of titillating stories about violent outlaw motorcycle gangs, well-known as OMGs.

But none of the shootouts, scan drug-trafficking arrests and also gun-running stories happened in the Beehive State.

Critser acknowledged as much beforehand on throughout the hearing, saying the the only big case he"s ever before heard of in the state that Utah entailing motorcycle gangs came in 1999 once several Sundowners to be indicted on assorted federal charges.

But Critser walk on to information multiple harrowing episodes across California and also Nevada the he has actually been involved with. Countless of these huge arrests associated national motorcycle clubs choose the Bandidos, Mongols, Vagos and Hell"s Angels—all the which have chapters in Utah, with the exception of the Hell"s Angels.

It is this migration into Utah in current years by nationwide clubs that has actually law enforcement on its toes. Critser claimed at the July conference that this clubs room making a pat for dominance in Utah.

"It"s favor a yellow rush," Critser says. "Everybody"s trying to get here and also establish supremacy over the state for this reason they can run a selection of criminal tasks and make the money in the state."

Comments prefer this indigenous Critser, however, aren"t anchored by statistics.

According to a lieutenant through the state"s department of public Safety, despite the increasing numbers of motorcycle clubs and also members, no uptick in outlaw motorcycle corridor crime has developed in Utah.

"Right currently there isn"t any kind of solid data to show that an ext crime has actually been cursed by outlaw motorcycle gangs," states Lt. Jared Garcia, who noted that motorcycle gangs, favor all gangs, see boosting numbers right in addition to an boost in the populace as a whole. And also in Utah, the population is booming.

Critser didn"t return phone call seeking comment.

click to enlarge
“We’re walking to do it well-known that you’re no coming to Utah and also causing problems. We’re not going to stand for that here.” -Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield

But Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, who put the "gang issues" matter on the agenda, guarantees to present gang law in the upcoming session that he says will encompass language top top motorcycle gangs.

Since that July meeting, Ray has actually met v representatives from numerous motorcycle clubs, including the Barons. Dirtbag claims that ray told the that, as soon as his proposed law is penned, Dirtbag will get to take it a look before lawmakers do. Because that this, the motorcycle clubs space glad.

The Barons have a long background of difficult up because that themselves, whether the is in a barroom, or on the floor the the state capitol. That male ripping under the freeway ~ above his motorcycle, hair punch helmet-free in the wind, can put the bulk of his thanks into the laps the the Barons.

And they don"t want any law to lump them in with criminal street gangs—an incident that would only boost the harassment motorcycle riders who wear jackets emblazoned v patches to speak they already face.

"That"s why we"re active," Dirtbag says. "Because every time i go the end on a Sunday journey on mine bike, to obtain pulled over, field-carded and also get detained for an hour while they run warrant checks and also all the ... It"s cumbersome. It"s a ache in the ass."


click come enlarge
Austen Diamond The Barons Clubhouse on Edison Street

The Barons have had their clubhouse on Edison Street due to the fact that 1976. Together Dirtbag walked approximately the clubhouse one October evening, he discussed a spot whereby the club"s mascot, a Doberman named Max, is buried. Dirtbag claims Max supplied to play fetch with a 15-pound bowling ball.

"Max would run after that and grab it through his teeth, on slide on his paws, and then he"d bring it back, and if friend weren"t payment attention, drop the on her toe," Dirtbag says.

Dirtbag spots a neighborhood dog and also apologizes: he has to go speak hi. That addresses the dog in a sweet, high-pitched voice, make the efforts to tempt it to the fence therefore he can pet it.

A couple of minutes later, among Dirtbag"s brothers (a other Baron) reflects up and reveals a brand-new set the motorcycle handlebars in his trunk. "Alright!" Dirtbag barks. He explains that his brother is building him an outrageously fast bike. As soon as it"s done, Dirtbag will have actually six motorcycles in riding condition.

Dirtbag knows that more and more national clubs are setup up shop in Utah. Some can even contain males who rest the law. However Salt Lake City is Dirtbag"s home; he and the remainder of the Barons live here and, as with everyone else, desire to store living here. In order to do this, Dirtbag and also his fellow Barons simply get along and also contribute to their community. The neighborhood, a half a block off of State Street, is just one of the most safe in the city, Dirtbag says. The Barons carry out an annual toy journey for major Children"s Hospital and also a blood drive for the American Red Cross.

This capacity to gain along has actually been i found it by Critser, that at the July conference at the state capitol said lawmakers the for some reason, the Barons "are an ext of an combine of all outlaw motorcycle gangs."

"They often tend to sort of host everybody," Critser says. "We"re no really sure if they think they"re Switzerland or what the deal is."

And Ray says that just since law-enforcement agencies haven"t watched a increase in crime relating come motorcycle gangs doesn"t typical it"s not happening. "What you find in the OMG community is a most the crimes room committed versus each other, therefore it"s no reported to police," beam says. "They police themselves; the general public is caught in the crossfire."

All the this speak of violence, gun-running and drug smuggling doesn"t resonate through Lebowski, vice chairman of the Barons.

"This isn"t sons of Anarchy," says Lebowski, who has long graying hair and also arms covered in tattoos, including that he doubt the hit FX TV display is responsible because that informing Ray"s beliefs. "People watch that and also they think that"s what happens. Girlfriend realize exactly how long we"d critical if us did the stuff the they carry out on TV? we wouldn"t last."

Ray denies that Sons of Anarchy has anything to perform with his desire for a new law. And he insists the the existence of Mongols, who are presently under a federal indictment, is evidence sufficient that any type of rise in motorcycle gangs need to be pre-empted by strict laws.

"You can"t say, "Look, I"m a Mongol, yet Utah Mongols space pretty quite guys,"" beam says. "If you"re in one outlaw motorcycle gang, you"re right into criminal things."

Statements choose these are specifically what have actually the motorcycle neighborhood worried that they"ll be target by law enforcement simply for looking a details way.

See more: How Many Miles From Miami To West Palm Beach To Miami Distance (Pbi To Mia)

"It"s just smoke and also mirrors is all that is," Lebowski says. And also the Barons, that says, space not "guys that run around and also do irreparable damages to the community. We"re talking about guys sit on $20,000, $30,000 motorcycles that favor to ride. This are men that are stand-ups in the community. They"re not some lowlifes that crawled under a rock and decided come be negative boys."

The committee took up the question of motorcycle gangs again in October. At this meeting, Eric Stine, education and learning coordinator because that the Utah thing of American Bikers Aiming Toward education (ABATE), called the committee the lumping motorcyclists—even ones the wear three-piece motorcycle corridor patches and also look tough—into the group of a criminal gang would be a lot choose condemning every Catholic priests due to the fact that some room pedophiles. And also he reminded the committee that they, too, are in a gang.

"The various other day, ns was looking increase the meaning of "gang," and it"s really tough when you begin putting people in groups," that said. "Because, rather frankly, you space a corridor of legislators based on the technical Webster definition."