The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, also called the American Outlaw Association was founded by John Davis in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. The club has about 34 chapters in the U.S. and Canada with about 900 members. The club also has chapters in Australia. The Outlaws divide their U.S. territory into four regions, with the western most chapter in Oklahoma City, the headquarters for the south region. Chicago is the headquarters for the central region and Detroit is the headquarters for the northern region. Detroit is the current mother chapter since 1984. It changed from Chicago when a new national president was elected.
The club rallies under an emblem, the Outlaws' colors, affectionately known as Charlie. Charlie is a white skull with crossed pistons on a black background, a modern Jolly Roger. The skull has beady red eyes, which are suppose to look out for trouble behind the wear's back. The pistons are outlined in red. Charlie is borrowed from the back of Marlon Brando's black leather Jacket in the "The Wild One". The emblem is briefly visible in a fight scene as Brando falls backwards. Their club motto is simple, "God forgives, Outlaws don't".
While Outlaw chapters operate independently, regional and national officers control drug trafficking, relations with other motorcycle gangs and the distribution of the club's profits. The Outlaws are involved in extortion, contract murders, motor vehicles thefts, gun and explosives running, armed robbery, rape and mail fraud besides drug trafficking and prostitution.
Outlaw members must sell drugs and own at least one handgun. Members work in pairs to avoid screw-ups and to avoid situations where the club can lose face. A lone biker is a tempting target for punks trying to impress each other.
Drug trafficking is the Outlaws main source of income. "Canadian Blue", diazepam (Valium) is manufactured in clandestine Ontario laboratories and smuggled across the border, usually to Chicago. it is distributed from Chicago to different chapters. Some pay cash for the drugs, others trade weapons, women or methamphetamine. The Florida chapters buy the club's cocaine from Colombian and Cuban suppliers. The Outlaws also manufacture and distribute cocaine and methamphetamine in the Fort Lauderdale area. They own property in South Florida where smugglers dock and unload their boats. The Milwaukee chapter controls the methamphetamine market in Wisconsin. The Outlaws also control methamphetamine laboratories in Georgia.