Gangland Undercover is SBS On Demand's thrilling new series based on the actual story of former meth dealer Charles Falco, who became a government informant and dedicated himself to putting away bad guys. But before you get all inspired by Falco’s tale and rush out to infiltrate your local outlaw bikie gang, make sure you memorise these rules, then eat the evidence. No one will suspect a thing.
Have a good back story
Turn up to Bikie HQ one sunny afternoon in a shiny new leather jacket and fake moustache, and your stint as an undercover hero will last as long as it takes to throw a human body through a window, then staple a repair bill to its forehead. (Gangs always keep a stapler on hand for these eventualities.)
If you want to earn their trust, your back story has to be more engrossing than Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner. Hang around their favourite pub for a while, play some pool, mention the stint you did in that correctional centre for stealing Timezone tickets as a kid, do tequila shots without gagging...
Sooner or later someone will introduce you to a power broker, and you’re in.
Know how to ride a motorbike
Seems obvious, but you’d be amazed how many undercover wannabes forget this simple step.
Punch a guy - but make sure it's the right guy
Once you’re in, you’re going to be in for a lot of hazing and pranks like getting dacked in front of the strippers and having to handle low-level drug deals. Time to earn some respect, as well as a sweet nickname.
One way to do this is to wait for a fight to break out, then punch someone. Before you know it, everyone will be calling you “Quick” or “Fists” or “Knuckle Sandwich”.
Careful who you punch, though, and how hard – no one respects a gang member nicknamed “Grannythumper” or “Lovetapper”.
When you are in Rome... you may have to do illegal things
By now, you should be a fully badged member of the gang, with a sweet vest to wear.
That carries responsibilities as well as the warm glow of belonging. If – and this is totally hypothetical – your new buddies are passing around a crack pipe or prostitute, it’s considered rude not make yourself “one of the gang”.
Going undercover means compromising your morals for the sake of the greater good. Just try not to get addicted to that rock, and always chip in when the bill arrives.
On the road, follow everyone else’s lead when it comes to wearing helmets and jaywalking. You’ll soon learn the ropes.
Keep the feds on a leash
Those boys in blue are going to be champing at the bit to make arrests, especially with the DA breathing down their necks and the mayor accusing them of juking the stats and other things we saw on police procedural shows.
But if the feds come raiding stash houses and shaking down your new mates as soon as your pretty new face appears on the scene, there’s going to be a sneaking suspicion that you’re a snitch. Use your hidden mobile to demand more time, damn it, and if all else fails, try punching someone again.
Leave your fully patched jacket at the door
Eventually, your mission will come to an end – hopefully on your terms, rather than in a horrific makeshift torture chamber full of heavy chains and barrels that are on fire, where you confess everything before being branded and/or brutally murdered and left in a public place as a warning.
Anyway, when you head back home to the wife and kids, it’ll take a little while to readjust to life in the suburbs. Wean yourself off the crack and hookers as soon as possible, and remember that “clubhouse language” might not be suitable for use at your son’s pre-school.
The entire first series of Gangland Undercover is available on SBS On Demand. Watch the first episode right here: