William "Billy" Queen Jr. is a retired undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the author of the bestselling books Under and Alone and Armed and Dangerous.
Queen was raised in North Carolina, the son of an ATF agent. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, before joining the police. He then moved to the Border Patrol, and subsequently the ATF. Early operations involved infiltrating the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan, two white supremacist organizations.
In early 1998, as part of an operation to infiltrate motorcycle gangs, Queen joined the San Fernando Valley chapter of the Mongols as "Billy St. John", and was a member for 28 months. Despite his nickname, "Billy the Slow-Brain", he was successful within the ranks of bikers, even holding the position of secretary/treasurer, and then chapter vice-president. Thanks to evidence he gathered while in these positions, a series of raids on May 19, 2000 by almost 700 lawmen in four states led to the arrest and indictment of 54 gang members (53 were convicted, one took the fall for a brother, and so the second party's charges were dropped). The ATF later described Queen's time undercover as "its most successful [biker gang] penetration."
Queen was awarded the Federal Bar Association's Medal of Honor for his successful involvement with the Mongols. After the trials of the gang members, Queen retired from the ATF, and wrote Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. In 2003, while it was still only a draft, film rights to the book were sold to Icon, the Hollywood production company owned by Mel Gibson. The book became a bestseller upon its release in 2005.
- Queen, William; Century, Douglas (2005). Under and Alone. Random House. pp. 272pp. ISBN 1-58836-440-2.
- Queen, William; Century, Douglas (2007). Armed and Dangerous. Random House. pp. 224pp. ISBN 1-4000-6577-1.
- Leduff, Charlie (March 23, 2005). "Chased by Mean Bikers, Former Agent Sheds His Cover to Chase Fame and Fortune". The New York Times.
- Booth, William (October 18, 2005). "The Undercover Lawman Who Went Hog Wild". Washington Post.
- Gettleman, Jeffrey (September 18, 2000). "Biker Gang Learns the Hard Way 'Billy the Slow-Brain' Is an Agent; Crime: Undercover operative compiles evidence against Mongols, who will be in federal court next month.". Los Angeles Times.
- Meyer, Josh (April 19, 2001). "Agent Honored for Undercover Probe of Motorcycle Gang; Crime: ATF investigator is given the Federal Bar Assn.'s Medal of Valor. Nine other agents also receive awards.". Los Angeles Times.
- Kamiya, Gary (July 24, 2005). "'Under and Alone': Hairy Guys on Wheels". The New York Times.
- Susman, Gary (September 23, 2003). "Maxed Out". Entertainment Weekly.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (September 23, 2003). "Gibson May Enter Witness Protection". People magazine.
- Garvey, Spencer (September 24, 2003). "Gibson Joins Motorcycle Gang". Filmstew.com.
- "Program: Outlaw Bikers". BackChannel Media. May 12, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14.