Undercover officer confronted by gang member

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A member of the Black Pistons motorcycle gang, who was under investigation by police for drug trafficking, used his black Hummer to block in a vehicle in a parking lot that was being occupied by an undercover Niagara Regional Police officer.

The incident took place on Oct. 23, 2013, shortly after 11 p.m., in the parking lot of KoKo's Lounge on Scott Street in St. Catharines where NRP Sgt. Matt Hodges and other members of his team were conducting surveillance.

That same Hummer had been at Private Eyes in Niagara-on-the-Lake earlier in the evening where its owner, Randy McGean and passenger Isaac Lucas were observed leaving the strip bar, getting into the vehicle and leaving the area.

Hodges was part of the surveillance team that was keeping track of the comings and goings of a number of individuals connected to the Black Pistons and Outlaws motorcycle gangs. The Black Pistons had a clubhouse at 80 Page St., in St. Catharines and it was one of the properties being closely watched by police during Project Resurgence.

That investigation began in early 2013 and involved more than 220 police officers from across Ontario.  They executed 30 search-and-arrest warrants in and around Niagara in the pre-dawn raid on Nov. 6. Police seized cocaine, heroin, weapons, $70,000 in cash, $150,000 worth of vehicles, and marijuana with a potential street value of $18 million. Thirty-one people were charged.

Police have said the Outlaws were trying to re-establish themselves in the Niagara area. Nine of the 11 Black Pistons were going to soon receive their Outlaws patches as full-fledged members.

Three of the people charged, Randy McGean, Isaac Lucas and Lyle Gough, all of St. Catharines, are on trial in the Superior Court of Justice in St. Catharines.

The three men have pleaded not guilty to a number of charges. McGean is charged with being a member of a criminal organization, trafficking in heroin and cocaine and possession of prohibited weapons, including a tazer and a switchblade.
Lucas and Gough face drug trafficking charges that include heroin and cocaine.

Hodges said that when McGean blocked his vehicle in the parking lot of KoKo's Lounge and walked up to his car he tried to shut off the radio that officers were using during the surveillance and he attempted to move some of the material he had on the front seat relating to the investigation.

Hodges said McGean approached his vehicle and asked him why he was parked in the lot.

"I said that I was waiting for a friend," said Hodges, adding he thought "the project was done."

The officer said McGean took a look at him and then said OK and he left.                                     

NRP Det. Const. Jay Levasseur was conducting surveillance on Lucas on Sept. 20, 2013, when he left 80 Page St., and walked up to a male sitting in a Buick. When Lucas was walking away from the Buick, the officer said he appeared to be counting money.

Lucas was also seen in a pick-up truck in a parking lot on Geneva Street. The passenger had a bag that was put in the back seat. On other dates, Lucas was seen walking on Queenston Street talking on his cell phone and stopping in at two different locations.

The trial continues on Wednesday in front of Judge Joseph Henderson who is sitting without a jury.

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Tony Ricciuto
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