Crown wants 14 years for Black Piston

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The head of the Black Pistons motorcycle club, Randy McGean, could be facing a long time behind bars.

In court Tuesday, the Crown said it is seeking a 14-year sentence. Defence lawyers, meanwhile, are suggesting six or seven years, minus any pretrial custody.

McGean, 44, and Isaac Lucas, 38, both returned to the Superior Court of Justice in St. Catharines for their sentencing hearing in front of Justice Joseph Henderson. McGean’s case proceeded, but Lucas had his matter adjourned to Jan. 13 because his lawyer was absent due to a personal issue.

During an earlier court appearance, McGean was convicted on eight charges including trafficking in cocaine and heroin, conspiracy to traffic, and weapons-related charges that involved a taser and a switchblade knife.

Federal prosecutor Tanit Gilliam said a 14-year sentence is an appropriate range for someone like McGean, who has an extensive criminal record including previous convictions for drug trafficking. He has been in custody since his arrest on Nov. 6, 2013. 

The Crown presented a number of cases where individuals were convicted of trafficking similar amounts of drugs and received jail sentences in the nine to 12-year range. Most of those individuals had no prior criminal convictions.

McGean and a number of other individuals were arrested following a seven-month Niagara Regional Police investigation dubbed Project Resurgence. Items seized included $70,000 in cash, $150,000 worth of vehicles, marijuana with a potential street value of $18 million, $30,000 in heroin and some weapons.

The Black Pistons had set up a clubhouse at 80 Page St. in St. Catharines. Some of its members were preparing to be patched over as full-fledged members of the Outlaws, another motorcycle club.

“McGean was the head of the organization and he had Lucas do a lot of his dealings,” said Gilliam. 

She pointed out he was not co-operative with police during their investigation and his chances of rehabilitation are poor.

The Crown called it an “ongoing enterprise” that involved trafficking in cocaine and heroin, and it was being conducted at “a very high level. They were commercial drug traffickers.”

Court heard McGean’s criminal record is four pages long and contains more than 40 criminal convictions.

“He has a serious criminal record and has been to the penitentiary,” said Gilliam. “He is a repeat drug dealer. He has threatened police officers and is not afraid of police.”

Defence lawyer Jamie Stephenson said a sentence of six to seven years, minus pretrial custody, is more appropriate given the circumstances of the case.

She said McGean, who will turn 45 on Saturday, has a number of challenges. In 2009, he was diagnosed with leukemia and is unable to work because of his disability.

“There were periods of his life when he was not involved with the criminal justice system,” said Stephenson. 

After being released from jail, she added, he was able to stay out of trouble for five years.

The judge asked McGean if there was anything he wanted to say following his lawyer’s submissions, but he declined comment.

The judge will deliver his decision Oct. 12

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