Hells Angels still trying to get belongings from 2009 raid of Hamilton clubhouse

The Hells Angels were back in court Friday, trying to get back possessions they say police took from their Hamilton clubhouse during a raid in 2009.

Their attempts, however, were unsuccessful — mainly because Crown prosecutors say the government doesn't have the belongings the motorcycle club is demanding.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation and member Andre Watteel had a number of items returned in 2013 after a judge ordered all seized property be given back immediately.

And most of it was, but not everything, Hells Angels lawyer Chris Argiropoulos argued on Friday. Ontario Court Justice Andrew Goodman, however, dismissed Argiropoulos' new application.

The 2013 order listed a number of property items that were to be returned, including Hells Angels jackets, jewelry, photographs of members and club associates, computers, laptops and a notebook with meeting minutes.

The property was seized in 2009 along with more than $1 million in guns, street drugs, vehicles and buildings during raids in various cities, including the former Hamilton clubhouse.

Argiropoulos said the missing items can clearly be seen in a video taken when police executed a search warrant on the bikers' then Lottridge Street clubhouse.

"There were a number of items that were seized and not returned."

Argiropoulos asked Goodman to order the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, which had the police-seized items, to search for them and report back on what it found.

But Crown prosecutor Faiyaz Alibhai told Goodman police never seized the items sought by the Hells Angels in the 2009 raid.

Argiropoulos responded, "Who else could have seized them but the police?"

But Goodman said there's nothing he can do if police say they do not have the items without evidence to the contrary. . The judge noted most of the belongings in question are personal items, such as photographs and memorabilia.

Argiropoulos suggested the Hells Angels may resort to trying to get them through a civil court action.

"There's a whole other plethora of stuff that was taken," he said — things that were not included in the 2013 judge's order for return.

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Carmela Fragomeni
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