B.C. Hells Angel gets 18-year sentence for drug conspiracy

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Long-time Hells Angel David Giles was sentenced to 18 years Friday — the longest ever handed out to a B.C. member of the notorious biker gang — for his leading role in a conspiracy to smuggle half a tonne of cocaine into B.C. almost five years ago.

Giles, 66 and in ill health, breathed heavily in the prisoner’s box as B.C. Supreme Court Justice Carol Ross read out her reasons.

“Considering the nature of this transaction, the quantity of drugs involved, the intention for it to be an ongoing venture, Mr. Giles’ role and Mr. Giles’ personal circumstances, I have concluded that the fit sentence is 18 years,” Ross said.

She gave Giles almost seven years’ credit for his time in pre-trial custody, for a net jail term of 11 years, one month.

Giles was convicted last fall of conspiracy to import cocaine, conspiracy to traffic and possession for the purpose of trafficking after he and associate Kevin Van Kalkeren brokered a 2012 smuggling deal with police posing as South American drug lords.

Van Kalkeren pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial last year and got a 16-year sentence.

After months of negotiating and a $4-million down payment, 200 kilograms of purported cocaine were delivered to a Burnaby warehouse on Aug. 25, 2012. Police swooped in and arrested Giles, Van Kalkeren and six others.

Giles’s lawyer Paul Gill had argued for a lower term because his client is critically ill with liver disease and needs a transplant.

And he said Van Kalkeren was the real leader of the conspiracy, putting up all the cash and introducing Giles to the undercover cops.

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