REAL SCOOP: Hells Angel David Giles dies months after record sentence

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Just three months after he was sentenced for his role in a major international cocaine conspiracy, a senior member of the Hells Angels has died.

David Giles, 67, passed away Canada Day in Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

He had been an inmate at the Pacific Institution, acting assistant warden Ronnie Gill said.

Giles had been ill throughout his trial in B.C. Supreme Court for conspiracy to import and traffic cocaine.

He was convicted last September, but only sentenced on March 31, 2017 after he fought unsuccessfully to have the case thrown out due to the length of time the case took to get to trial.

Justice Carol Ross handed Giles an 18-year sentence, minus credit for time served for a net term of just over 11 years.  

Long-time Hells Angels David Giles in undated photo

Long-time Hells Angels David Giles in undated photo PROVINCE

Gill said Giles’ family had been notified about his death, as had the police and the B.C. Coroners’ Service.

Giles sentence was the longest-ever handed to a Hells Angel in B.C.

Ross said he played a leading role in a conspiracy to smuggle half a tonne of cocaine into B.C. after being duped by undercover police posing as South American drug exporters.

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 him and seven others.

Giles could be seen labouring in court during his last few appearances. 

David Giles

He looked ill and breathed heavily in the prisoner’s box as Ross read out her reasons for sentencing him.

“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.

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

While Ross agreed that Giles’s health had to be considered, she rejected the argument that he was not one of the leaders of the plot.

She said Giles was an equal partner in the deal after he was recruited into it by his associate Kevin Van Kalkeren.

“Once Mr. Giles was recruited to the conspiracy, he acted as…equal partner and was treated by Mr. Van Kalkeren as such,” Ross said.  

And Giles, who was vice-president of the Hells Angels Kelowna chapter at the time, “said his target was to take 500 kilos every three months,” Ross noted.

“Mr. Giles repeatedly refers to his market, his buyers, his plans for the distribution of the cocaine.”

Giles had a tough early life – born in Saint John, N.B., to an alcoholic mother who died early. He finished Grade 5 and was then “committed to a reformatory that has become notorious for abuse,” Ross noted.

He went on to foster care and a life of crime, though his last conviction was in 1984 for trafficking.

He was acquitted after another major undercover police investigation in B.C. more than a decade ago.

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