Black Pistons biker clubhouse seized

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For the second time in three months, a Niagara biker gang has lost its clubhouse.

On Tuesday, Superior Court of Justice Judge Joesph Henderson ruled the Black Pistons clubhouse on Page Street in St. Catharines is to be forfeited to the Ontario government because it was used as a base for a drug-trafficking operation.

Noting that at least one member of the gang, Isaac Lucas, used the clubhouse “as a base for illegal drug transactions and that illegal drugs that were intended to be used in drug trafficking were stored on the premises,” Henderson ordered the building be seized from its owner Dan Carley, a one-time lottery winner and former Black Pistons probationary member.

Carley had asked the courts not to allow the seizure — it was requested by the Crown after a 2013 Niagara Regional Police investigation — because he was not complicit in illegal activity at the clubhouse.

However, Henderson ruled that Carley “knew that at least two regular attendees at Page Street had criminal records and were involved in illegal drug activities.”

The seizure of the clubhouse, which had been used as the headquarters of the Black Pistons for seven months in 2013, follows a November ruling that led to the seizure of the Hells Angels clubhouse on Darby Road in Welland.

Lawyers representing the Hells Angels had until Dec. 6 to file an appeal.

In his Tuesday ruling, Henderson said Carley won $5 million in a lottery in 2005. Shortly after the lotto win “Carley started to use illegal drugs to such an extent that he became an addict,” Henderson said.

With his winnings, Carley purchased a few buildings, including 80 Page St.

Carley rented the property to president Randy McGean of the Black Pistons — a gang best known for supporting the now-defunct Outlaws Motorcycle Club — in April 2013.

Carley, who Henderson said was buying drugs from a Black Pistons member, became a probationary member of the biker gang in spring 2013, but quit a few months later.

In the spring 2013, the NRP began an investigation into the Black Pistons, dubbed Project Resurgence, that eventually resulted in several gang members being charged with drug-related offences, including Carley, McGean and Lucas.

McGean was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin and possession of a prohibited weapon. Lucas was found guilty trafficking heroin and being part of a conspiracy to traffic cocaine and heroin.

Carley pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine.

The Crown had argued the clubhouse should be seized as part of a criminal operation. Henderson said the Crown failed to show the drug trafficking was being done for the Black Pistons as part of a criminal organization, and the building could not be seized under those grounds.

However, the judge said the building was nevertheless the centre of a drug-trafficking operation, specifically pointing to the activities of Lucas and the drugs stored in his room.

Under those grounds, he ruled, the building will be seized by the government.

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