Fri
04
May
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Former biker brought from prison to testify at Hells Angels case

A founding member of the Nanaimo Hells Angels suggested Friday that he had been unfairly convicted in an extortion case because of his membership in the notorious biker club.

Robert “Fred” Widdifield was brought from prison as a witness in the civil trial to determine if three Hells Angels clubhouses in east Vancouver, Nanaimo and Kelowna should be forfeited to the B.C. government.

When asked by government lawyer Brent Olthuis if he had a criminal record, Widdifield said: “I was convicted on a hearsay rule and I was given five years for being a Hells Angel.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies declared Widdifield an adverse witness in part because of his hostile demeanour on the stand.

Davies also referred to a pretrial interview Widdifield did with a lawyer for the civil forfeiture office in which he claimed the Nanaimo clubhouse had been “stolen” from the Hells Angels when it was seized in November 2007.

Wed
02
May
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Former Hells Angel denies $500,000 payment was key to becoming police agent

A former Hells Angel denied a suggestion Wednesday by a lawyer for the notorious motorcycle club that he was motivated financially to turn on the club and become a police agent.

David Atwell, who confirmed that he was paid $500,000 to become an agent and target the Hells Angels, made the comment while he was being cross-examined in court at the trial at which the B.C. government is seeking to forfeit three Hells Angels’ clubhouses.

Joseph Arvay, a lawyer for the club, suggested to Atwell that the main reason he became an agent was the money that he would receive.

Atwell, a member of the Toronto chapter of the Hells Angels from about 2000 to 2007, conceded that there were financial benefits but insisted that when he signed a contract with police to become an agent, he didn’t know the amount of money that was involved.

Wed
02
May
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Alleged Hells Angel from Ontario surrenders himself in Montreal courthouse

Louis Matte was wanted on charges of conspiring with two Hells Angels to traffic in several drugs and with trafficking in meth.

An alleged Hells Angel from Ontario surrendered himself to authorities at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday morning after being sought for more than a week in connection with a large drug bust carried out by Quebec police last week. 

Louis Matte, 52, made a brief appearance before a Quebec Court judge during a hearing where a series of conditions were imposed on him if he wants to be released. One of the conditions required him to make a $20,000 deposit. He was taken into custody and will be detained until he can meet all the requirements of the conditions. 

Wed
02
May
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Former Hells Angel testifies at B.C. civil forfeiture trial

A former member of the Hells Angels who became a police informant and is now in witness protection provided a window into the way the motorcycle group operates as he testified Tuesday in a case that’s testing the constitutionality of B.C.’s civil forfeiture law.

B.C.’s Civil Forfeiture Office has argued three Hells Angels clubhouses – in Vancouver, Kelowna and Nanaimo – should be forfeited because they are likely to be used to plan crimes. Lawyers for the Hells Angels have not yet opened their case but are expected to argue that a section of the province’s civil forfeiture legislation is unconstitutional. The trial in the case opened last week in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the Civil Forfeiture Office called David Atwell as their witness. Mr. Atwell was previously a member of the Hells Angels in Toronto. The court did not disclose his location and the video screen through which he was testifying was shielded from public view.

Mon
30
Apr
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Man fined for liquor sales at clubhouse

PICTOU – A man accused of keeping liquor for sale at a New Glasgow clubhouse has been fined in relation to the offence.

John Joseph MacLean, 51 of New Glasgow entered a guilty plea to a charge of keeping liquor for sale at 118 MacLean St., New Glasgow, which was the former clubhouse of the motorcycle club, The Gatekeepers. He had originally pleaded not guilty to the charge and was expected to go to trial in June.

Two other men, Daniel Simms, 54, of Colchester, and Issam Karam, 52, of Glace Bay, were also charged in relation to the July 14, 2016, incident, but their charges were withdrawn when MacLean entered the guilty plea.

Wed
25
Apr
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Biker pulls knife on cop, police allege

KINGSTON, Ont. — Police say a 20-year-old Kingston, Ont., man is facing charges after allegedly pulling a knife on an officer during a road rage incident.

They say a plainclothes officer with the Kingston street crimes unit was driving an unmarked car when the incident occurred on Tuesday night.

It's alleged the accused, who was driving a motorcycle side-by-side with two other bikes, gestured at the officer with his middle finger and the officer noticed the riders were wearing patches aligning themselves with a motorcycle club.

When the officer turned around to get licence plate numbers, the bikes pulled over and the officer confirmed two of the riders were wearing Outlaws MC vests while the third had Outlaws MC stickers on his motorcycle.

Investigators allege the accused got off his motorcycle, approached the officer in an aggressive manner, pulled out a large hunting-style knife and made a stabbing motion as he began yelling.

Tue
24
Apr
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Repentigny police officer arrested in raids targeting Hells Angels in Quebec

Michel "Sky" Langlois, a founding member of the biker gang's Quebec chapter, also was taken into custody

Police carrying out a series of raids targeting the Hells Angels in various parts of Quebec on Tuesday arrested more than 60 people, including a member of the Repentigny police who is alleged to have acted as a courier for a drug trafficking network. 

Captain Guy Lapointe, a spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec said Carl Ranger, a member of the Repentigny police force, was among the 63 people arrested in Project Objection, an investigation of several members of the biker gang. 

“The investigation revealed that Carl Ranger (allegedly) acted as a courier for one of the distribution networks,” Lapointe said.  

Ranger faces charges of breach of trust, credit card fraud as well as trafficking in methamphetamine and cocaine. 

Tue
24
Apr
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Hells Angels an 'extraordinarily sophisticated entity,' civil forfeiture trial told

The Hells Angels “are an extraordinarily sophisticated entity” fighting to preserve their brand to help members around the world commit criminal acts, a lawyer representing the B.C. government said Monday.

Brent Olthuis told B.C. Supreme Court that three B.C. biker clubhouses should be forfeited to the government because they would likely be used to commit crimes if the bikers are allowed to maintain control of them.

After more than a decade, the director of civil forfeiture’s lawsuit against the Hells Angels finally got underway before Justice Barry Davies at the Vancouver Law Courts on Monday.

It all started in November 2007 when police raided the Hells Angels’ Nanaimo clubhouse, which became the subject of the first civil forfeiture action. In 2012, the government agency filed suits to get clubhouses of the East End and Kelowna chapters forfeited as well.

Mon
23
Apr
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Hells Angels procession through Peninsula catches eyes

Police monitor South Surrey funeral service
 

A procession of more than two dozen Hells Angels caught the attention of Semiahmoo Peninsula residents Saturday afternoon, when they rolled along the South Surrey-White Rock border around 4 p.m.

Police say the motorcyclists were en route to a funeral for a club member at Victory Memorial ParkFuneral Centre in South Surrey.

One Peace Arch News reader described the procession as “quite the sendoff.”

And while others commented that the pronounced presence made them nervous, Surrey RCMP Sgt. Chad Grieg said it posed no threat.

“We were just monitoring the situation… to ensure public safety,” Grieg said.

“There was no problems. None at all.”

 

Sun
22
Apr
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Hells Angels civil-forfeiture trial finally set to begin in B.C. Supreme Court

More than a decade after British Columbia’s Civil Forfeiture Office moved on a Hells Angels clubhouse in the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo, the trial that could reshape the way the government agency operates is finally set to begin.

The office, which has netted more than $80-million in property since it opened its doors in 2006, plans to argue the clubhouse − as well as Hells Angels clubhouses in Vancouver and Kelowna that have been added to the case − are likely to be used to commit crimes in the future. The office has said the Hells Angels have a violent reputation and commit serious offences for their benefit.

Lawyers for the Hells Angels are expected to counter that a section of the province’s civil-forfeiture legislation is unconstitutional and the B.C. government has created a new criminal process that lacks the presumption of innocence and the right against self-incrimination.

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