MEMBERS of a small-town motorcycle club linked to the Hells Angels have failed in their appeal to retrieve their confiscated guns. A decision was handed down today by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upholding a decision to cancel four Tramps bikies’ gun licences because of their membership and social associations with other gangs. The verdict comes almost a year after nine current and former members of the Tramps MC fronted the Firearms Appeal Committee, one of which is a mobile butcher, arguing that Victoria Police had no right cancel their licences. Club head Ronald Harding, who took leave to withdraw, butcher Michael Oxenham, Malcolm Dinsdale and David Windsor are now considering appealing the decision to the appeal court of the Victorian Supreme Court. In August 2012, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay made a controversial decision to seize more than 100 registered guns from members of “outlaw’’ bikie gangs across the state. The VCAT appeal, taken on by four Tramps members, was seen as a test case for other “outlaw’ bikie members who also had their gun licences cancelled. The guns were seized under the test to whether the licence holder was a “fit and proper’’ person.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Thursday, 26 June 2014
Two more Winnipeg men were sent packing to prison Monday for their differing roles in a “sophisticated and well-organized” Manitoba Hells Angels-led drug operation which was ultimately smashed up in a covert police sting. Jonathan Stewart, 32, and Brian Chesney were sentenced in back-to-back hearings and escorted from Judge Robert Heinrichs’s courtroom to begin serving their time after being arrested early last year in Project Flatlined. Stewart, described by the Crown as a “trusted courier” for a crack cocaine ring in the Elmwood neighbourhood orchestrated by top members of the Hells Angels and support crew, Redlined, received a sentence of 57 months on criminal organization and conspiracy charges.
Saturday, 2 March 2013
The vice president of the Rock Hill Hells Angels club, who pleaded guilty two months ago to federal racketeering charges, wants to withdraw that plea
The vice president of the Rock Hill Hells Angels club, who pleaded guilty two months ago to federal racketeering charges, wants to withdraw that plea, claiming that prosecutors and the FBI misled him, court documents show.
“Diamond” Dan Bifield of the Rock Hell City Nomads chapter avoided being part of a federal trial that alleges a vast web of drug dealing and other crimes by the Hells Angels and fellow bikers.
But now – as the trial against four of Bifield’s associates finishes its third week – Bifield claims prosecutorial misconduct in the case where 20 were arrested in a June 2012 raid across South Carolina and North Carolina.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake declined to comment on Bifield’s allegations because of the trial. A response to Bifield’s claims will come “in due course,” she said.
Bifield, who had other charges dropped in the plea deal, claims he “sacrificed” himself in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence. He maintains that he has been on lockdown 23 hours a day since his arrest, and “lies” were told to turn his wife against him.
Lisa Bifield, one of the 20 arrested, also pleaded guilty to a single charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping several other charges. Dan Bifield claims that he did not know his wife had agreed to plead guilty to possession of a firearm associated with trafficking and crimes of violence. He also alleges that he was not told his wife would testify in the trial against others.
“The U.S. Attorney used my wife, Lisa Bifield, to place me under duress for me to sign a plea deal by threatening to put my wife in prison for 14 years and telling her she will never see her 14-year-old daughter again,” Bifield alleges in a handwritten affidavit filed Feb. 19 in federal court.
Bifield, who lived near Columbia, pleaded guilty to being a ringleader in what prosecutors say is a web of money laundering, weapons and cocaine and methamphetamine distribution throughout the Carolinas and stretching to the Northeast.
Bifield’s lawyer, assistant federal public defender Allen Burnside, could not be reached for comment Friday. No action on Bifield’s allegations is expected until after the trial is finished. Bifield had been scheduled for sentencing later this month.
The trial of four of the others charged in the June raid has been taking place in U.S. District Court in Columbia. Prosecutors finished presenting evidence Thursday, after which the judge dismissed charges against a fifth defendant, Donald “Brooklyn Donnie” Boersma of Clover.
Boersma said he was innocent but declined to discuss the cases against his codefendants.
Boersma’s lawyer, Herbert Louthian Sr., said Boersma “had the courage” to fight to clear his name. Louthian declined to speak about other defendants or the trial, but he said the government’s claims against Boersma, a prospective Hells Angels member, were not backed up by evidence.
“I felt the government’s case was weak,” Louthian said. Federal prosecutors and police “had a good story but didn’t have the facts to support it.”
Still facing multiple charges in the current trial are: Rock Hill Hells Angels president Mark William “Lightning” Baker, David Channing “Gravel Dave” Oiler, Bruce James “Bruce-Bruce” Long and Thomas McManus “Uncle Tom” Plyler.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/03/02/3888274/rock-hill-hells-angels-leader.html#storylink=cpy
Friday, 3 August 2012
THE police raid on the Melbourne headquarters of the Hells Angels motorcycle club comes as the State Government makes good on its boast to outlaw bikie gangs.
As reported in today's Herald Sun, legislation has been finalised and will soon be put to Parliament. This has been complex and painstaking. Laws to ban the gangs have been challenged in South Australia under legislation upholding freedom of association.
The gangs have increased their activities, particularly in Victoria, where members have moved into debt collecting after licensing requirements for debt collectors were dropped by the Labor government.
The bikies' comic-book appearance belies their vicious behaviour.
Yesterday, police seized drugs and a handgun from the Hells Angels clubhouse where Ball Bearing, the bikie pictured here, was arrested.
Under new laws to crack down on the gangs, the Supreme Court will be able to declare a gang a criminal organisation.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
FOUR Hells Angels have been arrested following a brawl and shooting in Sydney's west, police say. Police say detectives from the gangs squad, which has been investigating bikie gang gun violence, arrested the alleged outlaw motorcycle gang members on Tuesday. The arrests came after shots were fired during a confrontation between bouncers and men wearing Hells Angels colours at a hotel in Parramatta after 11pm (AEST) on Friday. Police are alleging the men became aggressive when they were turned away from the hotel and the melee spilled onto the street where bouncers were pushed, punched, spat on and threatened. Two of the men were allegedly seen on Harris Street with a sword and a handgun about two hours later and shots were fired at security guards. The men ran into a nearby reserve, police say, and no one was injured. Detectives raided five homes in west and northwest Sydney on Tuesday morning and arrested three 26-year-old men and one aged 23. They were questioned by police and investigations were continuing.
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Twenty or so bikers were arrested Thursday during an FBI-led raid in the Carolinas that targeted a prominent chapter of the Hells Angels. While the arrests themselves were noteworthy, the interesting news comes from the indictments that accompanied the arrests, which, as the the Charlotte Observer explains, offer "a rare glimpse into the secret workings" of the notorious biker gang, which the feds describe as a highly-organized drug-dealing enterprise that uses intimidation and violence to promote "a climate of fear." The arrests (the exact number is either 19 or 20, depending on whether you listen to the Observer or the Associated Press) were the culmination of a two-year investigation by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies into the Rock Hill City chapter of the group made (in)famous, in part, by Hunter S. Thompson's 1966 new journalism classic Hell's Angels. Among the insider details revealed in the 91-count indictment: The clubs has a strict organizational structure not unlike one you might find at your local rotary club (from president to treasurer and on down to the rank-and-file members). The gang refers to their regular chapter meetings as "church," and to members as "full patch" because they wear full Hells Angels three-piece jackets and vests. Prospective members undergo a long hazing process, often including running errands and doing menial tasks for members in addition to participating in criminal activities. Full membership is only possible with the unanimous vote of all chapter members, and both members and their girlfriends and wives wear the number 81, which stands for the alphabetical positions of the letters H and A. Members who get kicked out of their chapter must color over their Hells Angels tattoos. The Rock Hill City chapter members face various charges of intimidation, extortion, narcotics distribution, money laundering, arson, trafficking in stolen goods, prostitution, and firearms trafficking. The 62-year-old group is international, and was recently the target of large-scale raids across northern Germany.
Monday, 18 June 2012
father and son were part of a large group of Hells Angels bikies in Kings Cross who assaulted, threatened and intimidated police, a magistrate has been told. Detective Senior Constable Mark Spice said Michael Doyle spat saliva in his eye, and threatened to take a contract out on "all your c***s" if his son wasn't okay. Det Spice said the son, Zeke Doyle, whom he saw punch two officers, threatened to kill him, saying, "I'm the wrong c*** to f*** with". Advertisement: Story continues below Michael Doyle, 50, and his 23-year-old son, of Oakdale, pleaded not guilty in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court to charges including assaulting, resisting and intimidating police. Their barrister, Peter Doyle (no relation), suggested to Det Spice on Monday that he was not in fear of or intimidated by the pair after they were on the ground, face-down and in handcuffs. He disagreed, saying he feared they could take some action against him, such as a "drive-by at my house, I could be followed home from work, it could be anything". Det Spice, from Strike Force Raptor which was set up to target bikie violence, said the Doyles were in a group of about 50 to 60 Hells Angels walking in a "structured line" around midnight on February 4 through Kings Cross. He heard a number yelling out,: "Where's that dog Wis?", which he believed was a reference to a Nomad bikie who had previously been associated with the Hells Angels. Det Spice said he had responded to an urgent call for assistance and used a digital camera to record the bikies, who greatly outnumbered police. Det Spice said Michael Doyle glared at him so he shone his torch in Doyle's face as lighting for the camera and told him to go. After Doyle spat in his eye, Det Spice said he used capsicum spray on him in fear of further assault and he used it again on Doyle's son when he saw him punch another officer. He said he called Doyle senior "you grub" when he arrested him for spitting on him. Under cross-examination, he agreed the son Zeke Doyle suffered a wound on his forehead but denied using his baton to inflict the injury or having seen what caused it. He denied suggestions that when the bikies were walking along, police were calling, "Move along you maggots, keep walking you dogs." He further denied a suggestion that police kicked at the heels of Doyle senior three times before he turned around and spat. Sen Constable Ben Laborato testified that Zeke Doyle punched him in the face, leaving him with marks and a bloody nose. The hearing is continuing.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has authorized changes to a 2006 legislation that legalizes the use of deadly force on a public servant — including an officer of the law — in cases of “unlawful intrusion.” Proponents of both the Second and Fourth Amendments — those that allow for the ownership of firearms and the security against unlawful searches, respectively — are celebrating the update by saying it ensures that residents are protected from authorities that abuse the powers of the badge. Others, however, fear that the alleged threat of a police state emergence will be replaced by an all-out warzone in Indiana. Under the latest changes of the so-called Castle Doctrine, state lawmakers agree “people have a right to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime.” Rather than excluding officers of the law, however, any public servant is now subject to be met with deadly force if they unlawfully enter private property without clear justification. “In enacting this section, the general assembly finds and declares that it is the policy of this state to recognize the unique character of a citizen's home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant,” reads the legislation. Although critics have been quick to condemn the law for opening the door for assaults on police officers, supporters say that it is necessary to implement the ideals brought by America’s forefathers. Especially, argue some, since the Indiana Supreme Court almost eliminated the Fourth Amendment entirely last year. During the 2011 case of Barnes v. State of Indiana, the court ruled that a man who assaulted an officer dispatched to his house had broken the law before there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” In turn, the National Rifle Association lobbied for an amendment to the Castle Doctrine to ensure that residents were protected from officers that abuse the law to grant themselves entry into private space. “There are bad legislators,” the law’s author, State Senator R. Michael Young (R) tells Bloomberg News. “There are bad clergy, bad doctors, bad teachers, and it’s these officers that we’re concerned about that when they act outside their scope and duty that the individual ought to have a right to protect themselves.” Governor Daniels agrees with the senator in a statement offered through his office, and notes that the law is only being established to cover rare incidents of police abuse that can escape the system without reprimand for officers or other persons that break the law to gain entry. “In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met,” Daniels says. “This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers.” Officers in Indiana aren’t necessarily on the same page, though. “If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’” Sergeant Joseph Hubbard tells Bloomberg. “Somebody is going get away with killing a cop because of this law.” “It’s just a recipe for disaster,” Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police President Tim Downs adds. “It just puts a bounty on our heads.”
Friday, 8 June 2012
Hells Angels biker gang living in Lexington County were arrested during a federal roundup in the Carolinas this week. Agents arrested 19 members of the gang’s "Rock Hell City Nomad" chapter living in the Midlands and the greater Charlotte area following a 91-count indictment with charges including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which stiffly punishes organized criminal acts. Other charges include narcotics violations, Hobbs Act robbery, money laundering and firearms violations. Seven of the gang members arrested were from Lexington County: Daniel Eugene “Diamond Dan” Bifield and Lisa Ellen Bifield, both of Batesburg-Leesville; Bruce James “Bruce-Bruce” Long, Trent Allen Brown and Somying “Ying” Anderson, all of West Columbia; James Frederick “Big Fred” Keach Jr. of Pelion; and Bruce Ranson “Diesel” Wilson of Swansea. Video from around the world Dan Bifield is named first in the indictment and described as the founder and "full-patch" member of the chapter, its former president and currently serving as its vice president. Indictee Lisa Bifield, also known as Lisa Ellen Meyers and Lisa Ellen Stockton, is Dan Bifield's wife. Bruce Long also is described as a full-patch member of the chapter, meaning he had the right to wear the full suite of club and chapter emblems and colors. Keach is described in the indictment as a member of the Red Devils Motorcycle Club until February 2012. The Red Devils were a so-called support club created by the Rock Hell City Nomad chapter from smaller outlaw biker groups. The Red Devils River City Chapter used a clubhouse at 5622 SC 302, West Columbia. Keach is accused of possessing with intent to distribute a controlled drug called clonazepam on several occasions between May and August 2011. He is accused of carrying a firearm during that activity, a separate count, and of participating in the June 14, 2011, sale of firearms, specifically three Taurus 85 .38 revolvers and a Glock 19 9mm pistol. He also is accused of selling an Armscor of the Phillipines 1911 .45 pistol and ammunition on Sept. 20, 2011, and a GSG-1911 .22 pistol and silencer the next day. Possession of the silencer is another count against him. Bruce Wilson is named in the indictment as a participant in the June 14, 2011, illegal firearms sale. Anderson is named as a participant in the distribution of cocaine on Aug. 5, 2011 in South Carolina. Twenty-three search warrants were served during the arrests. Agents seized methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, pills and about 100 guns, including two automatic machine guns, during the operation. The arrests follow a two-year investigation by the South Carolina Hells Angels Task Force with the help of several federal agencies and sheriff’s departments in the Carolinas. Other items seized include: • about $300,000 in cash; • nine Harley Davidson motorcycles ranging in model year from 1986 to 2009; • a 2012 Ford F250 owned by Brown; • contents of five bank accounts belonging to Long, Oiler, Rhodus, Thrower and Baker; • miscellaneous personal and real property "constituting, or derived from any proceeds the Defendans obtained, directly or indirectly, as the result of" their alleged crimes, and • real estate at 4542 Doby Bridge Road, Fort Mill, titled to God's Few MC, Inc., the name of the motorcycle gang Daniel Bifield purportedly turned into the Rock Hell City Nomad chapter of the Hells Angels.
Friday, 25 May 2012
Benjamin Edward Neuner, 59, of Alvarado, faces as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after his conviction on charges he possessed an illegal machine gun. Neuner, known as "Rebel Rider Ben, was convicted Tuesday by a federal court jury in Fort Worth. Federal prosecutors say Neuner converted two rifles into machine guns and delivered them to an undercover FBI agent. Neuner, identified as a member of the Rebel Riders Motorcycle Club, contended a rival Bandido motorcycle gang member entrapped him. Neuner remains in custody pending sentencing, which is set for Aug. 31.
Saturday, 19 May 2012
THE Hells Angels in Brisbane have secured "sponsorship" from a franchise of The Coffee Club and a range of other mainstream businesses. The links, detailed on the outlaw motorcycle club's website, underline the relative sophistication of the world's oldest "outlaw" motorcycle outfit, described by one local criminal lawyer as the bikies with "the best business smarts". Alongside the Jimboomba and Browns Plains branches of The Coffee Club, described as "gold" sponsors by the Hells Angels, there are "platinum" sponsors that include Harley-Davidson dealerships and specialist automotive parts providers. But there is also property management firm, Strata & Corporate Collections, a Cleveland fried chicken restaurant and an East Brisbane locksmith, Millennium Locks, with motto: "Change the keys, not the locks".
full-patch member of the White Rock Hells Angels is expected to be charged with trafficking after Abbotsford Police found almost a kilogram of cocaine in his Langley home. Abbotsford police executed a search warrant at the home of 50-year-old Brent Douglas Milne Wednesday after an investigation into cocaine trafficking in the city. Const. Ian MacDonald said the drug enforcement unit was helped by the Abbotsford police department's Gang Suppression Unit, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit's Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Unit and the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team. Investigators are preparing their report to Crown counsel, MacDonald said. Charges are expected to follow. Police also found $26,000 in the house at 27019 — 28A Avenue in Aldergrove. Milne has no criminal record and is listed on land title documents as a trucker and mechanic. MacDonald said police obtained information earlier this year about the alleged involvement of the Hells Angels in the Abbotsford drug trade. "People who are involved in gangs and organized crime are always on police radar," he said. Investigators gathered additional information that could support a search warrant, said MacDonald. "I am really proud of the officers involved in this," he added. "We believe the seizure and arrest improves public safety for the citizens of Abbotsford, Langley and beyond." The White Rock chapter of the Hells Angels has been in turmoil in recent months. Member Larry Amero was seriously wounded last August in a Kelowna shooting that left Red Scorpion Jonathan Bacon dead and Independent Soldier James Riach wounded. Former Sergeant at Arms in the White Rock chapter, Mike Robatzek, was recently thrown out of the club. And Trevor Jones, the twin of White Rock member Randy Jones, was indicted in the U.S. in a massive cross-border drug smuggling operation that American prosecutors allege was done for the benefit of the White Rock chapter. MacDonald said police are aware of "flux and instability" among Hells Angels and other gangs active in the Lower Mainland. And as some of the gangs try to consolidate, they are ramping up their drug trafficking to increase profits, MacDonald said. "When you go into that mode, you obviously take more risk and you make more mistakes," he said
Friday, 18 May 2012
Abbotsford Police excuted a search warrant Wednesday at the Langley home of a full-patch Hells Angel Brent Milne from the White Rock chapter. Inside, they found almost a kilo of cocaine (34 ounces) and $26,000 cash. The 50-year-old, who has no criminal record, is expected to be charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. Const. Ian MacDonald said the man’s name surfaced in connection with drug sales in Abbotsford. So investigators dug more information and were able to get the search warrant.
Christopher Ablett, Mongols biker gang member, sentenced to life in prison for SF Hells Angels leader's murder
Christopher "Stoney" Ablett, a member of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday for the murder the president of the Hells Angels' San Francisco chapter. According to a press release, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced that Ablett was sentenced to serve two concurrent life sentences and one life sentence to run consecutive. Ablett was accused of stabbing and shooting Mark "Papa" Guardado outside a bar on Sept. 2, 2008 in the city's Mission district. He was convicted in February of murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, using a gun in a violent crime and using a gun in a murder. Ablett testified at trial that he killed Guardado in self-defense but prosecutors alleged that the Modesto-based Mongol started the fight and killed Guardado to enhance his status within the gang. "The defendant killed a complete stranger for no reason other than his membership in a rival motorcycle gang," U.S. Attorney Haag said, according to the press release. "This sentence should send a clear message that there is a heavy price to pay for engaging in such a senseless act of violence. There is nothing we can do to bring Mr. Guardaro back. I hope, however, that this conviction and sentence begin to bring his family some closure."
Sunday, 13 May 2012
THE man believed by police to be the central figure in a bikie feud has declared he is not at fault for Sydney's spate of drive-by shootings and says they are the "act of a coward". Wissam Amer, 28, broke his silence to The Sunday Telegraph to say he was not at the heart of the current shootings between the Hells Angels and Nomads outlaw motorcycle gangs. Last week The Sunday Telegraph revealed police believe Amer was the source of the conflict after he defected from the Hells Angels to the rival Nomads. Speaking through his lawyer Maggie Sten, the former bikie said unequivocally that he was no longer part of any gang and disputed police claims he's responsible for the feud. "The conflict between the Hells Angels and the Nomads is dead and buried - it has been for a while," Mr Amer said through his lawyer. "It has got nothing to do with me." Mr Amer was previously a member of the Bandidos, but left the group during a large scale "patch-over" of its members to the Hells Angels more than a year ago. Police believe he then tried to leave the Hells Angels to join the Nomads and burned bridges along the way - however he disputes this. Ms Sten said Mr Amer now wants to clear the record and confirm he is not part of any gang and is attempting to get on with a "normal life". What is not in dispute, however, is that Mr Amer was the target of two drive-by shootings over the past seven months. One was a drive-by at a Merrylands Oporto, two days after he was released on bail; the other happened three days later at his previous address at Canley Vale. Police believe both attacks were committed by Hells Angels, however Mr Amer said he could not prove this and neither could police. Mr Amer is unsure who the perpetrators were. "It could have been anybody - it's a dirty game, it could have been someone that I'd had a run-in with years ago," Ms Sten said on Mr Amer's behalf. "I live my life with no fear - I live now as a normal person." What Mr Amer was sure about was that drive-by shootings on himself or anyone else was a despicable act. "It's as weak as scratching somebody's car - anybody who drives a car and attacks you at 1am is a coward," he said through Ms Sten. "Especially when you know the people you're looking for are not there," referring to cases where the alleged targets were in jail. He could not explain the forces behind the current wave of shootings, but agreed with a police theory - revealed by The Sunday Telegraph - that a third party is trying to reignite animosities between the groups. Authorities brokered a peace agreement between the two gangs in January, but that faltered on April 16 when shots were fired at a home and car in Pemulwuy. "We believe it's other people trying to stir the pot," Ms Sten said for Mr Amer. "This is the perfect time for people to attack because they know the Hells Angels and Nomads were in a previous conflict which no longer exists." Police Strike Force Kinnarra has locked up 13 people in relation to the nine shootings that happened last month. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said the conflict was firmly between the two gangs.
Friday, 27 April 2012
The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is suing MTV and producers of the reality show Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory for infringing and diluting their skull-with-wings insignia. The design, known as the "Death Head," has been trademarked by the motorcycle club and been used for more than 50 years. But the group claims the MTV show, which stars skateboarder-actor Rob Dyrdek and his business, has damaged the design by featuring it on T-shirts that were sold to the public. HBO Drama Incurs Wrath of Hell's Angels Founder Death Head is a collective membership mark often seen on jackets and tattoos worn by Hells Angels associates. The group says it has "acquired very widespread public recognition; consequently they evoke strong and immediate reactions whenever used. The impact of these marks is virtually incomparable, and as a result they have great commercial value." Here are the trademarked designs: Hells Angels have been quite protective of the marks, previously suing fashion designer Alexander McQueen, Saks Fifth Avenue and online retailer Zappos.com for trademark infringement over a women's handbag with a winged death motif. The latest lawsuit filed Wednesday in California federal court against Dyrdek's companies over T-shirts (pictured below) is similar, except the Hells Angels dragged a TV network into the case for depicting and displaying the allegedly infringing items. The plaintiff wants an injunction and further damages.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Leslie Douglas Greenwood was one of two gunmen involved in a double homicide in September 2000, Crown attorney Peter Craig said in opening statements of a jury trial on Monday. Greenwood, 41, of East Mountain is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 9, 2000 shooting deaths of Barry Kirk Mersereau, 48, and his common-law wife, Nancy Paula Christensen, 47. The pair were found shot to death in the living room of their Centre Burlington home and the Crown has alleged the murders are connected to Hells Angels activities. Greenwood was surrounded by sheriff's deputies and led into the courtroom in handcuffs prior to the start of the seven-woman, five-man jury trial. Everyone else who entered the courtroom was also subjected to heavy security by passing through a metal detector and having their personal belongings searched. As part of his opening comments, Craig told the judge and jurors that evidence to be presented over the next two weeks will show the two murders were conducted under orders by former Hells Angel Jeffrey Lynds, a North River native who died earlier this year in an apparent suicide in his Montreal jail cell. Describing the case as an "execution," Craig said Mersereau and Christensen died in cold blood at the hands of Greenwood and Michael Lawrence. Lawrence, who is expected to be a key Crown witness, pled guilty to his part in the killings last January. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole after also pleading guilty to killing Portapique resident Charles Maddison, an innocent motorist who had picked him up while hitchhiking. Lawrence, who reportedly owed Lynds money, is expected to testify that he and Greenwood both shot the couple, one with a .357 Magnum the other with a 32-calibre hand gun. The couple's 18-month old baby was found unharmed in the house by a neighbour following the shootings. A preliminary inquiry is set to begin July 16 for Lynds' nephew Curtis Blair Lynds, 36, who is also charged with first-degree murder in the case. He is currently serving federal time on drug trafficking convictions.
SIMMERING tension between rival bikie gangs exploded on the Gold Coast yesterday with the drive-by shooting of a tattoo parlour in the heart of Bandidos territory. Police fear the attack could be a push for territory by the Hells Angels as the outlaw gang seeks a toehold on the lucrative Glitter Strip. Less than 24 hours after police commissioner Bob Atkinson told the Bulletin that bikie gangs were "one of the greatest challenges to face law enforcement", the Bandido-protected Mermaid Beach tattoo shop was hit by at least four shots in the early hours of yesterday morning. High-ranking police yesterday said it was "inevitable" that the violence that has plagued Sydney would eventually spill across the border. "We do not believe it is directly connected to the war between the Hells Angels and the Nomads that has been unfolding in New South Wales," said police. "But it is a similar style of attack. "We know the Hells Angels have been pushing to establish a chapter on the Gold Coast -- that push is coming from Sydney. "Tradelink Drive is not their most profitable chapter." While detectives have attempted to play down the shooting, police say there is "no doubt" it was intended as a warning. The Bandidos are the largest and one of the most secretive bikie gangs on the Gold Coast. The club has gained strength as its main rival -- the Finks -- have been severely weakened with so many senior members behind bars and Bandido territory stretches south from Broadbeach. Police said last month's Hells Angels National Run was intended as a direct message to all gangs on the Gold Coast. More than 200 patched gang members descended on Surfers Paradise for the run. "These clubs are so well organised, they do nothing without a reason," police said. "You can bet they had some purpose in coming to the Gold Coast. "They taunted the Finks and nothing happened, now the Bandidos tattoo shop is shot up in the same way the gym controlled by the Hells Angels was hit a few months ago. "You join the dots." The shop is owned by a senior member of the outlaw gang who has been a patched member of the Bandidos "for years", police say. In an exclusive interview with the Bulletin, Mr Atkinson said the danger of bikie gangs was "under-rated" by the community. "The outlaw motorcycle gangs nationally present one of the greatest challenges to police. "I think the degree of that challenge and the risk they present to our society is underrated." The Gold Coast has one of the highest populations of bikie gangs in the country. Mr Atkinson said he would not be surprised if the Hells Angels were not considering a move closer to the Glitter Strip. "They are businesses, they look for opportunity so that wouldn't be a surprise," he said. "They market themselves as a group of mature men who have a love and interest in motorbikes and they do that very cleverly. The reality is they are highly sophisticated, well organised criminal enterprises that pose a genuine risk to the community and many are well represented by the finest and best lawyers who they retain to represent them." South East Region Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders said the gangs were constantly looking to expand. "One of things about OMCGs is they look for opportunity for criminal enterprise," Mr Rynders said. "Throughout Queensland, throughout the country, probably throughout the world they are looking to expand. It is obviously dictated to by territory, depending on who or what other groups exist in what areas."
Police discovered a grisly scene on Sept. 10, 2000, when they entered a Cogmagun Road home in Hants County. “It was a very brutal scene,” Cpl. Shawn Sweeney, who was a constable with the Windsor rural RCMP detachment that day, testified Tuesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Kentville. It was the second day of trial for Leslie Douglas Greenwood, 42, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Barry Kirk Mersereau, 48, and his wife, Nancy Paula Christensen, 47. Sweeney, a Crown witness, testified that he and four other police officers who responded to a 911 call found Christensen sitting upright in a chair in the living room of her Centre Burlington home with a bullet wound in her left cheek, under her glasses. She had a cup of tea in her hand and a small dog was sitting in her lap. There were several bullet casings and lead fragments scattered on the floor. Mersereau was lying face down, with pools of blood around his head and body. Another dog, believed to be a German shepherd-Rottweiler mix, was hiding under covers on the bed in the master bedroom. A third dog was tied to the front porch and another had run off into the woods. Sweeney told Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy and the seven-woman, five-man jury hearing the case that the house appeared to be neat and orderly, with no signs of struggle. “It didn’t appear to be a house that was rifled through or things thrown around,” Sweeney testified. Const. Glenn Bonvie told the court it was immediately obvious that Mersereau and Christensen were dead. “There was no movement. There was no doubt that they were deceased.” Crown witness Ronald Connors owned a hunting cabin in the woods about half a kilometre away from the couple’s house. He testifed that he heard several shots at about 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 9. Connors said he heard six shots fired in quick succession, followed by a pause and a couple more shots. Moments later, there were more shots. He said he thought at first someone might be jacking deer, but Connors concluded that the shots didn’t sound like those from a high-powered hunting rifle. The jury was shown a video of the two bodies as they were found. Former RCMP officer David Clace, then in charge of the RCMP’s forensics identification unit in New Minas, said a large amount of money was found in plastic bags in a gym bag in one of the bedroom closets. The bag was later determined to contain about $65,000 in cash. Crown attorney Peter Craig has told the court that the victims were shot to death in their home in an execution-style killing as part of a Hells Angels-ordered killing. “They were killed in their home in a quiet community, with a teapot on the stove, with no signs of struggle and their baby in the next room,” Craig told the jury. He said evidence presented by as many as 40 Crown witnesses will show that Michael Lawrence and Greenwood murdered the couple on the orders of Jeffrey Lynds, a former Hells Angels operative who died recently in a Montreal jail of an apparent suicide. Lawrence, who owed Lynds money, pleaded guilty last January to three charges of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. Also killed that day, by Lawrence, was Charles Maddison, an innocent man who picked Lawrence up hitchhiking. Lawrence shot him to take his truck to commit a planned robbery. Craig said Lawrence, expected to be a crucial Crown witness, will testify that he and Greenwood shot the couple, one with a .357 Magnum, the other with a 32-calibre handgun, in what he called “planned and deliberate” killings. The couple’s 18-month-old baby boy was safely recovered from the house by neighbour Ruby McKenzie, who went to the victim’s home the day after the shootings. McKenzie said she brought the baby back to her mobile home and called police. Greenwood sat quietly during the proceedings, occasionally exchanging comments with his lawyer, Alain Begin. Begin is expected to argue that Greenwood went to the Mersereau house the day of the shootings to buy drugs, and that Lawrence shot the couple while Greenwood was waiting outside. Also charged with first-degree murder in the killings is Curtis Blair Lynds, 36, who is serving time in a federal prison for drug trafficking. A preliminary inquiry in his case is scheduled to begin July 16.
Winnipeg police said 30-year-old Shawn Justin Colbert turned himself in and was arrested on April 22, 2012.
Winnipeg police have issued an arrest warrant for 26-year-old Jared James Irving. (photo provided by Winnipeg police)
Winnipeg police have issued an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Jesse Richard Thomas. (photo provided by Winnipeg police)
A second suspect has been arrested after police issued a call for the public's help finding four wanted men on the weekend.
Adam Matthew Wood, 34, was located and arrested in the Crestview area of Winnipeg on April 23. He faces multiple charges, including participating in a criminal organization and trafficking cocaine, said police.
Winnipeg police previously said another wanted man turned himself in on April 22.
Shawn Justin Colbert, 30, has been charged for a number of crimes, including trafficking cocaine, possessing proceeds of crime and commission of offence for a criminal organization, said police.
On the weekend, Winnipeg police issued a call for assistance from the public in finding four wanted men, including Colbert and Wood, following up on Project Flatlined. It March, officers raided numerous Hells Angels homes and businesses, along with those of the Redlined puppet club as part of the project.
More than 150 officers took part in a series of takedowns across Winnipeg.
Police are asking for the public's help in locating two other Winnipeg men wanted on outstanding arrest warrants.
Jesse Richard Thomas, 27, and Jared James Irving, 26, are facing charges of participating in a criminal organization.
Friday, 20 April 2012
100 extra police officers will join strike forces across Sydney this weekend in anticipation of what is believed to be an imminent showdown between rival bikie gangs.
Nightly shootings have seen the conflict between members of the Nomads and Hells Angels outlaw clubs escalate. However, Thursday night's events, which saw the home rented by high-ranking Nomads member Sam Ibrahim showered with bullets, were tipped to have fuelled tempers in both camps. The brother of King's Cross nightclub icon John Ibrahim did not come out of the home to address the media on Friday. On the same night a police paddy wagon was torched outside a tattoo shop in Newtown. At a Rouse Hill address, an innocent woman and her son were home when bullets were fired through their windows. The house is believed to have been previously occupied by a gang associate. Detectives attached to Strike Force Kinnarra, which was formed in response to the recent targeted shootings, will investigate all three incidents. They will be joined by the extra officers this weekend to patrol the city and, in particular, the western suburbs. The state's Assistant Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas told the media yesterday officers were preparing for reprisal attacks. He said additional police would be out in force as part of a "focussed effort" to minimise the fallout from what was now being widely labelled a "gangland war". Police have been targeting bikie associates individually in an attempt to keep as many off the streets as possible. On Wednesday, April 11, officers executed six simultaneous search warrants at the homes of Hells Angels members and associates in Wentworthville, Emu Plains, Macquarie Fields, Ryde, Smithfield and the Sydney CBD. Firearms, fireworks, prohibited drugs, steroids and chemicals used in drug manufacture were seized during the warrants and several people were investigated. On Thursday, a 26-year-old Emu Plains man was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun. The charge relates to the seizure during the raids of a .32 calibre pistol which police believe was used during a brawl involving 50 Hells Angels members in Kings Cross earlier this year. The man was granted bail in the Parramatta Local Court on Thursday afternoon and will appear again on May 31.
The New South Wales Government will ban bikie colours in licensed premises in Sydney's Kings Cross as part of a range of measures targeting outlaw bikie gangs. Bikies will also be banned from working in tattoo parlours, with legislative changes set to give the police commissioner the final say on whether a particular person can own the business. The proposed changes to the Criminal Organisations Act will see police given the power to use drug and ballistics dogs to search tattoo parlours without warrant. The measures are aimed at stifling the growing feud between rival bikie gangs the Hells Angels and the Nomads, who are believed to be behind a spate of Sydney shootings. Police believe the Hells Angels were behind two drive-by shootings in Sydney's north-west on Thursday night, and authorities are bracing for a further escalation in the gang war. Authorities say the overnight shootings are related to five others over the past week. Premier Barry O'Farrell says the director-general of the Department of Trade and Industry has agreed to pass regulations that will see 23 bikie gangs banned from wearing colours at 58 Kings Cross venues. He says the new laws will give police the tools they need to tackle the "shooting spree" that is affecting Sydney. "This is about sending a clear message that if you're wearing bikie colours, it doesn't make you beyond the reach of the law," he said. "Wearing bikie colours doesn't make you a super hero that protects you from the long arm of the law." Greater presence Commissioner Andrew Scipione says police will be making good use of the laws banning colours as soon as they become available next Friday. Mr Scipione says police are also looking forward to the changes in the Criminal Organisations Act which will give them a greater presence in tattoo parlours. The parlours will be listed a prescribed organisation, which will prevent gang members working in them. Bikie members are also banned from working in the tow truck industry, in security and in casinos. "This will allow us to get out there and do our job particularly in certain locations," he said. "This is also about assisting licensees when it comes to outlaw motorcycle gang members harassing or intimidating people - not only staff - patrons as well. "It gives the police the authority to go down there when these people have been told to leave and they refuse to quit, arrest them and if need be charge them." Mr O'Farrell says the legislation regarding tattoo parlours will be taken to cabinet on Monday. But state opposition leader John Robertson says the new measures have not been thought out properly. He says if the Premier is serious about cracking down on outlaw bikie gangs he should put more police on the streets. "This Premier needs to be sitting down with senior law enforcement officers and drawing up a plan and a strategy to bring this gun crime to an end," he said. "Yesterday we saw two shootings occur and we saw these gangs set fire to a police vehicle. "Law and order is now being run by the bikies instead of the Government in New South Wales."
Sunday, 8 April 2012
POLICE have arrested and charged another man following investigations into an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang's operations on the Coffs Coast.
Strike Force Oriental - comprising officers attached to Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command - was established in January 2011 to investigate the alleged criminal activity involving members and associates of the Lone Wolf OMCG. The Strike Force was established following a series of violent offences, including home invasions, in the region. On Thursday, a 47-year-old man attended Coffs Harbour Police Station where he was arrested. The man was subsequently charged with break, enter and commit serious indictable offence in circumstances of special aggravation and participate in criminal group. He was refused bail to appear in Coffs Harbour Local Court. Strike Force Oriental officers have now arrested fourteen people and laid 65 charges following dawn raids in Coffs Harbour, Coramba, Middle Boambee, Sawtell and Toormina last Wednesday. Further arrests are expected.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Two Hells Angels charged in the same murder case, Robert Thomas and Norman Cocks, suffered cuts and bruises in two separate fights with other gang-linked inmates.
Two fights involving gang members at the North Fraser Pre-trial Centre in the last week have escalated tensions inside the over-capacity institution. Two Hells Angels charged in the same murder case, Robert Thomas and Norman Cocks, suffered cuts and bruises in two separate fights with other gang-linked inmates. Thomas got into a punch-up with accused killer Matthew Johnston, who is charged in the Surrey Six murder case, on March 15 at the Port Coquitlam institution. Thomas was knocked out, but not taken to hospital. Johnston, who police say is a member of the Red Scorpions, was not injured. Two days later, Cocks was in a fight with Stephen Matheson, an prisoner charged with robbery who has gang links. Cocks had his nose broken and was taken to hospital for stitches, but is now back at the pre-trial centre. B.C. Corrections official Marnie Mayhew confirmed that police were not called in to investigate either of the assaults. “In those two cases, that was the decision that was made,” she said. “At the end of the day, if the individuals involved are not interested in pursuing criminal charges themselves, as is often the case with individuals in our custody, it is a decision that is made by the centre’s management as to whether or not to call the police in to investigate.” But the union that represents correctional officers says tensions between rival gangs are escalating in North Fraser and other B.C. jails, making the situation dangerous and volatile for staff. Dean Purdy, of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, said jail managers are not treating the violence seriously enough. “These types of assaults are very serious and in fact could be viewed as attempted murder in some cases, but aren’t always dealt with in this manner,” Purdy said. “The gang activity has been on the increase inside our maximum security jails and it is a concern because of the staff safety and all the implications about fallout after attacks like this and retaliation.” With staffing-prisoner ratios as high as one to 40 in North Fraser, it is difficult to keep warring groups and individuals away from each other, Purdy said. He said his members believe that if the jail used a system of “rotational lock-ups,” things would be safer. Right now inmates are only locked up when guards are on break — a half-hour for lunch and two 15-minute coffee breaks per shift. “Inmates are not locked up, but are free range in the living units coexisting with each other throughout the day,” Purdy said. “A solution to this is to go to rotational lock-ups, allowing half of the inmates out at a time and giving our correctional officers a tool to better manage the many different prisoner population groups.” But Mayhew said there are already systems in place to manage more volatile inmates. They can be placed in more secure custody inside the jail, she said, where the ratio of staff to inmates is as low as one to 10, supported by supervisors and other staff who come and go from the units. Even when there is no criminal investigation, she said, internal disciplinary measures are taken that can lead to sanctions such as loss of privileges. Mayhew said prisoner-on-prisoner violence has remained steady or decreased at North Fraser and across B.C. over the last four years. In 2008 at North Fraser, there were 264 incidents of violence between inmates, including threats, fights and assaults. Of those, 168 were prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. In 2011, there were 217 incidents total, with 143 assaults, Mayhew said. Purdy said the numbers don’t tell the whole story. “The profile of the inmates has been changing over the last five years. The type of prisoner we have now is a more violent prisoner, a younger prisoner and a more gang-affiliated prisoner,” he said. “And the violence is becoming far greater. There is also more violence against our staff.” At North Fraser alone last year, there were 40 attacks on correctional officers, he said. Other institutions are experiencing similar violence. A guard at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre had feces thrown at him last week, Purdy said. Similar attacks have been on the rise in recent months, as have been “hot butter” attacks, where inmates heat up oil or margarine in a microwave and throw it in the face of another prisoner. North Fraser was built in 1999 for 300 inmates. It now averages about 550. Mayhew said the construction of new provincial jails has already eased overcrowding over the last year. And when more new units open later this year and in 2013, the situation is expected to improve even more. “When you have a significant number of people with violent histories in custody together, there will always be a risk of violence that is present,” Mayhew said. “We will never be able to eliminate all prisoner violence. We do everything we can to mitigate the risk of violence.”
Drug dealer who turned his back on the Hells Angels when he decided to become a prosecution witness was recently returned to a penitentiary after taking a risk that jeopardized his life, The Gazette has learned. Serge Boutin, 45, a former member of a Hells Angels puppet gang called the Rockers, was given a new identity after testifying in two of the most high-profile trials in the past decade involving the biker gang’s members. As part of his deal to testify against people like Maurice (Mom) Boucher – the most powerful biker gang member in Quebec until he was convicted of murder in 2002 – Boutin reduced a first-degree murder case he was facing into a guilty plea to manslaughter. Boutin helped get Boucher convicted of murder and was a key witness in the only so-called megatrial to go all the way to a jury verdict in Operation Springtime 2001, an investigation that dismantled Boucher’s vast and violent drug trafficking network. Under his original deal, the public should have never heard from Boutin again because his identity was changed and was placed in the witness-protection program. He was granted full parole in 2007 and, according to a just-released summary of a decision made by the Parole Board of Canada, voluntarily decided to withdraw from the witness-protection program in 2010 because “you felt the framework you were subjugated to restricted your rights.” Despite being out on full parole, Boutin received a life sentence in his case and is still required to report to a parole officer. According to the summary, in recent months Boutin appeared to resent having to follow a series of conditions set by a parole officer who had consulted Boutin’s former handler in the witness-protection program. Boutin was unwilling to share information about a woman he started a relationship with and had ventured outside territorial limits he had agreed to with his parole officer. But it was something else that Boutin did, late last year, that alarmed Correctional Service Canada and produced his arrest, on Dec. 6, 2011, for having violated his parole. The thing Boutin did is redacted from a copy of the summary obtained by The Gazette. However, the summary mentions that Boutin later explained there were “no bad intentions” behind his actions. “After discussing it with your parole officer and your former controllers you have come to recognize your error in judgment although you feel the (parole) suspension was a drastic measure,” the author of the summary wrote. Boutin had a parole hearing this month held under unusual conditions. His parole officer had to appear via a video link-up to the hearing room. The parole board was advised that having spent the past three months behind bars again apparently changed Boutin’s attitude toward living as a free man while having to abide by a series of conditions. He agreed to be more transparent with his parole officer and to put more consideration into his personal safety. His case-management team also recommended that Boutin be relocated for his own safety. The two parole board members who presided over the hearing agreed to release Boutin with a warning that he be more transparent in the future. In February 2000, Boutin helped lure Claude De Serres, a man who was working undercover for the police, to a chalet in the Laurentians where he was murdered by the Hells Angels. The biker gang had discovered De Serres’s secret after stealing a laptop computer from the hotel room of a member of the Ontario Provincial Police who was in Sherbrooke to monitor a Hells Angels anniversary party. De Serres wasn’t named in the information the Hells Angels found on the computer, but they somehow realized De Serres, who grew marijuana for Boutin, was also a police snitch. Boutin was initially charged with first-degree murder in De Serres’s death but reduced the charge to manslaughter when he became a prosecution witness. He later testified that he decided to become a witness because his former boss in the Hells Angels, Normand Robitaille, apparently assumed he was one.