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Monday, 23 May 2011

Hells Angels guilty of drug offences

Five Hells Angels motorcycle gang members face sentencing Tuesday on drug-related charges laid four years ago, one of their lawyers said Sunday.

But after hearing evidence since November, Lenny Hochberg said a Toronto jury found them not guilty of charges of association with a criminal organization.

“These jurors were there for six months,” said the lawyer with Hochberg Criminal Defence Group, on Bay St.

He estimated it took about 135 days to hear from witnesses and for evidence to be presented in a University Ave. courtroom.

John “Winner” Neal, 60, president of the downtown Toronto Hells Angels Club, vice-presidents Larry Pooler, 60, and Douglas Myles, 54 — plus members Mehrdad “Juicy” Bahman, 49, and Lorne Campbell, 62 — faced a total of almost 40 criminal conspiracy charges tied to the trafficking of cocaine, liquid Ecstasy and guns.

David Atwell, a former “full-patch member” who became a paid police informant, aided in the seizure of the Eastern Ave. clubhouse and arrest of dozens of people in raids in April, 2007 during Project Develop.

The trial exposed the outlawed gang’s inner-workings and fears of informants.

Hochberg, who represented Bahman, said his client remains in custody after being found not guilty of 15 charges.

Bahman, Neal and Myles remain in custody and Pooler, who represented himself, remains under house arrest. Campbell is free on his own recognizance.

Hochberg said the case was “probably one of the first jury trials” involving a not guilty finding for people accused of association with a criminal organization.


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