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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.”

Hells Angels informant compromised witness-protection identity


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.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Hells Angel and rival tussle at Belmont coffee shop

A dispute that started when two rival bike gang members -- one a Hells Angel -- faced off in San Mateo County jail, turned violent when the men ran into each other in front of a Belmont coffee shop, prosecutors said Monday. Now 40-year-old Orlando Jesus Rodriguez, a member of the Wanted motorcycle gang, faces two felony charges for reportedly clubbing a Hells Angel with a crowbar. He pleaded not guilty Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court to assault with a deadly weapon and committing a felony for gang purposes, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. The unidentified Hells Angel got into an argument with Rodriguez, who was being held on suspicion of domestic violence, while both men were locked up in early March. Prosecutors said the Hells Angels and Wanted bikers are locked in a violent rivalry. Rodriguez next came across the Hells Angel as he was having a cup of coffee in front of a Peet's Coffee & Tea on El Camino Real on March 6. Prosecutors say he then swung a crowbar at the Hells Angels' head, which the victim blocked. The blow left the Hells Angels member with a broken arm, prosecutors said. As Rodriguez was walking back to his car he purportedly said, "Are you still claiming Hells Angels?" Rodriguez is due back in court April 2 and is being held in lieu of $250,000.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Brother's Speed is an affiliate of Hell's Angels alleged motorcycle gang leader pushes to suppress info


An alleged motorcycle gang leader who is facing multiple charges from a shooting incident is asking that the guns seen in his vehicle be left out of discussion at an upcoming jury trial. Joby Bealmer was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on October 19th after 911 dispatchers received three calls about allegedly hearing a man yelling he was going to kill someone and then firing shots. Flathead County Sheriff's Department deputies responded and reported seeing three firearms in Bealmer's vehicle. Bealmer's defense is asking the information be left out of the jury trial because they believe that information is irrelevant. But, prosecutors say they simply want to acknowledge the observation of firearms. Bealmer's defense also stated during a hearing on Wednesday that he is a member of the motorcycle club called Brother's Speed, but the group should not be considered to be a gang. But Flathead County Sheriff's Sargent Keith Stahlberg told the court Brother's Speed is an affiliate of Hell's Angels.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

TWO men who allegedly belong to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang have been charged over a brawl at Woodbine

TWO men who allegedly belong to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang have been charged over a brawl at Woodbine in September last year. Officers from the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Raptor have been investigating the brawl in a fast food car park at Woodbine on September 4, 2011. Following extensive inquiries, police searched a house in Steveys Forest Road, Oakdale, shortly before 7am today. They seized a revolver, a semi-automatic pistol and two rifles, as well as ammunition and cannabis. A man, 50, was charged with affray, assault, and firearms and drug offences. He was refused bail to face Campbelltown Local Court this afternoon. A second man, 23, was charged with affray and armed with intent to commit indictable offence. He was granted conditional bail to face Campbelltown Local Court on April 11. A woman was released pending further inquiries. Strike Force Raptor was established by State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad in 2009 to target outlaw motorcycle gangs and any associated criminal enterprises.

Bikie caught with $3400 stuffed between his buttocks

A bikie has been charged after police allegedly found thousands of dollars wedged between his buttocks, as well as 300 ecstasy pills and $22,000 in cash hidden in the dashboard of a car. Two Rebel bikie gang members were in a Lexus when they were stopped by police on Atkinson Road, Taren Point, in Sydney's south, about 8.30pm yesterday. The two men were driving back to the local Rebels' clubhouse, police said. Advertisement: Story continues below Police searched the car, allegedly finding a hidden compartment in the dashboard. The cavity allegedly contained the ecstasy pills and the cash. The men were arrested and taken to Sutherland police station where a follow-up search allegedly revealed more money. One man was holding $3400 in notes of "various denominations" between his buttocks, police said. The arrests were part of Operation Spartan, which was established in January to investigate gun crime and organised gangs across Sydney. Sutherland duty officer Ryan Anning said police were targeting the Atkinson Road location because it is known Rebel territory. A 24-year-old man was charged with supplying a prohibited drug, goods in custody and recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime. He will appear in Sutherland Local Court today. The other man, 25, was released without charge, pending further inquiries.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama


Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama, according to media reports. However, officials from the Surete du Quebec and RCMP were not immediately able to confirm or deny the reports. According to the RCMP, Smith is a member of the South Chapter of the Hells Angels and goes by the nickname "L'animal." He has been on the run since 2009 in connection with a police crackdown on the Hells Angels biker gang. He faces 29 criminal charges - including 22 murder charges. Citing Panamanian local media and Agence France-Presse, the QMI news agency reported that Smith, 49, had been detained by police Friday evening in the Playa Coronado region, on the Pacific Ocean coast of the Central American nation. A Canada-wide warrant issued by the RCMP said he was being sought for murder, gangsterism, drug trafficking and related conspiracy charges. His Central American connections were known to authorities. "Smith is likely to visit Panama and speaks French," the warrant stated. Const. Erique Gasse of the RCMP's C Division in Montreal said he had relayed a request for official word on Smith's status to RCMP officials in Ottawa, who did not immediately return a phone call. Asked for confirmation of the arrest report, Surete du Quebec spokesperson Sgt. Christine Coulombe said: "I have no information on this." Smith is "considered to be violent," according to the warrant. Aside from "L'animal," his aliases have included Mike Smith-Lajoie, Michel Lajoie-Smit and Michel Lajoie. The warrant describes Smith as 172 centimetres tall and weighing 95 kilograms, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang member pleads guilty


Allan "Dog" Hunter, 33, of Chicago, was present during the March 6, 2011, shooting death of Javell T. Thornton, 32, also of Chicago, at 126 South Main St. according to a federal indictment. As part of his plea, Hunter, a member of the Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang, admitted Thursday in federal court that he conspired with other members of the gang to dispose of several firearms after the shooting. WOS was in Marion for a meeting at a private motorcycle club. In the early morning hours of March 6, a fight at the gang's after-hours party spilled onto the sidewalk on South Main Street. When the dust settled, three men were injured with stab and gunshot wounds, and Thornton was dead. The federal indictment states that Anthony R. Robinson shot three victims in the back as they fled the party, killing Thornton and seriously injuring another. Hunter reportedly fired a handgun indiscriminately into the crowd while wearing a bulletproof vest. Robinson has been indicted on one count of murder in aid of racketeering activity and one count of attempt to commit murder in aid of racketeering, along with other federal charges for murder and racketeering activities in other states, according to the federal indictment. Eighteen members of the WOS were indicted on federal charges June 9, 2011. One member allegedly stabbed another person in the head during a fight at a Chicago motorcycle club, then shot another in the stomach. The indictment says gang members are required to carry weapons - mostly guns, but also hammers, knives and other weapons.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hells Angels bikie war will explode in Kings Cross.


POLICE investigating the Hells Angels have launched a new taskforce amid fears a full-blown bikie war will explode in Kings Cross. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the operation, code-named Strike Force Cheviot, was set up after 40 to 50 members of the Hells Angels descended on the red-light district last month. Police believe the "unprecedented" act may have been designed to send a message to rival bikie group Nomads, which have long controlled security in the area. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, commander of the NSW Gangs Squad, said police had been watching the situation closely since the February 5 incident. "Yes, we are aware and monitoring the situation with what happened at Kings Cross that night with the Hells Angels", Mr Katsogiannis told The Sunday Telegraph. "It was an unprecedented act from the Hells Angels and that's why it's important the Gangs Squad involved ourselves from the beginning. "Safety of the community is our top priority and we will not be allowing any OMCGs (outlaw motorcycle gangs) to carry on with that type of behaviour". Police are investigating a possible outbreak of violence between the Nomads and the Hells Angels, who have been on an expansion and recruitment drive for months around Sydney. It is one of several lines of inquiry being probed by Cheviot detectives. They are also looking at a credible allegation that Hells Angels members went to Kings Cross to confront a member of the Nomads clan who works in the area. The man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, was formerly a member of the Hells Angels but "patched over" several months ago. Since then he has been performing unofficial security tasks for nightclub premises in Kings Cross, including venues aligned with local identity John Ibrahim. Law enforcement sources said when the Hells Angels descended on the nightspot they arranged themselves across the road from a club where the man was believed to be working, and demanded he come outside. "That forms part of several lines of inquiry we are looking at," Mr Katsogiannis said, adding that officers from Strike Force Raptor were patrolling Kings Cross on the night of the incident and quelled the situation. "If they (Raptor police) didn't intervene at the time, it could have been a lot worse". Police have connected the Nomads member with some of the recent shootings across southwestern Sydney, all of which are under investigation. In November, The Sunday Telegraph revealed the individual was the target of a drive-by attack at an Oporto restaurant in Merrylands, which occurred two days after he was released from custody. Mr Katsogiannis said Strike Force Cheviot officers, would continue weekend patrols of Kings Cross to prevent any outbreaks of violence for "as long as it takes".


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