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Trial of six men accused of murdering Sinopoli, 30, and seven other men connected to the Greater Toronto Area chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Murdered Bandidos biker Paul Sinopoli lived modestly in a basement apartment in his parents' home in Jackson's Point, a mass murder trial heard."He certainly didn't appear to be living a lavish lifestyle," Det. Tom Dingwall of Durham Regional Police testified today."It was a very plain room for the most part," Dingwall said in the trial of six men accused of murdering Sinopoli, 30, and seven other men connected to the Greater Toronto Area chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, nicknamed "The No Surrender Crew."
Sinopoli's bullet-riddled body was found in an abandoned sport utility vehicle on the morning of April 8, 2006, left near the hamlet of Shedden.No guns, drug paraphernalia or items of much value were found in Sinopoli's room, court heard.
There were scattered papers related to his position as secretary-treasurer of the Toronto chapter of the club, with brief notations by the names of members. By the names of members who were promoted within the club was the notation, "owes a case of beer."
Sinopoli appeared to have three cellphone accounts, and there were also two black leather vests with the "Fat Mexican" crest of the Bandidos club.One of the club vests was massive, belonging to Sinopoli, whose was estimated to have weighed around 400 pounds.
The ownership of the other vest was unknown, Dingwall said.
The massive vest was returned to Sinopoli's family, so that he could be buried in it, Dingwall said.
"It was Paul's wish to be buried in the vest," Dingwall testified.
Found near Sinopoli's body in other abandoned vehicles were the bodies of Jamie Flanz, 37, of Keswick: John Muscedere, 48, of Chatham; George Jessome, 52, Luis Manny Raposo, 41, and George Kriarakis, 28, all of Toronto; Frank Salerno, 43, of Oakville; and Michael Trotta, 31, of Mississauga.Court heard that Durham Regional Police had been investigating Sinopoli for playing a role in the December 2005 murder of Shawn Douse of Keswick.Assistant Crown Attorney Fraser Kelly asked Dingwall if Douse has been an associate or member of the Hells Angels, the world's largest outlaw motorcycle club.
"Absolutely not," Dingwall replied.
Court has heard that Sinopoli had a friendly relationship with some York Region Hells Angels.The police investigator said that the Douse murder was rooted in personal tensions between Cameron Acorn of the No Surrender Crew and Douse.
"The dispute involved Shawn Douse providing drugs to Cameron Acorn's girlfriend's sister," Dingwall replied.
Facing eight first degree murder charges each are GTA Bandido Wayne Kellestine, 59, of Iona Station, west of London; Winnipeggers Michael Sandham, 39, Marcelo Aravena, 33, Brett Gardiner, 24, and Dwight Mushey, 41; and Frank Mather, 35, of no fixed address.

Leading member of the Hells Angels support group AK81, who was run down in Copenhagen

Monday, 27 April 2009

Police have found two cars involved in the hit and run of a leading member of the Hells Angels support group AK81, who was run down in Copenhagen on Sunday.Two cars and a motorbike linked to weekend gang crime incidents have been found by police in various city locationsEsben Hertz, 26, was apparently forced from his Ford Mondeo on Jagtvej Road in the Nørrebro district before being intentionally run over by a black Renault Scenic twice. Hertz is said to be in a good condition after suffering a broken arm and undergoing hip surgery.Hertz is a close friend of Jørn Jønke Nielsen, the spokesman for the Hells Angels biker gang, and has been referred to as Nielsen’s bodyguard by various media.
The Renault car used by the two perpetrators was found on nearby Tagensvej Road, while Hertz’s Ford was found burnt out in the Tingbjerg area.Police have also found the motorbike used in Saturday’s shooting, when a 20-year-old man was targeted in Nørrebro. Two men fired at least seven shots from an automatic weapon at the man as he sat in a car. The man escaped with minor injuries to his buttocks. The burnt out bike was found in Holbæk, west of the city.The latest string of incidents in the gang conflict between bikers and immigrant gangs comes after a heavy police crackdown, which saw 50 days of peace in the city.

Suspected outlaw motorcycle gang member Paul Cameron Stainer charged with possession of a dangerous drug in the form of methylamphetamines.

Suspected outlaw motorcycle gang member Paul Cameron Stainer was granted bail and will re-appear in court on June 10.The 36-year-old New Zealander appeared in Maroochydore District Court today charged with possession of a dangerous drug in the form of methylamphetamines.He was one of at least 15 people arrested on Wednesday charged with a total of 35 drug-related charges in a large police operation which allegedly netted more than $250,000 in illicit drugs and more than $500,000 in cash.
Restraint orders were also placed on more than $2.5 million worth of property and assets.Another man arrested in Wednesday’s raids, William Fredericis Barker, 45, was charged with dealing with proceeds of crime worth more than $100,000 and possession of a substance, equipment or documents for manufacturing a controlled drug with intention to sell.

Sylvain Boulanger,signed a contract that will see him paid a total of $2.9-million over the course of the agreement

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sylvain Boulanger, 45, a retired member of the gang's Sherbrooke chapter who decided to begin giving evidence to investigators with the Regional Integrated Squads, signed a contract that will see him paid a total of $2.9-million over the course of the agreement, The Montreal Gazette has learned. It is believed to be the largest contract awarded to an informant in Quebec.Details of Mr. Boulanger's 19-page contract came from a source familiar with the Operation SharQc investigation and were confirmed through similar sources.Madeleine Giauque, the lead prosecutor in Operation SharQc was unavailable for comment Wednesday.Mr. Boulanger was recruited by police in 2006 and agreed to officially co-operate with investigators by June 12, 2006. The contract was signed on Sept. 21, 2007, and Mr. Boulanger received $300,000 upon signing. The contract called for him to be paid another $600,000 when more than 120 gang members and associates were rounded up last week. Almost the entire membership of the gang's five chapters in Quebec face charges in the investigation. As of Wednesday afternoon, 24 full-patch members and another three gang associates were still being sought. In all, 156 people face charges in Operation SharQc. Mr. Boulanger is also scheduled to receive four annual payments of $400,000 each over the next four years, during which he would be expected to testify in trials that emerge from Operation SharQc. A fifth payment of $400,000 will be paid out once all the court cases are settled.Mr. Boulanger's contract would pay him significantly more than the $1.75-million promised to Dany Kane, a Hells Angels underling who worked undercover while under contract with provincial police. As a member of the Rockers, a now-defunct Hells Angels affiliate gang, Mr. Kane was able to provide investigators with inside information during Operation Springtime in 2001. Kane signed the contract on March 14, 2000 but took his own life months later.At the time, Mr. Kane's contract was believed to be the largest agreed to with an informant in Quebec. However, the details behind such contracts are rarely made public.Because of the trials expected in the near future, representatives from the Regional Integrated Squads are unable to comment on Mr. Boulanger's contract.But a police source familiar with investigations into organized crime said using informants is necessary."It takes something very special to infiltrate a group like the Hells Angels. The police can't do it because during the investigation an informant might be expected to commit certain crimes. We can't place our own people in a gang like that," he said.
According to various sources, Mr. Boulanger has given investigators in Operation SharQc access to the details of meetings the Hells Angels held in July 1994, when membership across the province voted in favour of the gang war that followed. Mr. Boulanger became a full-patch member in 1993, a year before the vote was taken.
The gang's Montreal-based Nomads chapter fought a bloody war with an umbrella group called the Alliance, over control of drug turf in Montreal and Quebec City for roughly eight years. The indictment filed in Operation SharQc last week includes 22 counts of murder involving homicides carried out within the context of the war. The Crown's case will focus in part, on a section of the Criminal Code that covers parties to an offence who "form an intention in common to carry out an unlawful purpose and to assist each other therein."
As sergeant-at-arms for the Sherbrooke chapter, Mr. Boulanger had access to how every other chapter voted at that crucial moment. He reportedly retired from the gang in 2001. During the investigation, Mr. Boulanger gave investigators 23 videotaped statements and supplied piles of written statements.

Rebels bikie gang were the target of 49 raids

Rebels bikie gang were the target of 49 raids across Australia on Thursday, with 27 people arrested on drug and weapons charges.
Police swooped on homes in Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT is a series of coordinated dawn raids.
Nearly 250 officers were involved in rounding up the Rebels members and their "associates". Some of those arrested will face court on Friday. Police seized drugs, including methlyamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, banned weapons, cash, child pornography and stolen vehicles. They also found a large amount of gold "suspected of having been stolen". "The success of this operation is attributable to the high level of cooperation between jurisdictions and information received from members of the public," Detective Superintendent Des Bray of the Crime Gangs Task Force in South Australia said. Thirteen people were charged with 32 offences in Western Australia. Queensland police charged three men and a woman following raids in Mount Isa, Townsville, Rockhampton, Moura and Gladstone. In Canberra, three men were charged, two aged 24 and another aged 33. South Australian police on Thursday night said they wouldn't confirm they'd arrested seven people. The arrests in the ACT come a week after a man accused of shooting dead a senior Rebels member pleaded not guilty to his murder. Russell Field, 20, is facing two counts of murder following the double shooting of senior Rebels member Richard Roberts and his associate Gregory Carrigan in March. The bodies were found at a residence in Canberra's south, one in front of the home and the other in the backyard. Earlier this week, NSW police said more than 50 outlaw motorcycle gang members had been arrested since they formed Strike Force Raptor following a deadly brawl at Sydney Airport between the Hells Angels and Comanchero gangs. Raptor targets the illegal activities of gangs and aims to prevent violence by bikie members. "This is on the ground, in your face policing," NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly said on Tuesday.

30 bikers fought inside a terminal building in January 2008

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

30 bikers fought inside a terminal building in January 2008, Birmingham Crown Court was told. The prosecution said onlookers were left frightened and distressed following the battle between members of the Hells Angels and Outlaws gangs. Twelve men deny charges of riot and an alternative charge of violent disorder.
Timothy Raggatt QC said the weapons were recovered after the violence during the evening of 20 January. He told the court the two groups had a long-standing rivalry. "In the course of what happened, a variety or, in some cases quite alarming, weapons were used. "There were knives produced, there was certainly a machete produced and there were various blunt instruments," he said. He said a number of people involved were injured, although no members of the public were hurt. Seven of the men on trial are Outlaw members. The other five are known to be Hells Angels.
Mark Larner, 47, of Upper Gornal, West Midlands, Maurice Ison, 52, address withheld, Paul Arlett, 35, of Cradley Heath, Kevin Timmins, 28, of Sedgley, Robert Haywood, 46, address withheld, Mark Price, 50, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Sean Timmins, 38, of Coven, Staffordshire, Leornard Hawthorne, 52, of Wolverhampton, Mark Moseley, 45, of Yardley, Birmingham, Jeremy Ball, 46, address withheld, Marc Wilden, 44, from Coventry and Neale Harrison, 46, of Bell Green, Coventry, deny the charges.

Arrested Ricky John Perceval, a key Bikie leader, in south-west Sydney and recovered huge money and drug stash.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Arrested Ricky John Perceval, a key Bikie leader, in south-west Sydney and recovered huge money and drug stash. A horrific murder at Sydney Airport late last month stirred the police into action. A 29-year-old Anthony Zervas was bludgeoned to death by up to 20 men as travellers and families watched on in horror at Qantas's T3 terminal.The attack on March 22 was the latest chapter in an ongoing war between bikie gangs the Hells Angels and the Commancheros. While the man killed at the airport was from the Hells Angels, Perceval, now arrested following a tip-off from public, is said to belong to the Commancheros. Police from Strike Force Raptor, discovered $205,000 in cash, 450 grams of the drug 'ice', cocaine, cannabis, a Taser, seven registered guns, knives and ammunition during the raid.
Perceval, 49, was kept in custody overnight and charged with drug supply and possession offences, possessing a prohibited weapon and dealing with the proceeds of crime. He appeared in Parramatta Bail Court via video link this morning and did not apply for bail.
His lawyer, Alexander Reetov, said Perceval would apply for bail in Liverpool Local Court this Thursday. After the hearing, New South Wales Gangs Squad Commander Mal Lanyon said the methylamphetamine, or 'ice', seized was worth about $140,000. "In totality, it obviously shows that it was a large-scale operation," he said.

Members of Notorious bikie gang attacked jailed Bandido Abdul Bagdadi

Five guards have been injured in a brawl between jailed bikies in Sydney's Parklea prison.News Limited reports members of Notorious bikie gang attacked jailed Bandido Abdul Bagdadi during a morning muster on Friday.One prison guard suffered a broken finger while others suffered cuts and bruises and required hospital treatment.News Limited reports the attack was premeditated .. with inmates using makeshift weapons including sharpened toothbrushes.Bagdadi knew he was going to be attacked and wore three layers of clothing as protection, he suffered only minor injuries.Last week up to 80 bikie inmates were transferred between Sydney jails in a bid to avoid the ongoing feuding.

Comanchero City Crew president, Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, yesterday said the level of violence in the airport attack was "extreme".

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Comanchero City Crew president, Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, yesterday said the level of violence in the airport attack was "extreme". About 150 statements have been made to police from people who witnessed the incident, the court was told.One witness on the aircraft that was carrying some of the bikies allegedly involved described watching Hawi make a gesture to the Hells Angels Sydney Chapter president, Derek Wainohu, who was seated several rows ahead of him."[A] witness observed [Hawi] call out something to Derek Wainohu," the document stated."[They] observed Wainohu turn around and [Hawi] then put his left hand up to his face and pull the skin under his eye down slightly with his finger to reveal the pink of his eye … He then pointed to his eyeball with another finger on the same hand."The document also stated Hawi held a man on the ground while another man kicked the pinned person. Hawi will now apply for bail on Thursday week. He will remain on remand until then.

Comanchero member was arrested at his Hurstville home last night and charged with supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine

Comanchero member was arrested at his Hurstville home last night and charged with supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine. He will face Sutherland Local Court today.Police also uncovered an amphetamine factory in a Batemans Bay house that was allegedly linked to the Rebels. Three people, two men and a woman, were arrested at the house and were being questioned.Simultaneous raids were also carried out on homes and businesses in Taren Point, Sutherland, Arncliffe, Oatley, Hurlstone Park, Dulwich Hill and Leppington in a search for drugs and firearms. The Taren Point raid was on the Cronulla Chapter of the Rebels club while the Sutherland raid was on a tattoo shop, police said.As investigations into a fatal brawl at Sydney Airport continued, the Hells Angel member who was shot eight times in an assassination attempt has walked out of hospital after only a week and waved away police offers of protection.Peter Zervas, 35, left St George Public Hospital on Monday night, only days after being operated on for bullet wounds to his right shoulder, torso, hip and foot. He still has several bullets inside him.Detectives investigating the death of his brother, Anthony Zervas, during the brawl at Sydney Airport last month spoke to him during his hospital stay, but he is understood to have consistently refused to give a statement about the shooting.

Armed police arrested six people to break up what they said was a cocaine and amphetamine syndicate linked to the Comanchero and Rebels bikie

Armed police arrested six people to break up what they said was a cocaine and amphetamine syndicate linked to the Comanchero and Rebels bikie clubs. Eight properties in Sydney and the South Coast, including the Taren Point clubhouse of the Rebels Cronulla chapter, were raided simultaneously.Two men linked to the Rebels, aged 22 and 23, were arrested at a St Peters McDonald's. Police allegedly found a large amount of drugs and charged the men with supplying a commercial quantity of drugs.Both men will face Newtown Local Court today.

Jayme Russell alleged leader of the local chapter of the Independent Soldiers is expected to return to a Kamloops courtroom

alleged leader of the local chapter of the Independent Soldiers is expected to return to a Kamloops courtroom today to be sentenced after he was convicted earlier this year of drug trafficking.Jayme Russell’s sentencing comes days after another high-ranking Independent Soldier — Kelowna resident Donald Lyons — was handed more than eight years in prison for his part in another drug-trafficking ring.On Jan. 20, a judge found Russell, 27, guilty of conspiring to sell a kilogram of cocaine to a pair of undercover Mounties in 2007.At trial, the man Kamloops RCMP have called the leader of the local cell of the Independent Soldiers said he had no idea where to get drugs, and was joking when he agreed to sell a kilogram for $35,000.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers called Russell’s story “simply incredible” and refused to accept his evidence.Lyons, 36, pleaded guilty in Winnipeg Friday to trafficking cocaine to undercover cops in a separate investigation, and was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison.
Lawyers there have said the Independent Soldiers are connected with the Hells Angels in B.C., citing wire-tapped phone calls in which a high-ranking Hells Angels member in Kelowna said the two gangs “look after” each other.Lester Jones, the vice-president of the Kelowna Hells Angels chapter, was close friends with Lyons, and was sentenced last summer to 10 years in jail for his part in the dope-dealing scheme.
Russell had been free on bail since last spring, when attempted murder charges against him were stayed after witnesses refused to testify against him and he was released from custody.However, he was arrested March 10 at the conclusion of another undercover RCMP investigation and is now facing four new charges — three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and a lone possession for the purpose of trafficking charge.At a press conference the following day, Kamloops Mounties said they seized three kilograms of cocaine, a loaded handgun, body armour, three vehicles and thousands of dollars in cash in connection with the sting.Russell is not expected to seek bail.

Five members or associates of the Gypsy Jokers were arrested and charged with various offences.

Five members or associates of the Gypsy Jokers were arrested and charged with various offences.A 34-year-old club member was charged with 13 offences including illegally possessing a firearm, possessing prohibited weapons and possessing equipment to make amphetamines.The 34-year-old was charged following the discovery of a locked trunk at Peterborough in the state's mid-north which contained an arsenal of weapons including pistols, sawn-off shotguns, rifles, swords, other knives, ammunition and recipes for making bombs, police said.A separate raid at Carpenter Rocks in the state's southeast resulted in a 51-year-old man being charged with drugs offences after a search of his house discovered 11 pounds of cannabis and another 12 cannabis plants growing hydroponically.

Ernie Dew was arrested in February 2006 after being double-crossed by Atanasovic, who agreed to infiltrate the outlaw motorcycle gang

Ernie Dew appeared before the Court of Appeal today, seeking a new trial based on alleged errors made by the judge last year. If he loses that argument, Dew wants his 13-year prison sentence reduced on the grounds it is harsh and excessive.The province’s highest court has reserved its decision.Dew, 49, was caught in an elaborate undercover sting operation doing four separate kilogram-level cocaine deals with his former friend turned police agent Franco Atanasovic. They were captured on audio and video surveillance.
Dew had asked for a sentence between seven and eight years. He also agreed to serve an additional year behind bars if he doesn't pay a $31,000 fine and will forfeit his home in St. Andrews, where some of the drug deals went downDew was arrested in February 2006 after being double-crossed by Atanasovic, who agreed to infiltrate the outlaw motorcycle gang and work undercover as a police agent. Police arrested a dozen other targets as part of "Project Defence."

President of the Santa Barbara Hells Angels pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegations that he brandished a firearm at a motorcyclist

President of the Santa Barbara Hells Angels pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegations that he brandished a firearm at a motorcyclist in the Ojai Valley in January.Archie Schaffer, who is out of jail on $160,000 bail, is charged with making criminal threats, street terrorism, reckless driving and committing a crime for the benefit of the Hells Angels. He is also accused of using a firearm in the commission of a crime.Investigators say Schaffer, 35, was in a pickup truck heading north on Highway 33 at Casitas Springs on Jan. 17, when he began tailgating a group of motorcyclists. He allegedly forced one motorcycle into oncoming traffic and brandished a firearm at two other motorcyclists, according to investigators.He was arrested Jan. 30.Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Young set a preliminary hearing for April 21.“These allegations against Archie are preposterous,” Schaffer’s lawyer, Anthony Zinnanti of Santa Clarita, said in an interview.He told the judge that he wants a hearing because he plans to file a legal petition asking a judge to stop the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department from conducting a series of searches at his client’s house in Ojai, including pointing guns at young children, the attorney said.Outside the courtroom, Zinnanti accused sheriff’s deputies of misconduct by knocking down doors, frightening the family, destroying property and what he called “trophy taking” during four searches that were conducted in April 2008, twice in January and once in March.Schaffer’s father, Archie Schaffer Sr., said the children and a baby sitter were in the house when one of the search warrants was executed.
Asked for a response, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Capt. Ross Bonfiglio expressed skepticism. “I tend to doubt (the allegations),” Bonfiglio said, adding that he knows of no complaint filed against the Sheriff’s Department by anyone in connection with the case. “We get a complaint, we investigate,” he said.Zinnanti said the deputies took office equipment, including the top of a printer and a fax machine, along with a leather vest, miscellaneous papers and drawings, a Hells Angel calendar and other items. He said no guns or drugs were found at Schaffer’s residence — “nothing incriminating,” he said.“The club ain’t going to take this lying down. This is a legal war,” said Zinnanti, calling the search warrants extremely abusive.

Michael Paul Uzzell,was arrested in March after a bikie-related shooting at Blair Athol.

Michael Paul Uzzell, 49, has been released on bail by Holden Hill Magistrates Court in Adelaide.He is still facing several firearms offences and will appear in court again in June.The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions would not comment on why the attempted murder charge was dropped.Uzzell was arrested in March after a bikie-related shooting at Blair Athol.

Torture and brutality in the Bandidos Motorcycle Club murder trial.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Six gang members or associates are now on trial in Ontario Superior Court here in connection with the deaths of eight fellow Bandidos in April three years ago. All of the accused men face eight counts each of first-degree murder and all are pleading not guilty.Since the discovery of the bodies, stuffed into four vehicles abandoned on a country road southwest of London, the deaths have been widely described as execution-style killings, a term which evokes a picture of crisp if not merciful efficiency.Earlier this week, for instance,

Elgin County Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey told the jurors in his opening statement that most of the men died of gunshot wounds to the head, most delivered at close range. And a day later, jurors saw for the first time close-up photographs of the men's bloody and fatal head wounds. But what they learned yesterday was that one of the victims, Luis (Chopper) Raposo also had his right middle finger amputated and that another, John (Boxer) Muscedere, the supposed Canadian president of the Bandidos, was not only shot three times, but also suffered multiple fractured teeth and severe abrasions to both knees, the reasonable inference that he had been forced to kneel at some point.As well, another victim, 28-year-old George (Crash) Kriarkis was shot no fewer than seven times - four times in the face or head and once each in the shoulder, chest and abdomen.

Mr. Kriarkis's mother was in court yesterday when Ontario Provincial Police Constable Ross Stuart, the main forensic identification officer on the case, was describing the men's injuries as the jurors watched a slide show of pictures documenting them. She fell weeping into the arms of friends and once cried aloud, "Why?"Another victim, Frank (Bam Bam) Salerno, was shot at no fewer than nine times.Five of the shots connected - one to the bridge of his nose, another to his right cheek, another to his right ear, one to his right hand and one to the right thigh. Three more grazed his lower right leg, another grazed the top of his right hand.In total, not counting any that may have missed the mark, 33 shots were fired at the eight victims.In addition to gunshot wounds, Constable Stuart said, many of the men suffered other lacerations or abrasions, several to their wrists or hands, sometimes interpreted as wounds incurred when people try to defend themselves. Other injuries, such as the laceration to the top of Jamie (Goldberg) Flanz's head, may have been inflicted by the alleged ringleader of the plot, Wayne (Wiener) Kellestine, whom Mr. Gowdey described as having kicked one victim in the face and hit another, all the while dancing and singing bizarrely.According to the prosecutor, all the victims were members or associates of the tiny Toronto Bandidos branch called the No Surrender Crew.
With the Toronto branch on the outs with the group's head office in Texas, and also embroiled in an internal battle for control with a probationary Bandidos group in Winnipeg, the decision was made to "pull the patches" of the Toronto crew, leaving Winnipeg as the only Canadian chapter.Mr. Kellestine, who reportedly had aligned himself with the Winnipeg group, is alleged to have lured his Toronto colleagues to his farm, located just 14 kilometres from the site where the vehicles crammed with bodies were later found.
He and his five co-accused - Michael (Taz) Sandham, Dwight (Dee) Mushey and Marcello Aravena, all from Winnipeg, and Frank Mather from Toronto - allegedly donned gloves and armed themselves in preparation for the patch-pulling, with Mr. Sandham, a former police officer and soldier, allegedly hiding in the loft of the barn where the meeting was held.After a brief exchange of gunfire between Mr. Raposo and Mr. Sandham - it left the former bleeding from the neck and chest and the latter complaining his bulletproof vest had been hit - Mr. Gowdey said the rest of the Toronto Bandidos were searched and held at gunpoint."In the hours that followed," Mr. Gowdey told the jurors, the remaining men "were taken outside, unarmed, and shot one by one in their vehicles ... Not everyone [who is accused] actually shot and killed, but everyone participated and contributed ... People who deliberately help or encourage killing may be equally guilty as those who pulled the trigger."The revelations of the apparent cruelty of the men's deaths came late yesterday, and could not have contrasted more with the testimony of the morning.These early witnesses - several OPP officers who were first on the scene, a paramedic who had the unenviable task of checking the bodies for signs of life and who found instead in some the onset of rigor mortis - included a gentle woman named Mary Steele.She lives with her husband on the Stafford Line, near where the abandoned cars were found on April 8, 2006. Retired dairy farmers, the Steeles learned that there were cars on and near their property when at the breakfast table they got a call from a neighbour, an older man who every morning brought the day's newspaper over.She described this man, Forbes Oldham, as one of the retired farmers who, used to the early hours of rural life, routinely keep boredom at bay by going on "crop tours" of the area.
Eventually, the Steeles went to check out the cars themselves, albeit from a distance because, as Mrs. Steele said, "My husband and I watch CSI. We decided we weren't going to touch anything."
They phoned the police - twice, in fact - and were on the road when they heard the first officer cry that he'd found a body and learned that CSI was at their doorstep.

Cedric Baxter Smith, one of 17 full-patch members of the Vancouver chapter of the Hells Angels, has not been heard from since May 2008

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Cedric Baxter Smith, one of 17 full-patch members of the Vancouver chapter of the Hells Angels, has not been heard from since the 2008 May long weekend.His last credit card transaction was May 21, and there has been no activity in his bank accounts or cellphone. He is presumed to have been killed, perhaps by Hells Angels associates, after Smith fell for the ruse of an undercover RCMP officer in a covert drug operation. Dubbed Project Essen, it led to the arrests of 10 gang members in 2005, including Smith and Norman Krogstad, president of the Vancouver chapter.Smith's beloved car collection, possibly worth more than $1 million, will be auctioned off in Calgary on April 24 and 25. Among them is a 1937 Cadillac Fleetwood that was used at the ceremonial opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. As befitting a Hells Angels biker, many of Smith's 11 vehicles are Al Capone-era "gangster" cars, including a black 1936 Cadillac, a dark maroon 1936 Lincoln and a dark blue 1938 Buick.Smith's vehicles will be sold along with 26 more antique autos from two other estates. The 37 vehicles represent what Car Crazy auction house owner Harold Heninger says might be "the finest collection of vintage autos ever offered for sale in Alberta."Heninger says Smith's vehicles could sell for between $50,000 and $100,000 each.
But he is uncertain what they might fetch in the current economy.
"There is no reserve. They will all be sold," he says.Heninger, whose auction service (www.carcrazy.ca) has been operating for 20 years, previously sold Smith's 1934 Pierce Arrow-- "the Bonnie and Clyde car" -- for $100,000. Another Pierce Arrow is available at the auction. Mark Smith, who was in Calgary this month, said he has no idea what happened to his brother and won't speculate. The family, he said, had no choice but to sell Cedric's cars, even though his brother cannot be declared legally dead under B.C. law until seven years after his disappearance.Cedric, who never married and had no children, did not own the property where the cars were housed and the family had to clear them out, says Mark. Cedric's three siblings say they plan to put the proceeds from the auction into an account in their brother's name and hope that one day he shows up.Mark says Cedric was a skilled auto body repairman who built his car collection for more than 30 years. The family says they do not condone his Hells Angels affiliation and were shocked to learn of his arrest in 2005 at age 55 for drug trafficking. When arrested, police found $73,000 in cash at his home.Smith was cultivated by the RCMP undercover agent for two years, beginning in 2003, who was soon buying kilos of cocaine from the senior Hells Angel member. Smith was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail. Released early on good behaviour, he had been out of jail for about year when spotted by his Hells Angels brethren. A chapter member phoned RCMP to say that Smith had met "with foul play."
Before his disappearance, Smith had taken responsibility for his crimes and knew he could not go back to selling drugs, Mark says.
Heninger says it is obvious from the condition of the vehicles that Smith was meticulous about his restoration work."He apparently took all the door locks apart, polished all the screws, and put them back together. His buddies say he was crazy about it. When he was working on a project, he'd live on nothing but Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts until he finished. He was a bit obsessive."

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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