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"chairman of the board" of a multi-million dollar drug smuggling operation was handed a five-year sentence in a Seattle courtroom Friday morning.

"chairman of the board" of a multi-million dollar drug smuggling operation was handed a five-year sentence in a Seattle courtroom Friday morning.

Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik told Jody York the smuggling ring was "a major drug organization that had a terrible impact on lower British Columbia and this part of the U.S. . . . Your kids and other people's kids are the ones that suffer when a community is riddled with violence the way Vancouver, B.C. is."

However, he credited York, 36, for leaving the violent drug gang before others were arrested in 2008.

He noted that York would have been serving a much-higher sentence if he had not struck a plea bargain and surrendered himself to U.S. authorities.

York, who has been associated to both the Hells Angels and Independent Soldiers gangs, told Lasnik his criminal connections have been exaggerated by police and the media.

His "managing director" in the drug ring, Edward "Skeeter" Russell got handed a 4.5 years behind bars, three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.

Russell, who has both Canadian and American citizenship, told Lasnik he got roped in by the lure of money.

"It was a great feeling. They are great guys," he said of co-conspirators York and Rob Shannon.

"You just don't think of the hundreds of people you hurt along the way."

Prosecutors asserted the two men, allied with the Hells Angels, trafficked thousands of pounds of marijuana and cocaine across the U.S./Canada border.

The marijuana was moved south into the States in PVC pipes, hollowed-out logs, wood chips and hidden compartments in tractor-trailer rigs.

The leader of the conspiracy, Rob Shannon who operated a Fraser Valley trucking company with York, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March 2009.

Shannon and Abbotsford car dealer Devron Quast were arrested in June 2008, following a three-year undercover investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of BC Bud and about $3.5 million.

Quast, who testified at Shannon's trial, was sentenced to more than six years in jail in July 2009.

York and Russell were taken into custody immediately after their sentencing.

"I did the hardest thing in the world yesterday - I had to say good-bye to my two kids," York said as his wife wept in the gallery.

Five other men associated with the drug ring were also sentenced Friday.

Andrew Hall, 33, and Darren Hotner, 42, both from Abbotsford were both handed $5,000 fines, 120 hours community service and two years probation.

Hall, who loaded up the clandestine compartments in trucks and campers with drugs, told the court York and Shannon were his friends and he provided them manual labour only.

Lasnik said he thought Hall was more deeply involved than he claimed, but was still willing to take a chance on him.

Hotner's Abbotsford farm was used as a site to load and hide the marijuana before it was transported.

Bryan Hanna, of Vancouver, was handed a yearlong sentence in jail, but was allowed to return to B.C.for a medical appointment related to some recent seizures.

He told Lasnik he got lured in by the money, a total of $50,000, while working as a car salesman.

The final Canadian, Frederick Davey, 63, was sentenced to one-year probation.

Nineteen Hells Angels members and associates remain on the lam nearly two years after they escaped the biggest biker bust in Canadian history.

Nineteen Hells Angels members and associates remain on the lam nearly two years after they escaped the biggest biker bust in Canadian history. 

The names and faces of the wanted men have been posted on the websites of the RCMP and Interpol, the international crime-fighting agency that’s active in 188 countries.

Police insist they’re still hot on the trail of those who so far have gotten away with murder, drug trafficking and gangsterism. 

“These files are as hot as they were at the start of the operation,” Quebec provincial police Sgt. Richard Gagne told QMI Agency. “There is still work to do to find these men.”

Project Sharqc involved 1,200 police officers and led to the arrests of 137 bikers and associates in April 2009. Defendants will be prosecuted in groups of eight or nine in a series of mega-trials scheduled to begin next month.

The last biker to be arrested was Normand (Casper) Ouimet, who was picked up outside his Montreal dentist’s office last fall and now faces 22 counts of murder.

Interpol has files on the 17 Hells members and two associates who are still at large. The fugitives have also been flagged with a “red notice” designation that would allow foreign police forces to arrest and detain them pending extradition to Canada.

Last year Mexican police used Red Notice markers to arrest Hells members Yannick Gauthier and Martin Robert while the pair were living under false names.

Outlaws motorcycle club enforcer in Maine has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for charges stemming from the shooting of a rival Hell's Angels club member.

former Outlaws motorcycle club enforcer in Maine has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for charges stemming from the shooting of a rival Hell's Angels club member.

U.S. District Judge George Singal on Tuesday sentenced Michael "Madman" Pedini to 63 months for two racketeering-related charges. Pedini pleaded guilty last fall.

Prosecutors said Pedini and fellow Outlaws member Thomas "Tomcat" Mayne ambushed a Hell's Angels member outside a Hell's Angels clubhouse in Canaan in October 2009. The Hell's Angels member was seriously injured, but survived. Mayne died later in a shootout with federal authorities.

Court documents indicate the attempted hit was ordered by the Outlaws' national president as payback for an earlier attack by Hell's Angels members on Outlaws' members in Connecticut.

An international drug smuggling operation centred in the Fraser Valley had nothing to do with the Hells Angels or any other B.C. gang, one of the convicted smugglers says.

An international drug smuggling operation centred in the Fraser Valley had nothing to do with the Hells Angels or any other B.C. gang, one of the convicted smugglers says.

Jody York said the scheme to move thousands of kilos of marijuana across the U.S. border was hatched by a few friends who grew up together in the Abbotsford area.

York and several other B.C. men are to be sentenced in a Seattle courtroom March 25 after working out a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney, who wants York behind bars for six years.

Washington state law enforcement agencies have said that York’s group, headed by convicted trafficker Rob Shannon, was working on behalf of the B.C. Hells Angels, a claim York denies.

“We were never a gang or thought of ourselves as a gang. We were anti-gang. We hated most clubs and groups out there and never wanted to be a part of their drama or inner crap,” York said in a letter to U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert Lasnik.

“As for working for the Hells Angels, nothing could be further from the truth. When I was involved, we wanted to stay as far away from them, due to a fight I had with a member in a night club. I just knew how they worked things. As for them or any one else being involved with other people in this case, after I left, it is not, nor do I want to make it my business.”

Both York, and Shannon, who was sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. jail in 2009, were featured in a rap video made by Vancouver full-patch Hells Angel Hal Porteous.

And York was described by police in B.C. as linked to the Independent Soldiers gang. He was arrested in Kelowna three years ago with IS member Joe Krantz, who was later gunned down in Abbotsford.

York also denies allegations made by co-accused Devron Quast that he paid for someone to shoot Anton Hooites-Meursing, who at the time was another member of their drug gang.

“Devron saying I took money from people to have someone killed is ridiculous,” York wrote. “I had a problem with someone here who was trying to take money from me. The decision as a group was we would pay him to leave me alone. It is embarrassing but true. Mr. Quast is very wrong. That has become public knowledge and that person is now in prison for the rest of his life for three or four murders up here. He wasn’t the kind of man you said no to. It was better to just pay him and move forward which we did.”

Hooites-Meursing earlier told The Sun he was targeted in a shooting in the underground parking lot of his Vancouver condo. He pleaded guilty last year to two murders and is now serving a life sentence.

York does tell Lasnik that he is sorry for his part in the drug ring. He said he only got involved because Shannon, a good friend of his, “had someone approach him on smuggling pot across the border.”

“I knew every second what we were doing was wrong and illegal and did profit from it in every aspect,” York said. “I would like to apologize to the United States of America for any sadness, pain or hardship that any of my actions may have impacted on anyone.”

York also refuted other claims of Quast, who cooperated with U.S. authorities after his 2008 arrest, and provided information about Shannon, York and others.

York told Lasnik he has changed his life around since leaving the drug gang in 2006. He said he is now a devoted husband with two children who built a house on 10 acres 400 kilometre away from Abbotsford.

“I have made huge steps to move on. I am destroyed that this has come down, but am willing to do my part to make this go away,” York said. “I can only ask for you to judge me on the man I am today and not the man I was five years ago.”

high-ranking Head Hunters charged with possession of more than $1 million of methamphetamine can now be named.

high-ranking Head Hunters charged with possession of more than $1 million of methamphetamine can now be named.

Eleven members and associates of the motorcycle gang, including the recently elected president of the West Auckland chapter, have appeared in the Waitakere District Court.

David James Dunn, 46, who took over as president last year from Dave Smith - who died soon after - was arrested last week after police raided the gang's headquarters in View Rd, Henderson.

He has been charged with possession for supply and remanded in custody.

More than 1kg of methamphetamine valued at more than $1 million was found in the clubrooms,

Dunn has a colourful history.

The senior Head Hunter got a police call-taker with access to the national intelligence system to leak sensitive information until she was caught in 2006.

A year later, Dunn began contract work on the driveway of a $6 million Herne Bay home owned by property developer Lynne Carter. He turned up for work but did not leave for months. At one stage her Ferrari vanished - a practice known as "taxing".


Another Head Hunter seen at the Argyle St home was Wayne Doyle, president of the East Chapter based in Ellerslie.

Dunn and Doyle are founding trustees of the That Was Then, This Is Now charitable trust which runs Fight Night events at the Marua Rd headquarters.

The third trustee is Lee Francis Bell, 46, who was also charged with possession for supply in the West Auckland raid last week.

Others arrested include Cain McFarland, 29, Craig Patterson, 49, Hemi Taramoeroa, 35, Nathan Hemana, 35, Christopher Morris, 50, Mark Barnes, 35, Anthony Neho, 46, as well as two younger women, Sorel Wichman, 20, and Candice Maloney, 24.

Morris, also known as "One Eye", is the father of Connor Morris - the boyfriend of Millie Elder.

Inspector Gary Davey, the Waitakere area commander, said the seizure of 1kg of methamphetamine from the Head Hunters' West Auckland HQ was significant.

"This is an incredibly damaging drug and police remain committed to disrupting its distribution."

The arrests are unrelated to an 18-month inquiry in which police infiltrated the Red Devils in Nelson, a puppet gang for the Hell's Angels.

Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope said the undercover Red Devil was "welcomed into the fold" at the Hell's Angels pad in Mt Eden. Through the Hells Angels, undercover officers were also able to enter the Head Hunters pad.

The unprecedented intelligence gathered by police confirmed the links between different gangs in the organised crime structure.

Police arrested 28 people in the raids on the Red Devils and charged them with dealing drugs - including LSD, methamphetamine and Ecstasy - and being a member of an organised crime group.

latest tit-for-tat exchange between his outlaw motorcycle club and fledgling rivals Rock Machine.

Rebels WA president Nick Martin was in high spirits yesterday despite Friday night's attempt on his life in what may have been the latest tit-for-tat exchange between his outlaw motorcycle club and fledgling rivals Rock Machine.

Sporting a small bandage on his heavily tattooed left arm, Mr Martin said police had seized security camera footage of the shooting, which happened about 8.30pm as he pulled his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into his Attra Street property in Balcatta.

Mr Martin, who has previously said he believed hostilities were about "honour and integrity" rather for control of the drug trade as police consistently claim, said the injury was minor.

He had surgery on Saturday to remove shrapnel from his left elbow but is not expecting any long-term damage.

"Better luck next time," Mr Martin said, pointing to a bullet mark on the fuel tank of his motorcycle.

Despite Mr Martin's jovial mood and the minor damage caused by the shooting, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said the incident would lead to increased police activity against feuding bikie gangs.

"We have a lot more work to do on both the Rebels and Rock Machine in the next few weeks and you will see some elevated police action," he said. "There is potentially an escalating war, we're on top of it.

"We know a lot about it, we have a lot of intelligence and we are responding. You have seen us putting significant heat on bikies in recent times and you can expect to see some more coming shortly

THE Hells Angels in Sydney have secured what may be the greatest mass defection in the history of the Australian outlaw clubs, recruiting at least 50 members from rival gangs.

THE Hells Angels in Sydney have secured what may be the greatest mass defection in the history of the Australian outlaw clubs, recruiting at least 50 members from rival gangs.

Police fear the defections - involving at least three Bandidos chapters in NSW - may lead to a new war between bikie gangs. It could be the most significant event since the Comanchero split of 1982, which led to the Milperra massacre two years later when seven people, including a 14-year-old girl, were shot dead.

''We've had small numbers move around before but this number is unheard of,'' a senior law enforcement source told The Sun-Herald.

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The underworld has been abuzz since a deal, apparently months in the making, was cemented 11 days ago. Between 50 and 60 men left the Bandidos and joined the Hells Angels.

It is understood the deal was organised by Felix Lyle, a rising force within the Angels and a former Bandido. Offers to defect and join the Angels were also made to other clubs.

Leaving one club for another is considered the most serious of transgressions and often leads to outbreaks of violence. It is believed the main motive for the deal was to bolster Angels numbers to provide a strong front against the Comanchero.

It may also be in response to the establishment of a chapter of another traditional Angels foe, the Mongols, on the central coast.

The clubs have been feuding since a Hells Angels tattoo parlour was firebombed by the Comanchero in 2008. The fatal airport brawl of March 2009 and subsequent shooting of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas were allegedly results of that.

It is understood Bandidos were paid to defect and all were granted full membership, which usually takes at least a year. Some got Harley-Davidson motorbikes as a reward.

Last week the Bandidos announced on their website: ''Chapter Parramatta is no longer part of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club Australia!!!''

The defection rumours were confirmed on Friday when Strike Force Raptor officers watched 20 to 30 former Bandidos meet at a Parramatta restaurant. Wearing Hells Angels T-shirts and other club gear, they were joined by several senior Hells Angels.

A law-enforcement source who has investigated outlaw clubs for decades said: ''If it was just one chapter that would be one thing but what's strange here is it's bigger than that.''

Police are concerned that the move also mirrors recent action in Europe. Last year 80 Bandidos defected to the Berlin Hells Angels.

The defections are indicative of a remarkable morphing of Australia's outlaw clubs. They have moved up several notches to form formed links with international syndicates suspected of organised crime. Some bikies are also involved in multimillion-dollar property developments with loans from Australia's top banks.

The Hells Angels have at least doubled their size overnight. With at least 110 members they are now the third-largest outlaw club in NSW, after the Comanchero and the Rebels.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Ralph M. Hess granted Brian Apfel and Jess Ramirez Flores' motion to dismiss their case without prejudice in connection with a shooting between the Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle gangs.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Ralph M. Hess granted Brian Apfel and Jess Ramirez Flores' motion to dismiss their case without prejudice in connection with a shooting between the Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle gangs.

The shooting was in an unincorporated area northwest of Chino Valley on Aug. 21, 2010.

Apfel, 38, of Las Vegas had been charged with discharging a firearm at a residential structure in that incident. Flores, 61, of Glendale was facing charges of discharging a firearm, possession of narcotic drugs, and possession of dangerous drugs.

On Friday, Jan. 28, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock sent the cases of the two men affiliated with the Vagos motorcycle gang back to the grand jury. 

At that time, Hancock noted that a detective's testimony "regarding the one-percenters may have unduly influenced the grand jury to assume that Apfel was an outlaw and thus may have influenced the grand jury's determination of probable cause." 

Hancock also wrote that documents regarding Flores' prescription for the two types of pills he was charged with possession of were given to the prosecutor before the grand jury and should have been presented to grand jurors.

On Monday, Apfel's attorney Craig Williams asked the state to release Apfel's property, and Flores' attorney David Shapiro asked the state to relinquish property and evidence that belonged to his client as well.

Hess exonerated the men's bonds and told the attorneys to contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office about the property.

In December 2010, Shapiro's motion to dismiss stated that on Aug. 31, defense counsel presented a deputy county attorney with Flores' prescription history and a letter from his doctors that indicated he was prescribed the 10 hydrocodone and seven clonazepam, which Flores carried in a Mentos container the day of the shooting. 

Shapiro also wrote that the state had ample evidence that deadly force was used by Apfel who fired in defense of himself and other Vagos members that were fired upon as they drove past the Hells Angels house.

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