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Two alleged associates of the Hells Angels have been charged after a police officer was put in a headlock and punched several times

Two alleged associates of the Hells Angels have been charged after a police officer was put in a headlock and punched several times in front of a Kelowna nightclub Tuesday.

Shortly after 2 a.m. two uniformed Kelowna RCMP members were on patrol when they saw a fight break out between several men on Leon Avenue. When they moved in to arrest the main aggressor, one of the officers was jumped from behind and attacked.

The officer who was punched ended up with swelling and bruising.

Kelowna RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Ann Morrison was unable to say what caused the fight.

“I can confirm we are having difficulty receiving cooperation from the parties involved,” she said.

Kelowna’s Pedro Amestica, 39, was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. He does not have a criminal record and police say he is a known associate of the Mission City chapter of the Hells Angels.

Thomas Volker, a 37-year-old from Mission, is charged with assaulting a police officer. He has a criminal record and police say he is a member of the Mission City Hells Angels.

Both men have appeared before a justice of the peace and have been released from custody. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12 in Kelowna

SA cafe shootout linked to injured bikie


shoot-out at an Adelaide restaurant is related to the shooting of a bikie leader days before, but police deny there's an emerging bikie war across the city. An associate of outlaw motorcycle gang the Comanchero fired shots at a person approaching Cafe Paesano in North Adelaide at 9.40pm on Sunday, police said. Assistant Commissioner Grant Stevens said the approaching man, who was known to the Comanchero associates sitting in the cafe, was injured and fled the scene. He was then pursued by the gunman with further shots fired. Commissioner Stevens refused to confirm whether the men exchanged gunfire but media reports say the approaching man fired first before being shot in the leg. Commissioner Stevens said the incident is connected to the Thursday shooting of Comanchero leader Vincenzo Focarelli, who is in hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. But he denies there's an escalating bikie war between rival gangs. "These incidents can be tracked to specific disputes in that (bikie) context (but) this is not a bikie war where we have warring gangs, drawing lines in the sand," he told journalists on Monday. He said the shootings, including an incident on Saturday morning when three men wearing balaclavas fired shots into a house at Burton in Adelaide's north, were isolated events. Commissioner Stevens said bikie-related shootings were difficult to investigate as the suspects covered up evidence and refused to co-operate. "These are a cohort of violent criminals," he said.

Suspect wanted in funeral killing seen in San Jose


There is "credible evidence" that a Hells Angels member wanted in the killing of another member of the biker gang is in the San Jose area, a police spokesman said Sunday. Steve Ruiz was sighted in San Jose sometime late Friday or Saturday, officer Jose Garcia said without providing specifics about the sighting. Garcia said, however, that investigators believe the source was credible. Ruiz, 38, has been the subject of a widespread manhunt since Steve Tausan was shot and killed during a funeral service for Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose on Oct. 15. Ruiz is a former resident of San Jose and has ties to Gilroy, Campbell and Fremont, Garcia said. "We believe he's in any one of those cities," Garcia said. "If anyone aided him we will arrest those individuals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law." Garcia said that Ruiz is considered to be armed and dangerous. "We do want this to come to a safe resolution," Garcia said. "We do ask that Steve Ruiz surrender himself." Tausan, 52, was one of 4,000 people attending the funeral for Pettigrew, the president of the Hells Angels San Jose chapter who was slain during a brawl with a rival biker gang in a Nevada casino on Sept. 23. A week after Tausan's killing, police stormed a home in Stockton in search of Ruiz but did not find him. After the futile search, police would not say where they thought he might be Advertisement heading, but noted he had "associates" in Arizona and New York. At the time Ruiz was believed to be driving a pewter-colored or gold 1995 or 1996 GMC Yukon or an older gray Toyota 4-Runner, but police did not know if he was still traveling in one of those vehicles.

Shooting in Laval strip bar injures four


When a Laval strip club reopened its doors last week after being destroyed in a 2003 fire, some residents feared the worst. They were worried that street gangs, criminals and drug dealers would frequent the club and make the Vieux Ste. Rose area unsafe. The residents’ concerns appear to have been well founded. Just a few days after the Studio 300 strip club reopened, gunmen opened fire early Sunday morning, injuring four people. About 150 people were in the club on Ste. Rose Blvd. when the shots were fired, said Laval police Constable Franco Di Genova. Two men in their mid-20s were shot in the abdomen and a woman, also in her mid-20s, was cut by shattered glass. They were listed in stable condition Sunday. A fourth victim called police from his car on Ste. Rose Blvd. in the Auteuil district of Laval to say he had been shot in the bar. “It’s a shame that a bar of that kind is allowed to be in the Vieux Ste. Rose area,” said David De Cotis, president of Mouvement lavallois, an opposition party with no elected members. De Cotis said the city should have done more to prevent the strip club from reopening. After the fire, the city did try to stop the owners from reopening by refusing to grant them a permit to rebuild. However, in 2008, the case went to court and a judge ruled that the owners had acquired rights and could rebuild the strip club. The owners did not return a phone call from The Gazette Sunday. The city should have negotiated with the owners to buy the land or have it rezoned to prevent the strip club from operating in what has become a popular area with families and tourists, De Cotis said. “There is an old church and nice restaurants; it’s a nice place where families come because there are a lot of activities,” he said. Alain Lecompte, a Ste. Rose resident, said he hopes the city can do something to force the bar to close or have it moved to a more commercial area. “It is very worrying,” he said of the shootings. Denis Robillard, the city councillor for the area, was unavailable for comment on Sunday. When police arrived at the club Sunday morning, dozens of people were running in and out. Witnesses told police that three suspects fled in a car, and were able to provide police with a licence plate number. Police arrested the men about an hour later in Boisbriand. The three men, in their mid-20s, were being questioned Sunday in connection with the shootings. The men are known to police, Di Genova said, adding that detectives found “elements” inside the club indicating that street gangs may have been involved. Police plan to keep a close eye on the strip club in the coming days and weeks, he said. Di Genova said police had been to the original Studio 300 to break up fights between rowdy customers, but can’t remember if there had been any shootings in the strip club prior to Sunday.

Police bust million-dollar meth labs believed to be linked to Hells Angels


Hazmat team enters a building on the 2600 block of Lillooet at East Broadway after the  RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit  executed a number of search warrants in Vancouver on December 15, 2011.  The search warrants relate to drug production and outlaw motorcycle gangs are involved.

Hazmat team enters a building on the 2600 block of Lillooet at East Broadway after the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit executed a number of search warrants in Vancouver on December 15, 2011. The search warrants relate to drug production and outlaw motorcycle gangs are involved.

Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

• For more photos related to this story, click here


METRO VANCOUVER - Police specialists raided large clandestine methamphetamine labs in Vancouver and Surrey Thursday believed to be linked to the Hells Angels biker gang.

And Sgt. Bill Whalen, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said the labs had recently been operational, producing millions of dollars worth of synthetic drugs over just a few months.

Police also raided three residential properties as part of the months-long investigation by CFSEU's Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Enforcement Unit. Two men have been taken into custody and police are searching for three others, Whalen said.

More than 150 police from various forces executed the search warrants simultaneously beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday, including members of the RCMP, Vancouver Police, Municipal and RCMP Emergency Response Teams and the Clandestine Laboratories Unit.

The largest lab was found in East Vancouver in a warehouse at 2659 Lillooet Street where a company named Pharmaceuticals is based. Throughout the day Thursday, firefighters, hazard materials specialists and police remained at the scene just off East Broadway and Lillooet. Half a block was behind police tape.

The B.C. Corporate registry shows that the company has a single director named Kourosh Bakhtiari, who has no criminal history in B.C.

Bakhtiari, 50, is listed as living at 103-1155 Pacific Street in Vancouver. While police would not release the names of those arrested, one of the properties searched was in the 1100-block of Pacific Street.

His company was founded in January 2004, according to corporate records, but was dissolved on July 14, 2008 for failing to file annual records in Victoria.

Ultrascience shows up on international shipping logs as having imported goods from both South Korea and China last year, including chemical mixing machine called an"ultrasonic homogenizer" and men's clothing. The shipments were sent to a Richmond address on Bridgeport Road.

Throughout the day Thursday, firefighters, hazard materials specialists and police remained at the scene just off East Broadway and Lillooet. Half a block was behind police tape.

The second major lab was found at 101-9465 189 Street in Surrey in an industrial unit owned by a company called H & A Industries. Hendrik and Agnes Du Randt are listed as the directors of the company and the owners of the unit. They did not return phone calls Thursday. Neither has any previous criminal history in B.C.

Hendrik Du Randt, 59, took over as president of the company in January 2008. There appears to be several liens registered on machines and equipment owned by Du Randt and H&A.

"Certainly we believe that both locations that we have kicked in today - the Ultrascience Pharmaceuticals and the H & A Industries location were operating meth labs in the last little while," Whalen said.

Police also searched high-rise apartments in Port Moody in the 200-block of Newport Drive and in the 400-block Capilano Road.

"We located both precursors and finished product at both of those locations," Whalen said.

Standing outside the Vancouver lab, he said an operation of that scale running for half a year would bring in "millions of dollars."

Insp. Rob Johnston, who heads CFSEU's biker unit, said the current investigation is just one his team has undertaken over the last year "and it demonstrates organized crime's continued involvement in chemical drug production."

And he said the two large-scale labs "pose a serious safety risk."

"We will continue to use every enforcement opportunity we can to pursue organized criminals who put the public in danger by the production of these drugs," Johnston said.

Police have not provided details on how the labs are linked back to the bikers under investigation. Nor did they provide details of what Hells Angels chapters or puppet clubs are believed to be involved.


co-defendant in the Hells Angels trial last week was found not guilty on several charges.


co-defendant in the Hells Angels trial last week was found not guilty on several charges. Timothy David Hill, 45, of Rock Hill was acquitted on charges of attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy by a York County jury Friday. Hill was represented by public defenders Harry Dest and B.J. Barrowclough. The main defendant, 58-year-old William "Spook" Sosebee of Rock Hill, was convicted of attempted armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a knife during a violent crime and first-degree assault and battery, according to a news release from the 16th Circuit Solicitor's Office. Judge John C. Hayes sentenced Sosebee to 10 years in prison with no parole. Sosebee was accused of stabbing Jim Moye of North Carolina at Wall Bangers Social Club on East Main Street. Moye, 58, is a member of Iron Order, another motorcycle club, and had stopped at Wall Bangers, according to the solicitor's office news release. Evidence at the trial showed that Moye, who had never been to the bar before, did not know that the Hells Angels considered Wall Bangers "their bar," according to the release. After Moye arrived, Sosebee approached him and beat him in the head with the handle of a Bowie knife, according to the solicitor's office. Sosebee put the knife to Moye's throat and demanded he hand over his Iron Order motorcycle vest. Moye refused and repeatedly asked to be allowed to leave. Sosebee then stabbed him in the abdomen. Moye survived after undergoing surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Officers were called to the hospital after the stabbing, but Moye would only say "it was a motorcycle thing," according to reports. A witness identified Sosebee to officers. At the time of the stabbing, Hill also had been arrested and charged and was called a member of the Red Devil, a support group of the Hells Angels, in a Rock Hill Police report. However, Hill was found not guilty last week by a York County jury and was released.

The Rise of the Dark Souls, the Black Mask, the Thunder Bikers and the Iron Beast are a sure sign the feared gang is trying to reclaim lucrative territory

The Hells Angels, decimated by a series of raids, are reorganizing under the guise of four so-called puppet clubs, QMI Agency has learned. The emergence of the Dark Souls, the Black Mask, the Thunder Bikers and the Iron Beast are a sure sign the feared gang is trying to reclaim lucrative territory, say experts. Three of the four new Hells puppet clubs in Quebec have quietly announced their presence on the Internet. The Black Mask Facebook page says it has a base in Scott, east of Quebec City. Newly established in four regions of the province, the puppet clubs sport colours inspired by the Hells as well as jackets adorned with distinctive logos and marked "MC" for Motorcycle Club. Undercover Montreal police officers gathered information on the clubs by infiltrating a biker meeting at a Montreal bar in November, sources tell QMI Agency. Sixty aspiring bikers were met by three members of the Nomads, the select Hells chapter once run by Maurice (Mom) Boucher and now based in Ontario. Police gathered evidence, but didn't make any arrests. Montreal police and Quebec provincial police declined to comment for this story. But a provincial police investigator last month confirmed the Hells' push-back into Quebec. "The Ontario Nomads have some influence in Quebec that they had not had before 2009," said Insp. Michel Pelletier. He added that Quebec's Hells leadership needed reinforcements to run their rackets because nearly all of its members were nabbed in Project SharQc, a sweeping 2009 biker roundup. Hells clubs virtually disappeared following Operation Springtime 2001, the first of a set of massive raids that crippled Quebec biker gangs and ended a bloody 10-year war that claimed 150 lives, including those of bystanders. A 2003 report by the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada said biker proxy clubs allow higher-ups to stay out of the spotlight. "The outlaw motorcycle gangs will use clubs ... for criminal acts in order to avoid prosecution," said the CISC report. "However, it seems that the clubs are becoming increasingly rare because it is difficult to control and because of the success of (raids)."

Hector Morales, 38, is president of the motorcycle gang "No Remorse,"

Hector Morales

Hector Morales, 38, is president of the motorcycle gang "No Remorse," according to a police report. (Orange County Jail / December 2, 2011)


Hector Morales, 38, is president of the motorcycle gang "No Remorse,"His stepson, a juvenile, was charged with burglary to an occupied dwelling.

A third suspected gang member, Jose Juan Velez, 22, was also arrested on a charge of resisting arrest. Police say he failed to comply with their commands during the investigation.

Records show Morales has now been jailed more than a dozen times in Orange County since 2005, on charges including burglary and assault on a law officer

Rich Egyptians weigh emigration as Islamists surge


For decades, Egypt's Westernised elite kept the country's growing religosity at arm's length, but a projected Islamist surge in the first post-revolution polls has driven many to think of moving abroad. Sporting the latest fashions and mingling in upmarket country clubs, Egypt's rich fear a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and hardline Salafis in the first phase of parliamentary elections presages change ahead. "I hope they don't impose the veil and ban women from driving like in Saudi Arabia," said coquettish fifty-something Naglaa Fahmi from her gym in the leafy neighbourhood of Zamalek. In a nearby luxury hotel, Nardine -- one of Egypt's eight million Coptic Christians who are alarmed by the prospect of a new Islamist-dominated parliament -- is pondering a move aroad. "My father is seriously thinking about sending me and my brothers elsewhere because he thinks we won't have a future in the country with the Salafis," said the banker in her twenties. Ten months after a popular uprising ended the 30-year autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak, millions of Egyptians embraced their new democratic freedoms earlier this week at the start of multi-stage parliamentary elections. The preliminary results to be published on Friday were expected to show the moderate Muslim Brotherhood as the dominant force, but with a surprisingly strong showing from the hardline Al-Nur party. Its leaders advocate the fundamentalist brand of Salafi Islam, rejecting Western culture and favouring strict segregation of the sexes and the veiling of women. They say they have been the victims of Islamophobia and sustained fear-mongering by liberals in the Egyptian media. Nevertheless, the fear that they will try to impose their values on the rest of society has driven Angie to consider leaving her comfortable Cairo life behind. "My husband recently got a job offer in Dubai. In the beginning I was hesitant, but now, with all that's happening, I'm encouraging him to take the job and I'll join him with our daughter," she said. "The Gulf has become more liberal than Egypt," she told AFP. For Ahmed Gabri, having the Islamists in power means having his freedoms restricted. "I will leave the country," said Gabri, a Muslim. "I will not stand living in a puritanical climate. Why don't they just let people live the way they want?" The next parliament will be charged with writing a new constitution and the idea of an Islamist-dominated assembly has sent shockwaves through some segments of society. Many stress the difference, however, between the different Islamist groups. "They don't scare me. We have democracy now which means we'll be able to remove them if they don't suit us," said Manar, a tall blonde in her 40s. "It's the not the Muslim Brotherhood that worries me because they want to appear in the best light, it's the Salafis that I'm concerned about," she said. Iman Ragab, a shop assistant, has resigned herself to the election's likely outcome. "This is democracy, you have to accept the results of the ballot," she said.

confrontation was between members of the outlaw Gypsy Jokers and Comancheros motorcycle gangs


A confrontation between rival bikie gangs saw 12 members ejected from the Danny Green fight in Perth. West Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan confirmed on Thursday two gang members were arrested, with one charged with assaulting a public officer. They were led out of Challenge Stadium by members of the Gang Crime Squad during the cruiserweight bout between Green and Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk on Wednesday night. It is believed the initial confrontation was between members of the outlaw Gypsy Jokers and Comancheros motorcycle gangs. "It's not an unusual occurrence at these sorts of events - it is one reason why we have such a large security response," Mr O'Callaghan said.

Hells Angel pleads not guilty in NV casino killing


California member of the Hells Angels has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder for his role in a September brawl at Nevada casino that erupted into a shootout that claimed the life of his San Jose chapter president. Cesar Villagrana of Gilroy, Calif., is accused of shooting two members of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang the night that his longtime friend Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew was shot to death on the floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer on Thursday tentatively assigned him the same Jan. 17 trial date she earlier set for the Vagos accused of killing Pettigrew - Ernesto Gonzalez of San Francisco. But Villagrana's lawyer, Richard Schonfeld of Las Vegas, doesn't expect a trial before the end of 2012.

former full-patch member of the Hells Angels who was the bike gang's treasurer and top man in the Toronto area is in a fight to avoid deportation to Scotland.


Mark Alistair Stables, who has no criminal record and has been living here for more than 40 years, was found inadmissible to Canada by an Immigration and Refugee Board for being a member of a criminal organization, the Hells Angels.

He appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Canada, and two weeks ago that court ruled Ottawa can make plans to deport Stables even though he doesn't have a criminal record.

The nine-year "full patch" member was a former Sergeant at Arms and president of the Hells Angels Ontario Corp., in which he acted as a treasurer for 10 chapters for seven years.

"He was very involved in many aspects of the Hells Angels activities," Judge Yves de Montigny said in his decision. The "positions would have given him a good knowledge about the organization's purpose, mandate, agenda or activities."

De Montigny said Stables was "not isolated" from gang activities and "was fully integrated into the Hells Angels."

Court heard Stables arrived in Canada from Scotland with his parents at the age of seven and never obtained citizenship. He joined the gang in 2000 and claimed to quit in 2009.

His immigration problems began in 2006 after he was found carrying Hells Angels paraphernalia and phone numbers as he arrived on a flight at Vancouver International Airport. A report for his deportation was filed.

The board noted Stables had no "exit date" on his Hells Angels tattoo to show that he left the gang.

Stables still has appeals available to him before he can be deported, officials said.

Police said the Hells Angels are involved in drug trafficking, importation of drugs, manufacturing and distribution of drugs, thefts, extortions, firearms, prostitution, money laundering and murder.

"The organization collects intelligence on policing, and it operates a number of clubhouses that make it safe to conduct illegal business," the high court said. "Chapters are usually opened for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing drugs."

de Montigny said members who get in trouble with the law are assisted by club dues that are used to defray their costs.

Police said the Hells Angels is considered the primary producer and distributor of illegal drugs in the U.S. and Canada.

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