CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Nine alleged members of the Hells Angels prospect club in Charlottetown pleaded guilty to illegal gaming in provincial court in Charlottetown Thursday.
Ronald Joseph Dean Cook, 46, Blake Edward Culleton, 35, Corey Gordon Falls, 29, Robert “Bobby” Vernon Falls, 63, Brad Charles Gallant, 26, Ian Roulston Kennedy, 54, Kenneth Boyde MacLeod, 48, Shawn Gregory Paquet, 30, and Tristan Edward Watts, 20, each received a $1,200 fine and 12 months’ probation.
The charges relating to participating in activities of a criminal organization were stayed by the crown.
Kennedy was not present, but his lawyer pleaded guilty for him. His sentence will be imposed April 3.
In addition, MacLeod received 30 days jail for possessing a firearm after he failed to surrender all of his firearms after he was released on an undertaking Aug. 17.
The P.E.I. Firearms Office informed the Organized Crime Task Force that MacLeod was registered as having three firearms. He had previously only surrendered two handguns.
MacLeod originally told police he did not have a third handgun, but then remembered he had another firearm in his fishing gear.
He received a 10-year weapons prohibition order and must pay $200 to the victims of crime fund.
The private company, 102023 P.E.I. Inc., received a $5,000 fine for selling alcohol without a licence under the Liquor Control Act.
There was also a forfeiture order for all offence-related property seized, although the refrigerator was eventually returned, and a one-year prohibited premises order barring any alcohol.
The Organized Crime Task Force began surveying 205 Fitzroy St. after learning the Woodbridge Ontario Hell’s Angels Club was in the process of establishing a chapter in P.E.I.
The premise was purchased in October 2016 by 102023 P.E.I. Inc. The director and shareholders named in the letters patent are Robert Falls, Corey Falls and Kennedy.
Through surveillance and other investigative techniques, it was identified that on many occasions, members would enter the premises in possession of varying amounts of liquor in cans and bottles.
The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission confirmed that neither the accused corporation, its directors and shareholders nor any identified members of the Woodbridge hangarounds had a licence to sell or keep liquor for sale under the Liquor Control Act.
As a result, a warrant for search and seizure was issued April 14, 2017, and executed April 15, 2017. A number of offence-related items were seized, including a refrigerator, bar and bar supplies, safe and contents, including financial records and meeting minutes, as well as a donation jar.
The refrigerator and bar contained 211 cans of beer, 30 bottles of liquor and wine, soda cans and other mixes. The basement storage had 228 cans of beer.
The donation jar contained $342.30. The safe contained an organizer with $4,225 in cash, numerous liquor store receipts and paper records containing tally sheets for the purchase and sale of liquor by the members of the club.
After reviewing the paper records and meeting minutes, the Organized Crime Task Force found evidence that the members were also conducting illegal lottery schemes.
They found two different types of lottery tickets. One of the tickets indicated they were for a “charity cash draw” and the other was a Coin-Tainer brand red and white tickets.
The meeting minutes also had various references to a raffle or lottery. The names of the nine co-accused were noted to be in attendance at most or all of the meetings.
The P.E.I. Lottery Commission, which is in charge of issuing lottery licences for P.E.I., could not find that any of those accused named or the company had ever applied for a lottery licence.
It was also observed, by the Organized Crime Task Force, that there was an advertisement poster for the “First Annual Poker Run July 8, 2017” on the Facebook page of Culleton. The post was also shared by Gallant, Cook and Watts.
The same advertisement was also posted on the Support 81 Maritimes Facebook page, which is a page that supports the Maritime Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
The P.E.I. Lottery Commission confirmed no lottery licences could be issued for a poker run because they are illegal.
The Organized Crime Task Force performed surveillance on the poker run to gather evidence regarding any illegal gambling activity. There were stops in Charlottetown, Victoria, Miscouche, Kensington and Stratford.
On Aug. 16, 2017, the nine members were arrested after they left the clubhouse.
Police seized another binder containing meeting minutes, which indicated that the club made $1,165 profit from the poker run. An additional $2,290.16 was seized in cash.
On Aug. 17, 2017, they were taken before a justice of the peace and released on an undertaking to have no contact with each other and not to attend their clubhouse.
These orders will continue during their probation, with the exception of Robert Falls, MacLeod and Kennedy. They are allowed to have contact with one another since they are the caretakers of the building on Fitzroy Street.