Manitoba declares Hells Angels a criminal organization
Hells Angels is more than just a club of motorcycle enthusiasts, according to the Province of Manitoba. According to a new ruling, it is a criminal organization.
The Province of Manitoba became the first jurisdiction in North America to declare the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club a criminal organization on Friday, declaring a new chapter in a war to rid the prairie province of organized crime.
“This is a milestone for Canada and a clear signal that Manitoba will continue to develop and use every tool available to fight criminal organizations and the threat they pose to Manitobans,” Justice Minister Andrew Swan said in a statement. “It is now law in Manitoba the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is a criminal organization.”
According to the Manitoba ruling, the Hells Angels is the largest outlaw motorcycle gang in the world and has 5,000 members in more than 40 countries. There are 35 clubs, or chapters, operating in Canada, each with a minimum of six members on the street.
They use a sophisticated system of membership levels to protect themselves from investigation and maintain rules and communication levels to ensure uniformity between chapters across the country.
The Manitoba designation means that provincial criminal charges can be laid and tried more swiftly. Lawyers and courts were once required to determine in every trial that the group was a criminal enterprise, but that is now established at the outset.
Notice has been served to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Winnipeg and they had an opportunity to object in writing. According to the province, they did not submit an objection.
Outside of Manitoba, the Hells Angels maintain they are a simple motorcycle club – no more nefarious than a school's drama club or most of the countless book clubs across the country.
Indeed, the club has a boutique apparel shop in Toronto, a well-known headquarters in New York and a website where members can connect worldwide.
While the designation only goes as far as the provincial border, the campaign to secure the classification involved information gleaned from investigations and court rulings across Canada.
Most telling is a detailed analysis of the group offered by the province. In it, investigators detail the patch system the group uses to promote prospective members up the ranks, the structure and rules that connect chapters across the country and the significance of the patch and colours worn by gang members.
"Courts have noted the ‘power of the patch’ worn by the Hells Angels, since it has been used to intimidate and create fear from the public and gang rivals," the document notes. "As a result, some courts have declared items displaying these identifying colours to be forfeited as offence-related property."
Since 2004, there have been five major investigations in Manitoba focused on Hells Angels members and associates. More than 100 people were arrested in those investigations on charges varying from drug and firearm trafficking, money laundering, conspiracy to murder and violent crimes.
Originally Posted by Ms. Sarah
I never would have guessed this, i thought they were just a bunch of guys that were largely misunderstood.
Originally Posted by sampson
Originally Posted by Sidney Laflamme
Better late than never catching on ...
Here's a link someone provided on terb.
Sarcasm may be a lost art form on these boards, i don't know why anybody would need the province of manitoba to tell them that the hell's angels is a criminal organization. Anyone with half a brain knows what they are.