(UPDATED AUGUST 5: Police announced today that they charged David Martin, 46, of Kingston, with 7 counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. He’s a supervisor in Millhaven’s institutional services department. Corrections says he’s suspended without pay.)
The Hells Angels outlaw biker gang and corrupt staff are behind a surge in the flow of illegal drugs pouring into one of Canada’s toughest federal prisons near Kingston, Ontario. Sources tell me the Angels appear to have co-opted a civilian staff member at maximum-security Millhaven penitentiary near Kingston into hauling large loads of dope, primarily marijuana, into the prison, which houses gang members, bikers and killers. The Angels may be looking for payback, after one shipment of drugs, worth $92,000 was intercepted.
Corrections Canada won’t confirm that staff at Millhaven (right) are under investigation for drug smuggling. But sources tell me that a civilian working in the prison’s stores and institutional services unit – a department that receives shipments – was sent home after he was caught with a load of marijuana that literally fell out of his clothing. Police and Corrections launched investigations last week after $92,000 worth of pills and marijuana were found in a “work location” in the prison. Corrections issued a release about the discovery.
“Due to the location the drugs were recovered CSC is also launching an internal investigation,” the release stated. Corrections said the drugs were found on the property but not inside the facility.
Investigators know that a load of drugs this large could not have been smuggled into the penitentiary by a visitor. Family members of inmates and other visitors are sometimes caught with drugs hidden inside clothing or body cavities – a ruse known as suitcasing – but the quantities are usually smaller. Sources tell me that the drugs also were professionally packaged, an indication of a more organized operation, like those carried out by biker gangs. Gang members often continue their illegal enterprises behind bars and compete with rivals to run the drug trade inside a prison. Getting staff in their pockets is a coup for the incarcerated crooks, who can then exploit a crooked employee who realizes he or she can’t extract himself from the scheme once he’s into it. Staff are typically lured into smuggling by the promise of fast, easy cash in deals that require only a few illegal acts. Once the staffer is hooked, they’re forced into repeated schemes, typically until they’re caught.
Sources tell me that the $92,000 cache of dope found last week belonged to the Hells Angels, who now consider it a debt owed to them by the crooked staffer.
This scandal, coupled with the bust last year of a guard at medium-security Collins Bay pen, also in Kingston, who also was smuggling drugs for inmates, will no doubt embarrass Corrections Canada and political masters who have thrown boatloads of cash at the federal prison service, at a time when most government departments have seen budgets frozen or slashed. Corrections, for instance, got enough money to triple the number of drug sniffing dog units from 40 to 120. The Harper government, hell-bent to prove to voters it is tough on crooks, vowed to control the rampant use of illicit drugs in prisons, which fuel violence. The Collins Bay guard caught last year, Glen Gouthro, who resigned and eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit an indictable offence and breaching the public trust, is believed to have smuggled nearly $90,000 worth of marijuana into the Bay. The drugs were not recovered. Gouthro confessed that a Collins Bay convict paid him several times to bring packages of pot into the prison. Gouthro left the dope in pre-arranged hiding places.
Details of the Millhaven smuggling scheme haven’t yet emerged. Sources tell me that the prison’s internal spy service, known as the Security Intelligence Office, had been keeping tabs on the staffer who is now off duty. Millhaven is one Canada’s roughest federal pens, with a reputation for housing some of the most violent and notorious gangsters, such as Wayne Kellestine (inset), the Bandidos biker gang member who masterminded the mass murder of eight fellow bikers in Shedden, in southwestern Ontario, in April 2006. Kellestine and five other bikers shot to death eight other Bandidos members at Kellestine’s farm in a power struggle within the Bandidos, a rival to the Hells Angels. Kellestine is housed in segregation at Millhaven because, sources tell me, he’s a marked man, wanted dead by the Angels and by some in the Bandidos organization because of his massacre of fellow members. Kellestine has little contact with most other prisoners.