Based on the cryptic information released by the RCMP about arrests in an alleged terror bombing plot in British Columbia, it appears possible that the Mounties used an undercover, Mr. Big-style sting to foil the plot and arrest two people. We might not know for certain for months, or even years, as the case winds its way through the courts. Investigators are withholding key information at the moment, citing the need to preserve evidence for the purposes of prosecution. But there are signs that the controversial, undercover tactic, or a similar scheme, was employed to crack the case. At the very least, it appears almost certain that undercover operatives were used to thwart the would-be bombers.
A manager at a maximum-security federal prison in Ontario who was caught smuggling a substantial quantity of drugs last year, in a scheme apparently orchestrated by the Hells Angels biker gang, has been found dead. David Martin, 47, of Kingston, Ontario died Sunday, August 21. An obituary published by his family said only that Martin died “unexpectedly at home.” Kingston Police would not answer questions. Asked if detectives are investigating Martin’s death, spokeswoman Joanne Geike told me that she could not provide any information.
Canada’s federal prisons have a growing gang problem. More disenfranchised young men who live on a diet of drugs and violence on the street are importing that culture to penitentiary cellblocks, where they can dominate weaker convicts, continue to peddle drugs and kill whenever necessary. Confidential Corrections Canada documents that I obtained – including a gang profile of the inmate population at Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ontario – reveal that more than 10% of the prison’s convicts are gang affiliated and a dozen are outlaw bikers.
It’s harvest time in southern Ontario – pot harvesting time – and that means drug squads are out in force, scouring backroads and remote properties for mature marijuana crops. Cops in eastern Ontario found a big one (photos after jump), a reefer lover’s field of dreams off an isolated rural road less than an hour’s drive north of Kingston. They counted more than 5,000 plants that appear to be 5 to 6 feet tall, in the snaps provided by police.
Corrections Canada says it’s not legally liable for injuries suffered by an imprisoned outlaw biker because he was exercising with a makeshift barbell built with bags of water. The claim is contained in a statement of defence filed last week in a Kingston court in response to a lawsuit launched in May by Carl Thomas Bursey, who is behind bars at Kingston Penitentiary for drug dealing. The Bandidos outlaw bike gang member (symbolized by the Fat Mexican wielding a gun and a machete) is suing the federal government for $5 million, claiming he suffered a crippling injury because he got substandard medical care from prison staff after he hurt himself while exercising.
(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.
That insult, hurled by killer biker Marcelo Aravena (inset) at the jury that convicted him today of seven counts of first-degree murder, was no small slight. It’s one of the most offensive slurs among rounders – regulars in the criminal subculture. Aravena was one of six men convicted in one of Ontario’s worst mass murders, the April 8, 2006 slaughter of eight members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang on a farm near London. The victims, who had been shot, were found stuffed into several vehicles.
Is the federal government fudging numbers to justify its gang violence crackdown? A website serving Asian markets has a story about the proposals announced this week in response to gang violence in British Columbia. Asiaone says:
There are an estimated 900 organized criminal groups operating in Canada, accounting for 20 per cent of homicides in the country, according to the Justice Department, which said the number of slayings is on the rise.
The number of slayings is on the rise? Canada’s murder rate has declined 40% since the mid 1970s, from 3.0 to 1.8 [StatsCan report]. Maybe it’s new math.