It’s hard to imagine that anyone would believe outlaw biker Carl Bursey when he claims that he has renounced gang life. At age 43, Bursey has amassed more than 70 convictions for drug dealing, violence, possession of weapons and making death threats. A member of the Bandidos biker gang, Bursey has been in and out of prison repeatedly for more than 20 years. He has been caught violating release rules, consorting with gangsters and committing new crimes every time he’s been turned loose. His statutory release from his latest federal term was finally revoked after four suspensions including a head-buttting confrontation with a rival biker gang member.
The head butting happened just one month after Bursey was freed in June 2015 on statutory release (a form of automatic early freedom from prison). Parole records reveal that he was “involved in an altercation with an individual that was associated with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang after he recognized your neck tattoo, which identifies you as being a member of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang.” Bursey said he head butted the HA in “self defence” after the Angel threatened him.
It wasn’t enough for authorities to revoke Bursey’s freedom. They set him free again but, over the course of the next 14 months, his release was suspended three further times. Bursey was caught consorting with criminals, including members of other biker gangs, including the Vagos. Pictures were also found on Bursey’s cellphone showing him sitting in a new Mercedes. There were also pictures of people holding restricted weapons and wearing Hells Angels vests. In another photo, he was standing in the condo of a known drug dealer.
Finally, in September 2016, Bursey’s release was revoked, given his “complete lack of transparency regarding your whereabouts in the community, and your evasiveness with respect to relationships.”
Since Bursey was returned to prison, he has “made abusive statements to officers” and he’s been found with contraband. In total, he’s amassed 15 prison charges during his sentences, including ramming his wheelchair (Bursey was injured while weightlifting in prison) into an officer and a planned assault on a fellow prisoner.
The staff who manage Bursey’s case in prison believe that his repeated convictions for violating release rules show that he has “little regard for court-imposed sanctions.” In prison, he has taken programs and undergone counselling but he also has “demonstrated a pattern of institutional adjustment difficulties including violent and threatening behaviour toward staff and other offenders, weapons possession, disciplinary problems and the accumulation of institutional charges for negative behaviour.”
Parole records don’t say it in black and white, but it’s clear that Bursey doesn’t care what the courts and Corrections do to him or impose on him. He’s hell bent on continuing his thug life, likely as a drug dealer and member of any gang that will have him.
And yet, Bursey is getting out of prison again. His statutory release, which is automatic freedom that is not controlled by the parole board, kicks in again. The board can set conditions on the release, but it can’t stop it unless Corrections Canada recommends detaining Bursey behind bars until the end of his sentence. This hasn’t happened.
In a recent decision, the parole board set five special conditions on Bursey’s statutory released, including requirements to live at a halfway house or residential facility and not to associate with criminals.
The written record of the Parole Board decision January 2018, imposing conditions on Bursey’s statutory release:
The written record of the Parole Board decision in June 2017 when Bursey’s release was revoked: