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Tuesday, 8 December 2009

East End Hells Angels,East End charter Hells Angels is a criminal organization

09:52 | ,

Punko will be sentenced the week of Jan. 18 and Potts will be sentenced Jan. 25.
Last month, Leask dealt a devastating blow to the Crown’s case at the pending drug trial when he ruled the Crown was prohibited from proceeding on criminal-organization charges against two Hells Angels members. Justice Peter Leask granted a defence application that the Crown cannot proceed at trial on charges that allege the East End chapter of the Hells Angels is a criminal organization. The defence argued that a jury at another trial that ended last summer acquitted Potts and Punko of the criminal-organization charges, so they should not be punished twice. Crown prosecutor Martha Devlin Devlin argued that the criminal-organization charges should not be dropped because the judge could not speculate on why the jury came to the verdict it did on the criminal organization charges. The judge agreed with the defence. “My decision is the Crown is estopped from leading evidence that the East End charter Hells Angels is a criminal organization,” he ruled. The Crown plans to appeal the judge’s ruling but is awaiting the judge’s reasons. Potts and Punkoi had faced a total of nine charges at trial, including two that alleged they directed the production and distribution of methamphetamine in association with or for the benefit of a criminal organization, namely the East End charter of the Hells Angels.
Punko pleaded guilty Monday to three charges on the indictment (Count 2, 3 and 4) and Potts pleaded guilty to four charges (Count 6, 7, 8 and 9), including two of cocaine trafficking in Surrey and New Westminster. The case marked the third failed prosecution on criminal-organization charges against the Hells Angels arising from the police investigation code-named E-Pandora, which ended in 2005 with the arrest of six Hells Angels and a dozen associates. A 10-month trial ended last July with the jury convicting Potts and Punko on weapons charges. The judge found Potts held the arsenal of weapons for the East End Hells Angels, including grenades, a loaded semi-automatic pistol and three other guns. Potts, 49, was sentenced to a seven years but effectively received a sentence of time served after being granted double credit for four years served in pre-trial custody. Punko, 43, was convicted of the unauthorized possession of a loaded semi-automatic pistol and sentenced to 15 months in jail, plus a consecutive sentence of four years for counselling a police agent to do damage to a Surrey home where Punko was trying to collect a large amount of money from a man. It was effectively a sentence of time served but Punko was recently denied bail by Leask. Potts is free on bail

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