14 arrested as police hit Hells Angels across Canada
The Globe and Mail
December 13, 2007
The president of the Manitoba Hells Angels was among 14 men arrested
in early morning raids across Canada yesterday as part of Operation
Drill, an RCMP-Winnipeg Police action against organized crime.
Dale Donovan, 33, was arrested at the Hells Angels clubhouse
in Winnipeg after police in tactical gear surrounded the riverbank
home in the city's north end. Mr. Donovan is one of three full-patch
members of the biker gang arrested yesterday. He is charged with
instructing someone to commit an offence for a criminal organization,
participating in a criminal organization, conspiring to traffic
in drugs and possessing the proceeds of crime.
James Heickert, a member of the Hells Angels chapter in Oshawa,
Ont., was one of three men charged with conspiracy to commit murder,
although police would not say who the alleged targets were. Lester
Robert Jones of the biker gang's Kelowna, B.C., chapter was charged
with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
More than 250 officers across the West were involved in the mass
takedown, police said. They seized 11 kilograms of cocaine, 2,000
tablets of methamphetamine, five machine pistols and three handguns,
as well as vehicles, $70,000 in cash and other property. Arrest
warrants were also issued for four other men yesterday, but police
did not say whether they were apprehended.
The Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force began the
investigation in November, 2006, focusing on high-level members
of organized-crime and drug-trafficking cells. Paid police agents
are believed to have played a key role leading to yesterday's
"These kinds of arrests only come about through sustained
undercover work, either through agents, turncoats, snitches or
wiretaps," said investigative journalist Julian Sher, an
expert on the Hells Angels and the author of Angels of Death.
"There is no way you penetrate into a group like the
Hells Angels and make sustained arrests without some kind of inside
knowledge. Every major successful arrest in Winnipeg or across
the country has been as the result of informants or wiretaps.
That's the only way it works."
He said yesterday's arrests will disrupt organized crime in
Manitoba and send a message that the Hells Angels cannot act with
"It shows the Hells Angels are battered and bloodied
and bruised after two years of sustained police arrests and targeted
attacks on the Hells Angels in Winnipeg, in Vancouver, in Ontario
and in Quebec," he said. "It's always important when
you can arrest a full-patch member or when you can arrest a leader.
Dale Donovan has been a veteran biker going back for years. He's
still innocent until proven guilty, but if it's true he's the
current president of the Hells Angels, what does it say about
a club where the former president [Ernie Dew] is fighting serious
cocaine charges and now the current president is facing serious
Among the others arrested yesterday were two men from the northern
city of Thompson, Man. Dean Gurniak, 34, and Stanley Anthony Lucovic,
44, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy
to traffic in drugs.
A 23-year-old man from Minnesota, Benjamin James Hamlin, was
charged with conspiracy to import firearms into Canada. Al Lebras,
a Manitoba Hells Angels prospect, and Allen Raymond Morrison,
a Manitoba Hells Angels hang-around, were also arrested yesterday.
All the accused are scheduled to appear in a Winnipeg court today.