2017-11-21 06:01:27 UTC
province by opening a clubhouse in Musquodoboit Harbour, N.S., east of
Dartmouth, their membership numbers have started to decline.
At the same time, the Gate Keepers, another motorcycle club affiliated
with the Hells Angels, have shut down four of their seven clubhouses
in Nova Scotia.
The Hells Angels are one of the country's most notorious biker
gangs. Over the years, its members have been charged with everything
from murder to drug trafficking.
Last year, the Nova Scotia Hells Angels had 16 members, but that
number has dwindled to nine active members, one of whom is
incarcerated, said RCMP Sgt. Angie Hawryluk.
She's in charge of the combined forces special enforcement unit,
which investigates and monitors motorcycle gangs.
Hawryluk says wherever the Hells Angels set up shop, the level of
violence and criminal activity increases. (File Photo)
Exactly why the group's numbers have dropped off isn't clear, although
Hawryluk has some theories.
"We've heard that they dropped out because they couldn't afford it,
they dropped out because it's too demanding, but that's not something
I could definitively substantiate," she said.
Those costs include paying a membership fee and monthly dues to the
Hells Angels, along with travel costs to attend meetings and
gatherings out of town.
Travel became especially costly when the Nova Scotia chapter first
opened and it was sponsored by a Hells Angels chapter in Ontario.
The Hells Angels have chapters in many parts of Canada. (Kai
"They were on their bikes and driving to Ontario and there are
different club duties that are imposed on them, and when you're told
you have to go, you have to go, and it could be anywhere in Canada and
you pay for it," said Hawryluk.
Nova Scotia's Hells Angels are now sponsored by the New Brunswick
Hawryluk also hopes the recent arrest and incarceration of a Hells
Angels member on drug and firearms charges is acting as a deterrent to
people who were thinking about joining.
Four men who were members of the Gate Keepers are also facing charges
of criminal harassment and uttering threats after an incident earlier
this month in the Musquodoboit area.
Those charges have not been proven in court.
Down but not out
The Gate Keepers are also downsizing at least when it comes to the
number of clubhouses. The group now only operates out of three
buildings, but they used to have seven.
It's not police busts or rival gang activity that has forced the
shutdowns, Hawryluk said, but rather it looks like simple finances did
the clubs in.
"I can't say concretely why that happened and yes, I would suspect,
there are costs associated with the buildings and they weren't able to
keep them up."
RCMP say the Gate Keepers are affiliated with the Hells Angels.
But she said just because the clubs are shut down doesn't necessarily
mean that the Gate Keepers numbers have dropped off. When the Cape
Breton branch of the Gate Keepers closed Hawryluk said many of their
members simply joined the Pictou County club.
Hawryluk said there are dozens of people who are members of the
province's three outlaw motorcycle gangs. Those include the Hells
Angels, the Gate Keepers and Bacchus.
The Hells Angels and the Bacchus motorcycle gang have been seen riding
and partying together, says Hawryluk. (Radio-Canada)
Bacchus still operates a clubhouse in Harrietsfield and despite
tensions in the past, appear to be on friendly terms with the Hells
Hawryluk said the two groups have gone on rides together and have been
seen partying with one another.
The gangs have set up in Nova Scotia because there is a demand for
illegal goods and services like drugs and prostitution. Halifax's port
is also attractive to gangs as they look to transport drugs.
The only way to drive the groups out is with community support said
Hawryluk, which includes people stepping up and reporting any
suspicious activity they see to police.
I reported the son of a HAMC associatte, an immigrant from Croatia
named Tom Strenja who threatened me and my family with death. He typed
on Facebook Messenger he had dreams of cutting me up in his bathtub. I
contacted GRC and Vancouver Police but never so much as got a file
number. In any case Strenja is in jail for assault causing bodily harm
and is facing a court hearing for shooting a woman for some reason
twice a while back.
Bacchus 1% was wearing his patch at Kelly's Pub in Newton while
drinking with a supporter and another man. The man wouldn't wear the
patch if he didn't have the permission of HAMC which has 122 full
patches in BC.
The HAMC were driven out of Nova Scotia some years back because of
police action, vigilantism and blowback from regular criminals. But
they have returned.
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