Pubdate: Fri, 23 Aug 2002
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Sudbury Star
Author: Trevor Wilhelm


While They're Involved In Prostitution, Police Say Their Main Source Of 
Cash Is The Drug Trade

Local law enforcers hope a provincial funding announcement on Thursday to 
crackdown on outlaw biker gangs will help quell the Hells Angels' lucrative 
drug trade in Sudbury.

'It's a Hells Angels town,' said Sgt. Peter Koop, of the Greater Sudbury 
Police Service and a member of the provincial Biker Enforcement Unit. 'It's 
a great concern here in Sudbury. Any outlaw motorcycle gang -- 
patch-wearing members in your town -- it should be something to be 
concerned about.'

Public Safety and Security Minister Bob Runciman announced Thursday that 
the Ontario government is investing $3 million in the province's Biker 
Enforcement Unit (BEU), boosting its budget to nearly $6 million, to help 
police strike a blow against outlaw motorcycle gangs.

'The idea is to help them target the bad guys and keep these gangs in 
check,' said ministry spokesman James Wallace.

The BEU, formerly called the Provincial Special Squad, is made up of the 
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and 
representatives from 17 municipal police services across Ontario, including 

Staffing has also been increased to 102 officers. Members of the BEU said 
the money and extra officers would help them in their cause.

'It takes money to fight organized crime,' said Koop. 'There will be more 
deployment of biker enforcement officers within the province. We're also 
looking at the associated equipment for those individuals, being vehicles 
and other items to assist in any investigation.'

OPP Det. Insp. Don Bell said the resources are needed.

'Organized crime is a tremendous problem for all of Ontario,' said Bell. 
'It's the No. 1 priority for law enforcement in the province.

'It's supported by all the chiefs of police, including the chiefs in 
Northern Ontario.'

He said there are currently about 500 motorcycle gang members in Ontario 
'They're having quite a significant impact in Northern Ontario,' said Bell.

Koop said there aren't many outlaw bikers actually living in Sudbury now, 
but their presence is felt.

'We are down to three patch-wearing members and all three are attached to 
Simcoe county Hells Angels,' said Koop. 'Weekends, you'll usually see quite 
a few of the Simcoe members attending here in town to bolster their numbers 
and have their presence here.'

While the Hells Angels are involved in prostitution in Sudbury, said Koop, 
their illicit activity of choice is the drug trade.

'Drugs in this city is controlled by the Hells Angels,' said Koop. 'It's a 
big money-making enterprise for them. There are other endeavours they're 
certainly in, be it prostitution, escort services, stuff like that.
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