Pubdate: Thu, 18 Dec 2003
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2003 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Mike McIntyre


MANITOBA justice authorized a rare direct indictment yesterday against 
high-level members of an alleged new criminal organization that has 
registered itself as a legitimate business.

Bekim and Mohammed Zeneli will proceed straight to trial without the 
benefit of a preliminary hearing on 19 charges including cocaine 
trafficking, money-laundering, conspiracy and possessing proceeds of crime.

Donna "Mama Bear" Anderson, who is accused of running an elaborate drug 
delivery network for the gang, will also go directly to trial, although her 
case will be heard separately from the Zeneli brothers.

The trio is believed to be connected to LHS -- a fast-rising street gang 
whose name, police say, stands for "loyalty, honour, silence" and is 
closely linked to the Hells Angels.

Police say the gang has been involved in several high-profile cases earlier 
this year, including the theft of a Winnipeg police gun and several 

The direct indictment -- which has only ever been used in Manitoba drug 
cases a handful of times -- spares the Crown from exposing its evidence and 
witnesses before trial. Indictments are usually only done in cases where 
preservation of evidence and safety of witnesses is a concern.

The charges against Anderson and the Zenelis relate to alleged incidents 
between May 2001 and March 2003 in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Moosomin, Sask., 
involving the movement of cocaine through Western Canada and the financial 
benefits they allegedly reaped.

The Zenelis claim they made their money in the concert promotion business 
with their company, L.H.S. Inc., and not through drug sales.

Bekim Zeneli claims LHS are initials from family members, not some gang mantra.

Bekim Zeneli also made headlines earlier this year when he filed a unique 
legal challenge seeking access to $43,000 cash that was seized by police 
during his arrest last year on these drug-related charges. Zeneli claims he 
needs the money to pay his lawyer.

Police and the Crown objected, saying the money is dirty. A judge agreed.

Legal Aid has turned Zeneli down, claiming he makes too much money to 
qualify. Zeneli is scheduled to make another pitch for access to the funds 
during a hearing in January.

Zeneli is also facing additional charges from this past summer, including 
kidnapping with a firearm and uttering threats to kill.
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