column was published in the
July 21, 1999)
Angelís case frustrates police
By Leo Knight
couple of months ago, a police officer was talking to me about
the strange case of Jacques "Israel" Emond, a full
member of the Sherbrooke (Quebec) chapter of the Hells Angels
and now living in Burnaby.
officer told an extraordinary story of frustration felt by the
police in his case.
pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in cocaine. As a
result of the plea arrangement, other charges were dropped. He
was sentenced to nine years in jail and after his first year, he
was transferred to a B.C. prison.
1991 he was paroled and he obtained conditional variances to
1993 he was arrested by the RCMP on an extradition warrant
emanating from indictments in Florida on two conspiracy charges
and racketeering under the American federal RICO legislation
used to fight organized crime. The indictments allege he was
part of a criminal conspiracy to traffic and import narcotics
between 1976 and 1991.
he was on bail on the extradition warrant, he was arrested in
1995 at Dorval airport in Montreal carrying approximately
$50,000 in cash.
fought the extradition warrant and in 1997 the extradition
request was quashed by federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.
the time, Emond's lawyer, Ken Westlake, who regularly acts for
Hells Angels, said the 1987 plea agreement included outstanding
charges in the U.S.
the time Westlake argued the Canadian government should have
quashed the extradition warrant when it was received. According
to Westlake the U.S. Customs service and the Canadian government
were part of the plea agreement. He was quoted in media reports
at the time saying, "This sentence was one that was agreed
to by all parties."
DEA and the Department of Justice lawyers in Florida say the
customs official didn't have the authority to speak for them and
wasn't privy to the investigation in question. They also allege
that Emond was part of the continued conspiracy through to 1992,
even when he was in jail, and the continuation of the offence
negates any deal made in 1987. Sounds like a reasonable argument
on parole, the police say he continued to associate with members
of the Hells Angels, a violation of his parole. He worked at
Hiway Choppers, which is owned by John Peter Bryce, who police
claim is the president of the East End Chapter of the Angels.
sources claim Emond is every bit as active as ever and still
wears Sherbrooke colours at club functions.
that the Hells Angels own rules say members must live in their
area of influence and attend regular club meetings, the fact
that Emond is still here wearing Quebec colours demonstrates the
influence and power he has in the organization.
late May, after unsuccessful attempts to get information from
the justice ministry, I spoke to West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast
MP and Reform Justice critic John Reynolds about the matter.
Reynolds waded in. Numerous phone messages were followed with
letters demanding answers and finally, he was given a response
answer provided essentially said it was a dead issue. Reynolds
asked why an active member of the Hells Angels was being
shielded from U.S. justice based on what appears to be a flawed
was told, "if you can provide any information or evidence
on Mr. Emond's continuing involvement in illegal or criminal
activities, the minister would look into the situation."
would appear to mean as far as the minister is concerned Emond
is nicely re-habilitated and no longer involved with the outlaw
motorcycle gang. According to the police this is ludicrous.
look at an excerpt from the RCMP Gazette. "Make no
mistake about it, bikers are now as sophisticated as the old
organized crime families.
are far more prone to violence when provoked, and certainly more
seldom miss an opportunity to make money or to kill someone in
the way of profits.
more illegal the scam, the more it is preferred. If you can rip
off society and put one over on the establishment in the
process, that's showing class"
(Criminal Intelligence Services Canada) own report to the House
of Commons states "drug trafficking is the most lucrative
activity for criminal motorcycle gangs. This is particularly
true of the Hells Angels who, thanks to support from their
affiliated clubs, are a major distributor and seller of drugs
from coast to coast."
is the minister trying to kid by asking for information or
evidence from Reynolds? All she need do is read the reports that
surely cross her desk to know what's going on. Or, before
deciding on something like the extradition request on very
serious charges, ask someone who knows about these things.
American justice officials are still shaking their heads over
smell a cover-up?