With tensions rising between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, the OPP’s top biker cop warns no community, including London, is immune from violence that may result from the jockeying for turf.
The warning comes as the Ontario Provincial Police prepare to launch a campaign to educate the public about outlaw motorcycle clubs and deter people from buying the gangs’ merchandise.
A raid two weeks ago on the Oshawa home of a known Hells Angels affiliate yielded guns, drugs and evidence suggesting the biker gang’s longtime feud with the Outlaws is heating up, said Det.-Staff Sgt. Anthony Renton, the head of the OPP biker enforcement unit.
“Because what our intelligence is telling us now, and what we’re seeing in other parts of Canada, is there is violence occurring between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws. It can happen in London,” he said.
“Everything is about territory and jurisdiction and where can they profit . . . and get ahead of their rival gang.”
London has long been considered territory of the Hells Angels – the club has around a dozen full-patch members here – though the Outlaws have made recent efforts to reestablish their presence in the city.
But that effort was dealt a blow last fall when police charged London chapter’s president with counselling to commit murder. Three other men police alleged to be members of the club were charged with weapons and drug offences, leaving the Outlaws’ footprint in London uncertain.
Renton, a 30-year law-enforcement veteran who cut his teeth with the Peel Region police, is asking the public to help authorities clamp down on outlaw biker clubs.
The OPP will run its awareness campaign during the summer.
“If you’re going to go to Friday the 13th and support the Hells Angels by buying a T-shirt or something, we’re going to try to educate you and show you how you’re now supporting the criminal organization . . . ,” Renton said of Port Dover gathering that attracts motorcycle lovers of all stripes.
Police are also urging motorcycle enthusiasts to take steps to differentiate themselves from their outlaw club counterparts, who sport vests adorned with patches depicting their club’s logo, name, the letters MC and a chapter identification.
“Let people around you know that you’re not part of the criminal element,” said Renton, who took the helm of the biker enforcement unit last year, replacing now-retired detective-sergeant Len Isnor.
With 54 members from 20 police forces and agencies, the biker enforcement unit is one of the largest joint force operations in Ontario.
Biker clubs are involved in the crimes like drug trafficking, extortion, frauds, gambling and human trafficking, Renton said.
“It evolves,” he said of their crime portfolio. “Any crime where there’s money to be made, you’ll find organized crime trying to benefit from it.”
WILKES-BARRE — An intoxicated member of a biker gang threatened his father with a meat tenderizer and spit on police officers as they arrested him Sunday night, according to police.
Justin Martin, 30, of Rear 291 Parrish St., repeatedly threatened officers and warned he would see them again when they didn’t have their badges on, police said.
Officers responded to Martin’s home around 10:25 p.m. Sunday to a report of a fight between Martin and his father, Frank Maloney Sr., who told police Martin was out of control and needed to be arrested.
Another man, Frank Maloney Jr., told police Martin asked him for marijuana or cocaine. When Maloney Jr. told Martin to sober up, Martin began slapping him repeatedly, police said.
Maloney Jr. also reported that Martin threatened kill him and that he would “get my boys after you” — a reference to his membership in the Pagans Motorcycle Club, according to police.
The altercation moved outside and Martin tried to damage Maloney Jr.’s new car, but Maloney Sr. stopped him, police said.
Police found Martin highly intoxicated and directed him to go inside the house, according to the charges. As officers spoke to Maloney Jr. about filing charges, they heard Martin screaming from inside the home and saw Maloney Sr. run outside saying, “He has a hammer!” police said.
Officers entered the home and found Martin holding a meat tenderizer, which he raised at the police briefly before complying with their commands, the charges allege.
Police say that as they loaded Martin into a transport van, he threatened them repeatedly, warning he would come back when he got out of jail. Martin then spit at police once he was placed into the van, striking two officers with his saliva, police said.
Police charged Martin with aggravated harassment by a prisoner, making terroristic threats, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Magisterial District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr. arraigned him on Monday morning and ordered Martin jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with bail set at $100,000.
A preliminary hearing was set for June 19.