A Kamloops gardening store owned by a close associate of a slain Hells Angels’ member has been raided by anti-gang police as part of a drug trafficking investigation.
Kamloops RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said in a news release Tuesday that the searches were conducted on the Sunshine Gardens Superstore in the 1700-block of Kelly Douglas Road, as well as at two residences — one in the 100-block of Knollwood Drive and the other in the 1000-block of Kinross Place.
Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said two men — aged 50 and 24 — were arrested, but have been released while the investigation continues.
Shelkie said police seized “over $350,000 in Canadian currency, substantial amounts of illicit drugs including what is believed to be cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and marijuana, a 40 calibre handgun with ammunition and various items relating to drug trafficking.”
Corporate records obtained by Postmedia News show that Sunshine Gardens Greenhouse is owned by Zale Coty, a close associate of Hells Angel Chad Wilson, who was gunned down in November 2018.
The 50-year-old Coty incorporated the business in 2000 and is the sole director, according to the B.C. Corporate Registry.
Sunshine Garden’s website boasts it has “over 6,000 square feet of hydroponics, nutrients and equipment to serve all of your indoor and outdoor growing needs! We’re one of the fastest growing hydroponics and gardening suppliers and you’ll find many high-performance products that you may not find anywhere else.”
Coty is also a member of the Okanagan’s Throttle Locker biker gang, which police have identified as a support club of the Hells Angels. The Throttle Lockers started in August 2009.
Before Coty’s Facebook page was taken down Wednesday afternoon, he regularly posted photos of himself attending events with the Hells Angels, including a pig roast at the Surrey clubhouse of Wilson’s Hardside chapter.
He also lamented the Nov. 18, 2018 murder of Wilson, whose body was found under the Golden Ears Bridge in Maple Ridge. No one has yet been charged in the slaying, which happened just months before another Hardside Hells Angel — Suminder (Allie) Grewal — was gunned down in South Surrey last August. Two Edmonton men have been charged in Grewal’s murder.
Land title records show that Coty also owns a property at 173 Knollwood Dr. — the same block where police executed one of the warrants. He purchased the Knollwood property, currently assessed at $410,000, in March of 2017.
In separate back-to-back hearings Christopher “Durty” Cosimano and Michael “Pumpkin” Mencher each denied participation in the brazen rush-hour shooting of Paul Anderson from the Outlaws Motorcycle Club
He also owns two other properties — one in Tappen, B.C. assessed at $1.23 million, and another one on Inskip Road in Kamloops assessed at $339,000.
Cody’s only convictions in B.C. are for two instances of driving when his licence was suspended in 2007 and 2017, according to the B.C. online court database.
Kamloops Mounties did not release the name of the suspects in the drug trafficking probe.
“The next stage of the investigation will include reviewing all of the evidence seized and forwarding all investigative information to the B.C. Prosecution Service who will determine if or what charges will be forthcoming,” Shelkie said. “There will be no further updates on this file until charges are approved.”