By Peter EdwardsStaff Reporter
Police say they’ve arrested a half dozen people connected to outlaw motorcycle gangs on an assortment of drug and weapons offences.
The announcement on Tuesday comes a day after York Regional Police identified long-time York Region biker Gus Kouboules as the victim of a shooting homicide last month and two weeks after Hells Angel biker Harry Lainas, 47, of South Simcoe was shot to death in a parking garage on the Danforth.
The recent arrests follow the execution of search warrants in the Dundas Street West and Indian Road Crescent area, where police said they seized 258 grams of cocaine with a street value of $20,000 and $2,105 in cash.
Charged with firearms, drug trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime not exceeding $5,000 are Ricardo Silva, 43, of Newmarket; Jason Thompson, 43, of Toronto; Kevin Palmer-Konye, 26, of Hastings County; Richard Robert, 48, of Toronto; Melonie Barcalos, 35, of Hastings County and Christina Silva, 25, of Vaughan.
The men and women arrested were connected to the Loners, a long-time biker club based in York Region, police said.
The Ontario Provincial Police-led Biker Enforcement Unit made the arrests along with the Toronto Police Service’s Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force, Emergency Task Force and Public Safety Response Team.
Kouboules, 57, of Richmond Hill, was identified on Monday as the man whose body was found at the end of a dead-end street on Feb. 25 at approximately 8 a.m., at Teston Road at Rodinea Road, just east of Keele Street.
Kouboules had tried to run a marijuana dispensary but it was shut down because he lacked the proper permits.
Kouboules was connected with the Satan’s Choice Motorcycle Club in the 1990s, and then moved on to the Loners and Outlaws, sources who knew him said.
He had once dreamt of restarting the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Ontario after eight men connected to the club were murdered near London, Ont., in April 2006. Six others connected to the club were convicted of the murders.
His business on Main Street South in Newmarket was shut down in June and July 2018 by York Regional Police’s Organized Crime Bureau — Guns, Gangs and Drug Enforcement Unit.
At the time Lainas was shot to death in a parking garage on the Danforth, he was embroiled in a bitter ongoing dispute over control of illegal gambling in the area, several sources say.
His body was found near his black Jeep in the apartment parking garage at 2301 Danforth Ave., near Oak Park Avenue, around 10:24 p.m. Tuesday night.
Lainas had been shot several times. Police said bullet shell casings were found near his body. Police did not comment on the type of bullets used.
Lainas was fired upon in the area roughly two years ago while collecting illegal gambling revenues in the same area where he was slain, sources who knew him said.
Lainas was well-known by police and in the biker world.
He had earlier been named by police as being part of an organized crime ring that impersonated police while committing a string of GTA armed robberies.