Publication ban to protect identities of undercover cops

Officers set to testify in trial involving alleged drug crimes linked to Hells Angels support group

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted a publication ban protecting the identities of undercover officers expected to testify in the upcoming trial of three men charged with drug crimes linked to a gang support club of bikers.

Judge Lauren Blake granted the RCMP’s request for a publication ban on any evidence or information that could identify these officers.

Lawyers representing the three defendants – Shawn William Carlisle, 49, Jacob Andrew Cavanagh, 27 and Zale Coty – also appeared in court last week in a first appearance following the impeachment case direct, which means that there will be no preliminary hearing before a trial. begin.

The case was adjourned at the request of defense attorneys for five weeks, until October 3, to review disclosure documents.

Police say the charges against the three men, believed to be linked to the Throttle Lockers gang, resulted from an organized crime investigation by the Kamloops RCMP and the Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) which started in 2017.

Using three search warrants in November 2019, police said they found a number of items, including $330,000 in Canadian currency, 174 grams of fentanyl, 704 grams of cocaine, 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine , weapons including a .40 caliber handgun, an Airsoft replica handgun and a pair of brass knuckles, a Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club vest, Hells Angels support gear, digital scales and ticket counters.

Kamloops RCMP Superintendent Syd Lecky said police received early information that the Throttle Lockers, which he called a “support club” for the Kelowna chapter of the Hells Angels, were trying to establish a presence in Kamloops.

The investigation began under the direction of former Kamloops RCMP Superintendent Brad Mueller and was led by former Kamloops RCMP Staff Sergeant Simon Pillay. UMECO-BC resumed the survey in July 2018 after its reach continued to grow.

One of the search warrants targeted the Sunshine Gardens Greenhouse Superstore in Valleyview. Company records show Sunshine Gardens Greenhouse is owned by Zale Coty, a close associate of Hells Angel Chad Wilson, who was shot in November 2018. Coty, 50, incorporated the company in 2000 and is the sole director, according to the British Columbia Companies Registry.

Land title records show Coty also owns property at 173 Knollwood Dr. – the same block where police executed one of the warrants. He purchased the Knollwood property, currently valued at $410,000, in March 2017. He also owns two other properties – one in Tappen, east of Kamloops in the Shuswap and valued at $1.23 million, and a another on Inskip Road in Westsyde valued at $339,000. .

Cody’s only convictions in British Columbia relate to two driving cases when his license was suspended in 2007 and 2017, according to the British Columbia Courts Online Database.

Coty faces seven drug-related charges, including trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Carlisle is charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and a violation of the Cannabis Act, while Cavanagh is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Jacob L. Thornton