The trial for a man accused of running a Central Okanagan chop shop with ties to the Hells Angles was supposed to go ahead today in Provincial Court, but will instead be switched to Supreme Court.
John Edward Newcome re-elected his mode of trial, asking instead for a Supreme Court judge to preside over his case. That also means Newcome will bypass a preliminary inquiry and proceed directly to trial. All parties will return to court on Nov. 25 to fix a date.
Newcome is facing 17 charges, including possession of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property, after the RCMP raided Cycle Logic in August 2012.
At the time of the bust, RCMP Inspector Rick Flewelling called it a ‘significant’ property theft and trafficking operation.
"I would dare say it was well put together," he said, alluding to the sophisticated nature of the operation.
"I haven't personally seen one bigger in nature. For me, the significant aspect would be not only the size, but the association with outlaw motorcycle gangs and organized crime.”
RCMP say the business had connections to the Nanaimo and Calgary chapters of the Hells Angels, as well as the Throttle Lockers and Kingpin Crew from Kelowna. The operation itself involved modifying the Vehicle Identification Numbers on stolen vehicles, boats, trailers, ATV's and machinery.
Police also raided Newcome’s Peachland home and found a marijuana grow-op.
His business license for Cycle Logic was canceled by West Kelowna city council in March of this year.