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Kelowna  

Hells Angels trial wraps up

The trial of two Kelowna Hells Angels and three associates has wrapped up after months in B.C. Supreme Court.

Kim Bolan of the Vancouver Sun reports Justice Carol Ross is to hand down her ruling Sept. 30.

Hells Angels David Giles and Brian Oldham and associates James Howard, Michael Read and Shawn Womacks were charged with conspiracy to import cocaine. The three other co-accused have already pleaded guilty.

Giles and his associates were arrested after a federal investigation that netted $4 million in alleged drug money.

The investigation, dubbed E-PREDICATE, lasted more than 20 months and involved Canadian, U.S., Mexican and Panamanian law enforcement agencies.

Earlier this month, Giles' lawyer Paul Gill admitted his client intended to traffic 200 kilograms of cocaine in Canada, but did not necessarily intend to import the drugs.

This Wednesday, during final arguments, defence lawyer Ian Donaldson concluded on behalf of Oldham that there isn’t enough evidence to convict the biker of conspiracy.

However, Chris Greenwood with the federal prosecution disagrees, claiming Oldham played a key role when he attended a meeting with Giles and an undercover cop.

“He backed up the deal. In his capacity as a Hells Angel, he agreed to stand in Mr. Giles’ place for the express purpose of ensuring the cocaine could be obtained,” Greenwood said in court.

Donaldson does not believe that just because Oldham was involved with the meeting he knew about the cocaine deal.

“There are a variety of explanations that can be put upon Oldham’s presence there. They include that Giles needs somebody at that meeting to demonstrate that person is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast — he’s an Angel, shows a tattoo, that there’s somebody available if something happens to (Giles),” Donaldson said.

Giles' lawyer maintains his client was "played" by police at a time when he was sick and broke.

– with files from the Vancouver Sun



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