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Hells Angels 'support club' targeted in RCMP bust, B.C. gang unit says, announcing charges

Throttle Lockers and Hells Angels gear is shown in photos provided by CFSEU-BC. Throttle Lockers and Hells Angels gear is shown in photos provided by CFSEU-BC.
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A years-long investigation into an alleged "support club" for a British Columbia chapter of the Hells Angels resulted in several drug-related charges, police say.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) said Wednesday that an investigation that began back in 2017 resulted in charges against three men from the province's Interior.

In a news release, the unit announced a variety of trafficking and possession charges had been approved against Shawn Carlisle, age 49, from Falkland, and Kelowna residents Zale Coty, 53, and Jacob Cavanaugh, 29.

The charges were approved late last month, the CFSEU said, though they were not made public until Wednesday. The unit said the men were released from custody on conditions while the case works its way through the legal system. It did not say what those conditions were.

The investigation began years ago, when the Kamloops RCMP detachment started looking into "a number of violent offences related to organized crime," Supt. Sydney Lecky said in the news release.

Those offences included a homicide, assaults and other events, all of which were believed to be tied to the drug trade.

According to Mounties, the investigation led them to a group called the Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club, which the RCMP describes as a "support club" for the Kelowna chapter of the better-known Hells Angels biker club.

They allege the three arrested were members of the Throttle Lockers and that they were operating a large-scale trafficking operation as the clubs expanded from Kelowna into Kamloops.

Calling it an opportunity to "disrupt" that expansion, the CFSEU took the lead in the case in 2018, and by the following year, the unit and the RCMP obtained three search warrants for properties in the Kamloops area.

They claim they seized more than $330,000, as well as fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine, a handgun and replica handgun, Throttle Lockers and Hells Angels gear and "various items" related to drug trafficking. Those items include brass knuckles, cash counting machines and a digital scale, authorities said.

The accused were arrested in 2019 and 2020, but were not charged until this year. Those charges were approved by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

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