Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Nine years for HA associate

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Sometimes, for reasons of space, stories in the newspaper get cut down a bit. Yesterday, a Zig Zag Crew member was given a nine-year sentence for his role in offenses dating back to 2005. These also include him being caught up in Project Drill - a massive joint RCMP-Winnipeg police organized crime project. To give a little more flavour, I'm reproducing the story as submitted to the paper yesterday in its entirety here.

There's even more, which I'll get to in another post later today. 

A 22-year-old associate of the Hells Angels caught up in a massive police sting targeting the gang has been handed a nine-year prison sentence for drug trafficking, assault and extortion. Thomas Eric Anderson has been in jail since last June when he was arrested in the city on a Canada-wide warrant for violently assaulting a man with a metal baton, and trying to extort money from him for a drug debt allegedly owed to him by the victim’s roommate in February ’07.  Wednesday, he pleaded guilty in court to the offenses, along with drug-trafficking charges and court-order breaches dating back to 2005, some of which implicated him in an intensive police operation targeting the Hells Angels motorcycle gang called Project Drill. . Anderson admitted yesterday to delivering just under a pound of cocaine in February ‘07 to undercover police agent Scotty ‘Taz’ Robertson, who was paid $650,000 to broker a series of drug and weapons deals which were captured by police on audio and video. In total, Anderson was given three years for the assault and extortion, four years for his Project Drill involvement and an additional two years after being found by police with about a dozen ½ gram bags of powder cocaine in a Regina police raid in 2005. Despite his young age, Anderson – a full member of Hells Angels puppet club the Zig Zag Crew -  has amassed a five-page long criminal record since 2003. The latest charges against him are just part of "an unbroken stream of criminal offenses," said Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson. Anderson’s sentence of nine years – less the 34 months of double time credit for time served awaiting trial was jointly recommended by the Crown and defense lawyer Roberta Campbell. He’ll be eligible for statutory release after two-thirds of his sentence is completed about five years from now. In accepting the joint recommendation, Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Joan McKelvey decried Anderson’s actions, indicating he was guilty of perpetuating a culture of addiction that destroys families and poses a huge cost to society. "The couriering of drugs and the drug trade itself continues to cause a major disruption in our society," she said. Anderson is also required to provide a sample of his DNA for a national database. He’s also prohibited from ever owning, possessing or carrying any weapons for the rest of his life. Campbell said Anderson hopes to serve his time in an Alberta prison where he’ll be closer to his family. james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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