Hells Angels clubhouse seized in Winnipeg
Published Thursday, July 29, 2010 6:16PM CST
Following an in-depth investigation, police and Manitoba Justice officials seized the Hells Angels clubhouse on Scotia Street on Thursday.
The tactical support team went in just after 9 a.m. on July 29. Police and officials began removing anything linked to the Hells Angels, including two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Two men inside the home were taken away in police cars, but are reportedly not facing criminal charges.
The wrought-iron Hells Angels gate was also taken down.
The clubhouse was seized under legislation passed last June.
The Criminal Property Forfeiture Act allows the government to take over property obtained through unlawful acts.
Manitoba Justice filed a statement of claim in the Court of Queen's Bench seeking forfeiture of the Hells Angels clubhouse.
An interim order was granted to allow the province to immediately seize the property at 2679 Scotia Street, said provincial officials.
The seizure came after months of investigation. The province used information obtained through police raids, such as Project Divide, Project Defense and Project Divide, to build the case that alleges money laundering, drug selling and conspiring to commit murder went on at the location.
"We're alleging this clubhouse was used in criminal activity and should as such be forfeited," said Gord Schumacher with Manitoba Justice.
Schumacher said the seizure will strike a blow against the Hells Angels organization.
"It's a pretty clear message - the message is if you do something unlawful, don't except to benefit from it," said Schumacher.
The property belongs to Leonard Beauchemin, a Hells Angels associate member who lives in Ontario.
CTV News has been told he is already in contact with lawyers.
The Hells Angels moved into the home about 10 years ago.
Neighbours in the area were too afraid to speak on camera with CTV News. Some are waiting to see if the seizure actually marks the end of the Hells Angels on the street.
The courts have appointed an independent solicitor.
The bikers have 40 days to appeal the forfeiture.
The province said proceeds raised from the sale of property seized under the forfeiture act are placed into a fund which supports activities such as compensating victims of crime.
- with a report from CTV's Stacey Ashley