Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hells Angels MC still in the city

2006 raid effectively spelled the end of the Thunder Bay chapter

THUNDER BAY, CANADA  (August 23, 2016) – Thunder Bay police say despite a raid  10 years ago that shut down the local chapter, the Hells Angels motorcycle club continues to have a presence in the city.

Spokesperson Chris Adams told CBC News there are still members of the organization in town, but they're connected with the Hamilton chapter.

"The Hells Angels obviously still see Thunder Bay and the members here as having some viability and I'm sure they would like to see their full chapter status back at some point," he said.

Police spokesperson Chris Adams said the Hells Angels have their eye on the city as a lucrative place to do their drug trade

He also expressed concern that the city could become the site of "turf wars" between rival groups.

"Any time you have the potential to make money illegally, you're going to have these groups sort of butting heads from time to time," Adams said.

"We're fortunate we haven't seen a full turf war here but the potential exists and this is definitely what we're concerned about."

The Hells Angels Ontario logo appeared at a building on Simpson Street in Thunder Bay. 

The group's Thunder Bay chapter was effectively shut down in 2006 after a large-scale investigation, involving city and provincial police, as well as the RCMP, led to several arrests and the seizure of the organization's club house on Heron Street. Thunder Bay police also raided a Simpson Street building in 2014 they claimed was a club house for the group.

Looking at a 'potential marketplace'

City police have said the area is a lucrative market for the drug trade, and Adams said the Hells Angels motorcycle club continues to eye Thunder Bay because of it.

"They essentially are looking at their potential marketplace, and when there's vacuums that are created from time to time, with organized crime, other groups come in and try and fill that vacuum."