News Item: 'Sneak & peek' video led to coke bust
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by ace
Wednesday 07 June 2006 - 20:06:06

Cops used several unique warrants to bust suspected drug dealers during Project Villagio, which targeted three members of the Zig Zag Crew and a Maples-area apartment that was a "lair for their ongoing cocaine operation," court was told this week.

Cops were granted a pair of "sneak and peek" warrants, formally known as covert entry warrants, to videotape and photograph inside the Leila Avenue suite during the middle of the night.

Tapes of those warrants were shown as evidence in court this week at a bail hearing for Hells Angels hangaround Harold Amos, who's been charged with cocaine trafficking and possessing prohibited weapons.

Filmed by a pair of officers, the video tour of the apartment revealed the usual cocaine trafficking equipment -- including scales and moulds -- but also unveiled a hydraulic press, said Crown attorney Chris Mainella.

The video showed the press in a closet in one of the suite's two bedrooms, which aside from bare mattresses on the floor, didn't appear lived in. Instead of being used to fix cars, the device was allegedly used to compress mixtures of cocaine and cutting agents into drug bricks, which were stashed in the oven.

DRUGS WORTH $140K

All told, the drugs in the apartment were worth about $140,000, court heard.

The footage paved the way for the Winnipeg police organized crime unit to obtain another warrant that allowed two hidden cameras to be installed inside the apartment.

The suite was being rented by Amos' brother, Malcom Amos, but he clearly wasn't living in there, court was told, because he was in jail.

Provincial court Judge Brian Corrin reserved his decision on Harold Amos's freedom until Friday.

Normally, publication bans prevent media from detailing the proceedings of a bail hearing. There wasn't a ban for Amos' hearing.

Of the eight people arrested in Project Villagio, Harold Amos, 34, is the most senior associate. The first time his name and drug charges mixed in court was well over a decade ago.

More recently, he was among five bikers who spent nearly two years in jail awaiting a so-called "mega-trial" before the Crown stayed all charges in June 2004.

A member of the Zig-Zag Crew -- the local biker club's puppet club or "farm team," Mainella told the court -- Harold Amos has achieved "hangaround" status with the Manitoba chapter of the Hells Angels.

If convicted, Amos is facing a "double-digit" prison sentence, Mainella said.

"We are talking about a mature, seasoned criminal. He's a gangster, and Mr. Amos is proud of that."

Amos's lawyer Jay Prober said the case against his client turns solely on the undercover video, which might not ultimately be admitted as evidence.

Winnipeg News


This news item is from White Trash Networks
( http://www.bikernews.org/wtn/news.php?extend.644 )