A Fredericton man identified by RCMP as a full-patch member of the Hells Angels and one of his "known associates" will remain in custody for another month until their next court appearance on several drug and weapons-related charges.
Robin Moulton, 48, and Marie Antonette Bugay, 40, also of Fredericton, are scheduled to return to Saint John provincial court on Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. to enter pleas and choose their method of trial — either by a provincial court judge, Court of Queen's Bench judge alone, or by judge and jury in the Court of Queen's Bench.
RCMP have said Moulton and Bugay were arrested in August as part of a continuing joint-force investigation into outlaw motorcycle gang activities in New Brunswick.
They made a brief appearance together for the first time in Saint John court on Thursday to set their return date. They were both in the prisoner's box with two sheriff's deputies standing between them.
- Hells Angels biker Robin Moulton faces 12 new drug and weapons charges, denied bail
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Moulton, who was seated, turned and grinned at Bugay, who was standing and leaning against the wall. Their eyes met and she offered a weak smile back.
'I understand it's a large case, a large situation.' - T.J. Burke, defence lawyer
Bugay, whose hair is now two-toned brunette and blond instead of the bright red depicted in some of her Facebook photos, also waved at a young woman at the back of the courtroom, one of a handful of supporters present for the proceedings.
Crown prosecutor Nicole Angers told the court she needs more time to vet information related to the case before providing further disclosure to the defence lawyers.
"Are you happy with that?" Judge Andrew LeMesurier asked Moulton's defence lawyer T.J. Burke.
"I'm not really happy with a lot of things in life to be honest with you, your honour. But I mean, these things take time, I can appreciate that," replied Burke.
"It is what it is. I understand it's a large case, a large situation."
RCMP have said Moulton is a member of the Hells Angels MC, Nomads New Brunswick chapter.
Police say the chapter, which was established in the province last fall, is made up of longstanding, elite Hells Angels members. The organization is called Nomads because, unlike traditional chapters, it doesn't have its own clubhouse.
New charge laid against Bugay
Moulton is facing 12 charges, most of which relate to firearms, namely a high-powered rifle with a silencer and a loaded handgun, which he was previously banned from possessing for life, according to the information.
Bugay, who has not retained a defence lawyer yet, is charged jointly with Moulton on seven of the charges plus another three on her own, including a new one that was laid on Thursday.
She is accused of having possession of more than $5,000 on Aug. 24 in Fredericton, knowing that all or part of it was obtained by the commission of an offence punishable by indictment, which is more serious than a summary charge.
Trial venue undetermined
The judge asked the lawyers if they've decided where the trial should be held. Moulton originally appeared in Woodstock court but his case was relocated to Saint John over security concerns.
Angers said she had discussed the matter briefly with Burke and the head sheriff and believes it should be in one of the newer courthouses, either Saint John, Moncton or Miramichi.
She said Moulton is currently being held at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre but could be transferred to Shediac, where the Southeast Regional Correctional Centre is located.
Angers, who is based in Moncton, said she would prefer the trial be held there, but she believes Moulton and Bugay's election may dictate whether it needs to proceed in Woodstock.
Moulton was arrested near Woodstock on Aug. 22 after being stopped while driving on the Trans-Canada Highway.
He was charged after police searched his Fredericton residence on Brunswick Street and "several" other locations across the province and seized numerous items, RCMP have said.
Bugay was arrested and released Aug. 24 after police searched a residence on Aberdeen Street in Fredericton. She was re-arrested on Aug. 29.
The seven charges they are jointly accused of relate to alleged offences on Aug. 22 at or near Woodstock:
- Possession of a prohibited weapon — a 9-mm handgun — without having a registration certificate.
- Storing a 9-mm handgun without reasonable precaution for the safety of others.
- Possession of a loaded prohibited firearm without a licence.
- Storing a .308-calibre rifle without reasonable precaution for the safety of others.
- Possession of a prohibited device — a silencer — for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.
- Possession of a silencer without a licence.
- Possession of a press, intending that it be used to traffic in a controlled substance.
Moulton is accused of four other offences from the same date and place:
- Possession of a 9-mm handgun while prohibited from doing so for life.
- Possession of a prohibited device — a silencer — while he was prohibited from doing so for life.
- Possession of ammunition while he was prohibited from doing so for 10 years.
- Possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
The other charges against Bugay are alleged to have occurred on Aug. 24 in Fredericton:
- Possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
- Possession of a prohibited weapon — a Taser — without a licence.
Moulton and Bugay were both previously denied bail. There are publication bans on the evidence presented during their separate bail hearings.