Nine Island men who police believe to be affiliated with a criminal biker gang were charged Thursday under Criminal Code organized crime legislation.

All nine men are from P.E.I., and were each charged with four counts related to lotteries and games of chance, including participating in any activity of the criminal organization and committing an offence for a criminal organization related to a lottery scheme.

Gangs court

The nine men were escorted to court in an armoured police truck. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

In a news release, police said the men are "hangarounds" with the Hells Angels Woodbridge (Ontario) chapter.

The men are:

  • Ronald Joseph Dean Cook, 46, of Charlottetown.
  • Blake Edward Culleton, 34, of Kensington, P.E.I.
  • Corey Gordon Falls, 29, of Charlottetown.
  • Robert "Bobby" Vernon Falls, 63, of Charlottetown.
  • Brad Charles Gallant, 26, of North Rustico, P.E.I.
  • Ian Roulston Kennedy, 53, of Brudenell, P.E.I.
  • Kenneth Boyde MacLeod, 48, of Murray River, P.E.I.
  • Shawn Gregory Paquet, 29, of Charlottetown.
  • Tristan Edward Watts, 19, of Grand Tracadie, P.E.I.
Gangs court

The men appeared in court on Thursday. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

All members of club: police

Brad MacConnell, deputy chief with Charlottetown Police Services, said police believe the men charged are all members of what they call the P.E.I. Hells Angels hangaround club, which they say is linked to the Hells Angels chapter in Woodbridge, Ont. These arrests show police are committed to ridding the province of outlaw motorcycle gangs, he said.

"These are serious charges," said MacConnell. "Some of the charges hold a maximum of 14 years."

Brad MacConnell

Charlottetown deputy chief Brad MacConnell says the arrest sends a message that outlaw motorcycle gangs aren't welcome in P.E.I. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

MacConnell said he believes these are the first charges under the Criminal Code's organized crime legislation on P.E.I. "certainly in recent memory."

Released with conditions

The men were arrested Wednesday evening shortly after 9 p.m. at their clubhouse, said police, and were held overnight at the Provincial Correctional Centre.

A number of items were also seized from the clubhouse.

bikers

A number of items were seized from the clubhouse. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The men appeared before a Justice of the Peace Thursday, and were released on condition that they don't have any contact with each other, and don't attend their clubhouse.

MacConnell said the investigation is ongoing. The accused will appear in court at a later date.

In September, RCMP issued a news release expressing their concern that Hells Angels were organizing on the Island.

In January, in a joint news conference with police, Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the province was considering new legislative measures — such as a ban on fortified buildings and gang colours in bars — in order to combat biker gangs.

With files from Brian Higgins