Hells Angels investigation a first of its kind in Alberta

Members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT), along with officers from the RCMP K Division and EPS, offered up some new information on the Hells Angels sweep that happened earlier this week

ALERT leader says there may still be more arrests

Insp. Darcy Strang shows a vest that was seized during a sweep of ten Edmonton-area properties on Wednesday. (CBC )

The arrest of six men associated with the Hells Angels was a first for Alberta law enforcement, investigators announced Friday. 

“This is the first time in Alberta that organized crime charges have been laid against the Hells Angels,” said Insp. Darcy Strang with ALERT. 

The six accused are facing assault and organized crime charges after officers executed 10 search warrants in the Edmonton area Wednesday. Nine of those properties were investigated within a 32-minute period.

Strang attributed the sweep’s success to “an unprecedented showing of police cooperation in Alberta.”

In total, 200 officers and support personnel, drawn from ALERT, EPS and the RCMP, worked together to execute the search warrants.

Speaking Friday, Strang said the operation was the result of a “complex investigation” into Hells Angels activities in the greater Edmonton region.

Strang attributed the sweep’s success to “an unprecedented showing of police cooperation in Alberta.”

Investigation began in Drayton Valley

Asked about the motive behind the major investigation, Strang said ALERT became involved following a robbery and violent assault that took place in Drayton Valley in February. That incident was triggered by a turf war, he said.

“Although the focus of this investigation was not guns or drugs, police also seized 26 lbs of marijuana and two handguns. This is a clear indication of the criminal ties and propensity for violence of this criminal investigation.”

Officers also seized 19 Hells Angels vests, or cuts, as evidence in their investigation.

Strang said the ALERT investigation into the club’s activities is ongoing, and added that more arrests may still be made.

“They’re not in there just to be friends and ride bikes together. It’s a business — it’s a criminal business — and they’re in there to make money.”

ALERT is made up of police teams who focus on serious and organized crime, typically involving gangs, drug trafficking or child exploitation.

The Hells Angels motorcycle club has been active in Alberta for 28 years.