New Brunswick

RCMP arrest Hells Angels member from Fredericton

A Fredericton man, identified by RCMP as a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, has been charged with drug and firearm offences in connection with an investigation that resulted in a heavy police presence in the city's downtown this week.

Robin Moulton, 48, identified as full-patch member of motorcycle gang, is charged with drug, firearm offences

Several uniform and plainclothes officers have been observed at 214 Brunswick St. in downtown Fredericton on Wednesday and Thursday. (Maria Burgos/CBC)

A Fredericton man, identified by RCMP as a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, has been charged with drug and firearm offences in connection with a joint-police investigation that resulted in a heavy police presence in the city's downtown this week.

Robin Moulton, 48, was arrested on Tuesday at around 7:20 a.m. while driving on the Trans-Canada Highway near Woodstock, RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said late Thursday afternoon.

Outlaw motorcycle gangs are a national priority for the  RCMP .- Jullie  Rogers-Marsh, RCMP  spokesperson

A search of the car led to the seizure of "a quantity" of what is believed to be cocaine, she said.

Police began searching his Fredericton residence on Brunswick Street on Wednesday and remained there into Thursday. Searches are also underway at several other locations in New Brunswick, said Rogers-Marsh, without elaborating on where those locations are.

Moulton is charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a restricted firearm. The type of firearm has not been released.

He has been remanded in custody until Friday at 10:30 a.m., when he is to appear in Woodstock court to face the charges.

The Service New Brunswick corporate affairs registry lists a Robin Moulton of 214 Brunswick St., Apt. 201, as the director of Route 81 Maritimes Inc., the merchandising arm of the Hells Angels.

The registration was last updated on Aug. 1, the document shows.

Rogers-Marsh could not say whether police anticipate any other arrests or more charges.

"It's an ongoing investigation and it will depend on the evidence that our members gather," she said.

The investigation is being led by the RCMP, in partnership with the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Saint John, Fredericton, Kennebecasis Regional and Edmundston police forces.

Many groups interconnected

Police say Hells Angels began strengthening their presence in the Maritimes in 2016. (CBC)

"Outlaw motorcycle gangs are a national priority for the RCMP," said Rogers-Marsh.

She said Moulton is a member of the Hell Angels MC, Nomads New Brunswick chapter, which established in the province last fall.

"Many of these groups and their support clubs are interconnected. They are not restricted by provincial jurisdictions and have national and international associations," said Rogers-Marsh.

"The results of this investigation are an example of our ongoing efforts regarding the Hells Angels Nomads N.B. and other outlaw motorcycle gangs, and why it is so important to deter these crime groups."

Earlier this month, an investigator who runs the RCMP's organized crime task force on P.E.I. said police are watching for signs that motorcyle gangs are trying to expand or gain more control of drug trafficking in New Brunswick.

Cpl. Andy Cook said his unit is concerned about turf wars and violence stemming from the re-emergence of Hells Angels in the Maritimes.

Asked Thursday whether New Brunswick RCMP are concerned about violence erupting between rival motorcycle gangs in the province, Rogers-Marsh said police will continue to monitor the activities of the various groups "to ensure public safety."

Minto homicide victim was Bacchus member

Moulton's arrest comes on the heels of the homicide of a former member of the Bacchus motorcycle club near Minto.

The body of Ronald Richard, 50, was found on July 23 on a rural property in Hardwood Ridge.

The homicide of Ronald Richard is being investigated by the RCMP's major crime unit. (Facebook )

RCMP said they do not believe the homicide was random but have not provided any other details.

Bacchus is a New Brunswick-based club affiliated with the Hells Angels.

Rogers-Marsh declined to comment Thursday on whether there's any indication the two cases are connected.

"That is a separate investigation and it would be inappropriate for us to start speculating," she said.

Richard was charged in December 2014 with possession of drugs, weapons and prohibited weapons.

He was convicted of possession of benzylpiperazine, a drug known as BZP, and possession of marijuana over 30 grams.

With files from Karissa Donkin