Nfld. & Labrador

Bacchus Motorcycle Club member accuses RCMP of harassing bikers

A member of the club's Moncton chapter says the group was being harassed by police during its recent visit to Newfoundland.
Bacchus member Charlie Burrell says the RCMP was unnecessarily harassing his group during a recent visit to the island. (CBC)

A member of the Bacchus Motorcycle Club says the group was being harassed by police during its recent visit to Newfoundland.

"It's ridiculous, the way we're being treated," said Charlie Burrell, a full-patch member who has been a part of the Moncton chapter for three decades.

"They're saying we are drug dealers, we're over here doing a big meeting and all this crap, right. We are over here partying with our brothers and having a barbecue. We're being harassed is how we are being treated."

Burrell said about a dozen bikers were ticketed for not stopping at a stop sign they didn't see in Port aux Basques.

He said police followed the group to Grand Falls-Windsor, and then issued more tickets for parking infractions in the hotel parking lot.

The RCMP has issued warnings that the club was heading to central and eastern Newfoundland, and calls it an "organized crime group."

RCMP monitoring group's activity

RCMP Staff Sgt. Boyd Merrill said the Bacchus Club is involved in drug-related violence, counterfeiting, money laundering, violence and prostitution, and said it would be monitoring all of the group's activities while on the island.

However, Burrell said those accusations are entirely false. He said police are trying to intimidate the group into leaving Newfoundland, but that their tactics aren't going to work.

He said it's ridiculous that police are trying to paint the group as drug dealers and criminals.

"They're trying to get us so we get mad and don't come back or something, but that ain't never going to happen," he said.

"All of us work, we've got jobs. None of us are into the drug trade, we couldn't care less about it."

Burrell said any reports that the group is holding a rally or riding into the Avalon area are false. He said the members have to go back to Moncton by Tuesday and resume their day jobs.

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