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Alleged B.C. drug traffickers plead not guilty, going to trial

Six men face charges of conspiracy, possession and trafficking following drug cases in Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Vernon.
A Hells Angel vest was seized by police as they executed search warrants.

At least one alleged B.C. Hells Angel and others have pleaded not guilty to multiple drug trafficking and conspiracy charges for offences said to have taken place in Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Vernon between September 2020 and July 2021.

Lawyers for all the men appeared before Vancouver provincial court Judge Jennifer Oulton March 27 for arraignment with several setting dates for pre-trial conferences while electing trial by provincial court judge.

The charges came in December after the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC executed 12 search warrants at locations throughout Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan.

Police seized about $650,000.00 in Canadian currency and about two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of MDMA, one kilogram of fentanyl, 200 grams of ketamine, 10 kilograms marijuana and16 kilograms of drug-cutting agent.

Also seized were three rifles, a shotgun, three prohibited magazines, ammunition, body armour, two vehicles and a cocaine press. Inside one residence, police seized a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club vest and various items of Hells Angels support clothing.

Jonathan Louis Lutar, 39, is charged with being part of a criminal organization that includes Allan Beatima Arcangel, 51, Matthew Shaw, 31, David Oppenheim and others. Court documents show he instructed people to engage in drug trafficking for the benefit of the organization.

Lutar, Courtenay James Lafreneiere, 41, Arcangel, Shaw, Oppenheim and others are charged with trafficking at the direction or for the benefit of the organization made up of any three of Lutar, Arcangel, Shaw, Oppenheim and others.

Lutar, Lafreniere, Arcangel, Shaw and Oakley Lain Charest, 34, are charged with conspiring together to traffic in controlled drugs.

Lutar, Lafreniere, Arcangel, Shaw and Charest are charged with trafficking in fentanyl, carfentanil and cocaine. Court documents show Lutar and Shaw are charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Charest is charged with having a Ruger 45 calibre P90 gun with readily accessible ammunition. In connection to a July 5 incident in Vernon, he also allegedly possessed a Walther P38 handgun and five firearms magazines without a licence. He's also charged with allegedly possessing the guns while prohibited from doing so.

Roman Tassone, 28, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking while Lukas Tassone, 34, faces one count of the same charge.

The case returns to court April 3.

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