Hells Angels shakeup in Edmonton

Police are on scene at a Hell's Angels house on 81 Avenue and 159 Street in Edmonton, Alta., on...

Police are on scene at a Hell's Angels house on 81 Avenue and 159 Street in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Ten search warrants were executed by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams as part of an ongoing investigation into the motorcycle club. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun

Pamela Roth, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:24 PM ET

Police hammered the Hells Angels with series of raids at homes throughout the Edmonton area Wednesday morning.

With assistance from various police agencies, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) searched the Edmonton homes, including the Hells Angels Westridge chapter clubhouse near 159 Street and 81 Avenue. Houses in Acheson, Strathcona County, and Leduc were also combed.

Kayla Davidson was about to leave her west-end home for work when she saw five to eight members of the SWAT team armed with guns running across her lawn towards the clubhouse down the street. Roads around the house were barricaded by officers during the morning rush-hour.

Another neighbour watched four officers with guns drawn stand in front of the beige bungalow. They walked towards the front window, she said, and broke it before busting open the front door.

“I was pretty shaken,” said Kayla of the heavy police presence at the home she describes as a notorious hang-out for bikers.

“Police have been going by for years trying to track them down. This is the first time I saw something actually happen so I am kind of excited.”

Neighbours in the area said the bikers weren’t exactly secretive about their behaviour, proudly sporting their vests and holding regular meetings at the house that has a show home on one side and a home for sale on the other.

Kim, who did not want to publish her last name, believes the Hells Angels have been there for a couple of years, but nobody actually lives at the home. Members meet there about once a week, lining one side of the street with motorbikes and the other with regular vehicles. Others would come and go on the weekends, she said, mainly hanging out in the garage out back.

Kim said the members stuck to themselves, never causing any problems, aside from a few loud parties in the garage.

“We’ve never had any problems, but you hear the stories of what happens and stuff they do,” said Kim. “I just keep thinking, will they be back?”

The most recent investigation of the Hells Angel’s activities has been ongoing for about six months. Since it’s still in the preliminary stage, investigators are in the process of cataloguing all the evidence seized. Police expect to release further details about charges later this week.

In February, 10 people, including a full patch member of the Hells Angels, were arrested and charged with nearly 40 offences after police searched four homes — one in St. Albert and four in Edmonton — finding a medley of weapons and drugs. The front door of one of the homes was barricaded and had a surveillance camera set up to view the front street.

Blake Christie, a full patch member of the Hells Angels, and his 29-year-old associate Kelly Kratky were the focus of the investigation that began in the early part of October. Last month, ALERT teams also arrested four members of the Warlocks outlaw motorcycle club in Drayton Valley following a search of a home in the town.

Field intelligence teams have been focusing on outlaw motorcycle groups within northern Alberta since September.

In 2009, police said there were three outlaw motorcycle clubs operating in Alberta. Now there are 23, the Hells Angels being the most prevalent in the Edmonton area.


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