Hells Angel Rob Allen guilty of cocaine trafficking
A Saskatoon Hells Angels member arrested in the Project Forseti raids has been found guilty of drug trafficking.
Rob Allen was found guilty of one count of trafficking cocaine Monday at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench.
The 36-year-old was arrested and charged, alongside 13 others, in January 2015 after police raided nearly 20 properties across Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Justice Grant Currie convicted him of the offence, even though no drug deal occurred, based on a section of the controlled drugs and substances act that states it’s illegal for someone to offer to traffic drugs if they know the other person believes the offer to be true, even if the offer isn’t genuine.
The Crown’s case relied heavily on the testimony of police informant Noel Harder.
Harder, the only Crown witness called in the trial, testified he and Allen were planning to move one kilogram of cocaine to Saskatoon from Hells Angels in Ontario in 2014. Harder would sell the cocaine, and although Allen would never be in direct contact with the drugs, he would receive a $5,000 cut, according to Harder.
Allen, who testified to being addicted to opioids at the time, said the only reason he went along with the plan was to ensure he would continue to receive OxyContin from Harder. He testified he had no intention of following through with the transaction.
Currie said in his verdict it’s not necessary for the Crown to prove a drug deal happened, or if Allen intended for a drug deal to happen. The officer itself was illegal, according to Currie.
The turning point in Currie’s decision was information presented during the trial about a meeting between Harder and Allen on Sept.3, 2014. Currie said, up until then, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove Allen made an offer or finalized a deal. At the meeting, a price and delivery date was written down on a Post-it note, which proved Allen made an offer for Harder to take seriously. During the investigation Harder and Allen’s conversations and text messages were being recorded.
“Each was playing the other,” Currie told court.
Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar argued during the trial the deal was a scenario set up and encouraged by police agents to “nail a Hells Angel” by putting together an attempt to convict him on a “broad” spectrum. He said Allen, a hard-working husband and father with no past criminal record, continuously delayed the transaction and had no intention of ever trafficking drugs.
Currie said both Harder and Allen were “generally credible” witnesses and their testimonies were relatively consistent with each other’s and matched the recorded conversations and text messages. While Allen is a member of the Hells Angels Currie said that fact, and any preconceptions that come along with it, aren’t relevant in the courtroom.
Allen’s wife, who attended each day of the trial, quietly sobbed after Currie announced the verdict.
Trafficking cocaine carries a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in jail if certain factors, including if the offence was committed for the benefit of, direction of or in association with a criminal organization, are relevant in the case. Federal Crown prosecutor Lynn Hintz told CTV News Monday the Crown can’t comment on whether it will attempt to prove if any of the factors — labelled “aggravating” factors — are relevant.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 18. Allen remains out of custody.