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Judge to decide Hells Angel’s intentions in planned drug deal
Published Monday, January 16, 2017 2:16PM CST
Last Updated Monday, January 16, 2017 7:11PM CST
Closing arguments have wrapped up in the drug trial of Rob Allen, and a judge must now decide the Hells Angels member’s intentions to deal drugs as part of a planned cocaine sale.
The 36-year-old's trial, which began in December, resumed Monday morning in Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench after both the Crown and defence submitted written closing arguments weeks ago.
Allen was arrested and charged, alongside 13 others, as part of the January 2015 Project Forseti raids in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar argued in closing submissions Allen, who he described as a hard-working father and husband with no criminal record, had no involvement in the drug trade but became addicted to OxyContin after a back injury. Allen began dealing with police informant Noel Harder in the summer of 2013 to buy opioids off him, Bodnar said.
Harder, who officially signed up to be a police agent in the case in December 2014, was the only Crown witness called in the trial. He 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.
The drug deal never happened.
Bodnar argued 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 had no intention of ever trafficking drugs and continuously delayed the transaction. Allen just went along with Harder’s plan because he feared losing his connection to receiving opioids, Bodnar argued.
The defence lawyer said it’s “awful” that a family man with no criminal record was being prosecuted for trafficking drugs while a police informant with a criminal record was receiving $300,000 and getting charges dropped to work on the case. He said after Harder officially signed up to be a police agent he was still setting Allen up to get opioids from other people.
Crown prosecutor Douglas Curliss argued even if Allen’s part of the cocaine deal was a ruse, which Curliss called elaborate, Allen still intended for Harder to take it seriously and therefore should be convicted. He argued the cocaine deal was discussed months prior to Harder becoming a police agent, and said at times Allen controlled the situation by naming prices and delivery dates.
Curliss argued while Allen said he made about $200,000 a year, he defaulted on his mortgage twice in 2014 and spent between $1,000 to $2,000 a month on Oxycontin. The $5,000 pay cut would have helped Allen with his financial situation, Curliss said. He also pointed to Harder’s testimony that Allen wanted power in the Saskatoon drug trade and argued the cocaine deal would help him establish that power.
After the defence closed its case in December, Bodnar told reporters if Allen is found guilty he may argue entrapment, but after closing submissions he indicated that would no longer be the case.
Entrapment involves a law enforcement agent convincing someone to commit a crime they would not otherwise have committed.
Justice Grant Currie reserved his decision until February 13.