Criminal motives: murderous, malevolent, convoluted. Matters of the heart, matters of sanity, money matters. In real life, illicit drugs are the driving force behind most crime.
Crimes are linked to their illicit use, illicit dealing, and illicit production. The addict who is seeking funds for a fix will lie, coerce, threaten, steal, kill. The dealer trying to collect what’s owed will torture, blackmail, harass, kill. Gangs protecting their business turf will brandish weapons in broad daylight on a busy downtown street and kill. Robbery, murder, prostitution, and gun play.
Selling drugs to the 7-year-old boy and pimping the 12-year-old girl. Breaking legs. Digging graves. Corrupting the business world, cyberspace, the justice system. Killing.
“Every kilo of cocaine sold in Canada has passed through the hands of a Hells Angel,” I learned at an RCMP presentation on drugs and gangs. Don’t underestimate the power of these people. You don’t have to be an addict, a dealer, a homeless person, a revver of a Harley to fall under their influence. You have to be human—with a weakness.
Even the purist of love for someone or something can make you vulnerable—perhaps your child has a problem or your lover a debt. Maybe there’s an erstwhile goal you want to achieve, an object you want to possess, a job you want to have, an enemy you wish would disappear. Perhaps you’re guilty of a sin you wish to keep hidden. Perhaps you’re lonely, sad, sick, or depressed. Maybe you need to belong to a band of brothers. Perhaps you crave excitement.
Biker gangs and other organized crime have the money to solve your problems and make your dreams come true. They have the influence, the contacts, the power…the bullets. And then…you owe them....
And…they will collect….
If you doubt the power of organized criminals, these are just a few of the headline stories for the single month of August 2010 in the single country of Canada. (with the exception of the Italian snake story.)
TORONTO - Outfitted with an Uzi, duct tape, plastic ties, rope and balaclavas, the thugs were on the way to kidnap someone. The intended target -- police won't say who the victim is or where he lives -- is safe, Peel Det.-Sgt. Kieran O'Connor said Thursday.
The investigation shut down a group that imported, manufactured and sold illicit drugs on the streets.
WINNIPEG - A former member of the Manitoba Hells Angels biker gang pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to manslaughter.
Billy Bowden, 35, reached a plea agreement with the Crown that sees him sentenced to four years for the Nov. 18, 2007, stabbing death of 24-year-old Jeff Engen.
Engen died after being stabbed several times in the chest during a fight. http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2010/08/12/14998316.html
Hells Angel gunned down in Vancouver
VANCOUVER – A member East Vancouver's Hells Angels was shot and killed at his house near city hall early Thursday.
And…they are violent…
LONDON, Ont. — Two people are facing numerous drug and gun charges after a paintball gun was fired at a car on Friday, police say.
A car, driving in London's east end at about 3:30 p.m., noticed another vehicle drove by and one of its occupants armed with what appeared to be a long gun. He then heard something strike his car.
When officers found the suspect vehicle, they also found a paintball gun, 8 grams of crack and $320 worth of oxycontin.
Two men face a variety of charges after a stolen car was pulled over and Edmonton police found what they describe as explosive devices in the car and on one of the suspects. Police said Wednesday that one man, 39, has been charged with possession of stolen property, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking…etc.
Last Friday RCMP raided a home just north of Stony Plain. They found 5,200 grams of hash valued at $78,000 and 850 grams of marijuana valued at $8,500. Police also found a cache of ammunition and weapons including:
a loaded .22 calibre pistol a loaded IMI (Israel Military Industries) Galil 7.62mm semi
automatic assault rifle
a mini 14 .223 calibre assault rifle
an Ithica 12 gauge pump action shot gun
a Winchester 30-30 rifle
oversized magazines to fit both of the assault rifles
A 49-year-old Stony Plain man faces 21 counts related to firearms offences, in addition to possession of marijuana and possession of hash for the purpose of trafficking.
And they are unpredictable and innovative…
ROME - Italian police seized a rare albino python in Rome on Wednesday in a raid on a group of drug traffickers who used the snake to guard cocaine and intimidate customers who owed them money.
Police in southeastern B.C. have raided a marijuana grow operation that was apparently guarded by black bears. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/08/17/bc-marijuana-grow-op-bears.html
TORONTO - A Colombian man is behind bars after allegedly trying to smuggle almost 2 kilograms of cocaine in his underwear through Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
And…the top dogs are wealthy…
Seized bikers' den had a mortgage
By PAUL TURENNE, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - The Hells Angels' Winnipeg clubhouse was a place that hosted barbecues and Ultimate Fighting Championship viewing parties, but was also allegedly a hub of criminal activity that was funded by drug money, according to court documents prepared for the home's seizure last week.
Police allege the $927 monthly mortgage payments were made from "...profits from drug trafficking, drug taxes and the payment of dues by members of the Hells Angels and payment of dues and drug taxes by members of the Zig-Zag Crew or other associates..."
My Back Tracker series and my parallel novel, Noraebang, explore this violent, explosive, engaging world of bikers and drugs. They also highlight the bravery, intelligence, personalities, and tenacity of the men and women thwarting these gangsters.
Until next time, dear writers—may YOUR crime always pay…
Agent and publishing rights to the Back Tracker series, the novel "Noraebang"
and the 'tween crime novel, "Aerdrie" are available. More info, including excerpts at http://www.eileenschuh.com/
Eileen Schuh's first published novel, "Shrodinger's Cat" will be released by Wolfsinger Publications in both print and ebook formats in 2011.