Police are closely monitoring the expansion of the Heretics Motorcycle Club in southern Saskatchewan, warning that it’s a support club for the Hells Angels.
“By expanding their support clubs in the province, basically the Hells Angels are attempting to create a stronger network,” said Det.-Const. Mischa Shewchuk of the Estevan Police Service’s intelligence unit.
The Heretics MC — which made headlines in 2016 after its In Estevan, Sask., clubhouse was damaged by arson — recently announced the creation of a new chapter in Moose Jaw.
Photos of the announcement shared online in a private Facebook group show five members of the new chapter holding “Moose Jaw” patches that appear to be the bottom of the three-patch design that often adorns vests worn by outlaw motorcycle clubs.
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A post about the expansion drew some praise from members of the group. Estevan police say it’s nothing to celebrate.
“They create these support clubs as a show of force to rival groups,” Shewchuk said. “They’ll recruit members from these support clubs, and it also allows the Hells Angels to further inflate themselves within their criminal activities.”
Don’t be fooled by charity events, police say
Hells Angels and support clubs sometimes host charity events or “runs” and portray themselves as motorcycle enthusiasts. But Shewchuk said the club has a long history of crimes ranging from drug trafficking to murder.
Shewchuk said members of the public should not be fooled by their events because they can serve as a chance for the clubs to make money, sell merchandise and meet with other outlaws. The events themselves can serve as a show of force, he said.
“To some citizens that can be very intimidating, and that’s the message they want to portray,” he said.
Shewchuk called the 2016 arson a “significant” event for Estevan and said some members of the club were the subject of multiple investigations, mainly for assault.
CBC Saskatchewan reached out to the Hells Angels and the Heretics MC for comment on the expansion, but a response was not received by deadline.
‘Zero tolerance’ for organized crime
Project Forseti, a police investigation executed in Saskatoon in 2018, saw two members of the Hells Angels and four members of the Fallen Saints MC, a Saskatoon-based support group, convicted of drug trafficking and weapons charges.
The investigation was one of the largest in the province’s history and resulted in more than $8 million of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine being taken off Saskatchewan streets.
Shewchuk said support club members can also serve as protection for higher-ranking members of the Hells Angels during legal proceedings, as support clubs may be tasked with assisting the club with their illegal activities.
Moose Jaw Police Service Staff Sgt. Taylor Elder said through a statement that police were watching the group closely and have “zero tolerance when it comes to organized crime.”
“This isn’t the first MC group who has set roots in Moose Jaw,” Elder’s statement said. “Their actions will dictate our response.”
Police in Estevan were monitoring the Heretics MC and were working closely with other police services in Saskatchewan, Shewchuk said.
Members of the public will see an increased level of enforcement as the riding season begins, he said.