Alleged gangster convicted for cache of guns released

A police jammer, latex gloves, knives, a sawed off shotgun, three pistols with ammunition, body armour, a baseball bat, balaclavas and other items were found in a rented Jeep in which the accused, Joseph Skreptak, was a passenger when he was arrested.
Image Credit: Contributed

KELOWNA – A man suspected of having ties to the Hells Angels who was convicted of almost a dozen weapons-related charges last year has been released from custody pending an appeal.

Cory Joseph Montemurro, 45, was driving a rented Jeep Grand Cherokee Nov. 25, 2010 when police found him and three other men with an arsenal of weapons near Tappen, B.C. Among the items seized from the vehicle were a cell phone jammer, latex gloves, knives, a sawed off shotgun, three pistols with ammunition, body armour, a baseball bat, balaclavas, bear spray and a hand drawn map to a house. Crown prosecutor Sandra Dworkin said during the Supreme Court trial the men were headed to the house to intimidate someone.

One of the guns was registered to Montemurro.

Both Skreptak and Montemurro were sentenced to five years in prison at the start of 2015 and on Jan. 20, 2015 Montemurro filed a notice of appeal claiming the trial judge erred in finding there were reasonable grounds to arrest the men and said the search of the Jeep was illegal. The appeal also claims the original judge, Geoff Barrow, who became ill and was replaced by Justice Alan Betton, made a mistake in allowing the items seized to be entered as evidence. He also claims a knife found in Montemurros boot during the arrest was a tool and not a weapon.

The Crown opposed the release on the grounds that Montemurro is a threat to the public.

“Although I am less sanguine than Mr. Montemurro about the strength of some of his grounds of appeal, I am also less pessimistic than the Crown about the possibility of the appeal succeeding,” Justice David Frankel wrote in his decision dated Feb. 23, 2015. “While this case is close to the line, on balance, I am of the view the merits of the appeal are such that public confidence in the administration of justice would not be adversely affected by granting Mr. Montemurro bail provided he diligently prosecutes the appeal.”

Frankel ordered Montemurro released upon his entering into a recognizance in the amount of $500,000 without deposit but with four sureties totalling $500,000.

Montemurro has until Aug. 10, 2015 to file his appeal.

Montemurro was previously convicted in 1993 for possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a weapon and got three years and six months jail respectively. He was later pardoned for both convictions.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

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