Vernon man among Hells Angels nabbed in large-scale drug bust | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Vernon man among Hells Angels nabbed in large-scale drug bust

B.C.'s gang enforcement squad arrested five men after busting a Hells Angels drug operation operating between the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/CFSEU-BC

B.C.'s gang enforcement squad arrested five men after busting a Hells Angels drug operation operating between the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan.

Oakley Charest, 34, of Vernon was among five people arrested as two-year investigation comes to a close.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. executed 12 warrants across the two regions from September 2020 to July 2021, seizing $650,000 in cash, various amounts of drugs and weapons, according to a news release from the gang squad.

On Dec. 6, seven men were charged, with arrest warrants issued for two of them. Federal prosecutors approved 25 charges among all seven men.

With eight counts against him, Charest has the most criminal charges against him out of the bunch.

His charges include trafficking a controlled substance for a criminal organization, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of a firearm while prohibited by an order.

"(Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C.) is committed to continuing our relentless pursuit of those who pose the greatest risk to public safety in our communities as we investigate some of the most complex and resource intensive offences in the province," chief officer and assistant commissioner, Manny Mann, said in the release.

The gang squad collaborated with the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, Vancouver Police Department, various other RCMP units and the Lower Mainland emergency response team to carry on the investigation.

The investigation was focused around the Hells Angels' Haney Chapter, and the news release says just one of the men was a full-patch member of the motorcycle gang.

Vancouver man Jonathan Lutar, 39, is the only person charged who is facing one count of directing a criminal organization, indicating he was in some sort of leadership role.

Police seized multiple guns in their searches, including a nine millimetre handgun, a .45 calibre handgun and three rifles, along with prohibited magazines and ammunition. They also seized body armour, two vehicles and a cocaine press.

While searching, officers found various items of Hells Angels support clothing and at least one Hells Angels Motorcycle Club vest.

Police are still looking for the two men still at large. They are Lukas Tassone, 34, and Roman Tassone, 28, who are both from Vancouver.

All other men have been released on conditions, but officers are trying to find the Tassones.

Although they share a last name, police did not say whether the two men are related.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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