An alleged member of a B.C. Hells Angels chapter is seeking to have more evidence disclosed to him in a hit-and-run case to which he pleaded guilty in Montreal more than five years ago.
On Tuesday, Quebec Superior Court Justice André Vincent heard arguments from a lawyer representing Larry Ronald Amero, 42.
Amero claims police held back information in an investigation that resulted in charges against him of impaired driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident caused by him.
He was living on Nuns’ Island in July 2011 when the vehicle he was driving collided with another in downtown Montreal. Three years later, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to an overall prison term of 12 months.
Amero had already served the equivalent of that sentence during his detention in Project Loquace, a Sûreté du Québec investigation into cocaine trafficking in Quebec.
He was alleged to be a leader among the dozens of people arrested in Project Loquace. The group was alleged to have trafficked in more than 500 kilograms of cocaine in 2011-’12. The investigation resulted in the arrests of more than 120 people.
In August 2017, a Quebec Court judge determined it took too long for the prosecution to bring Amero’s cocaine smuggling case to trial, and a stay of proceedings was placed on the seven charges he faced, including conspiracy to import cocaine into Canada.
On Tuesday, lawyer Marc Antoine Rock argued the 2011 hit-and-run collision might have been provoked by the Montreal police while Amero was under surveillance.
Police in British Columbia had asked the Montreal force to place another man under surveillance. That man, it was learned, was residing with Amero on Nuns’ Island.
Rock told Vincent he believes his client did not get full disclosure of the evidence in the hit-and-run. He is seeking a court order forcing police to turn over any evidence that was not divulged before his client pleaded guilty.
Rock argued police in B.C. advised Montreal police to pursue the hit-and-run investigation in order to learn the address of the man they were interested in. He said his goal is to have a stay of proceedings placed on the charges Amero pleaded guilty to in 2014.
Vincent told Rock he appeared to be “on a fishing expedition” and advised him to take his case to the Quebec Court of Appeal or a B.C. court.
“You will have to show that the innocence of your client is in peril,” Vincent said.
The judge said he will deliberate on whether Quebec Superior Court has jurisdiction in the matter before he delivers his decision.
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Source: Montreal Gazette