More guilty pleas coming in case of alleged Kamloops outlaw biker gang, judge told

Outlaw biker guilty pleas?

Another man charged in connection with a years-long probe into an alleged Kamloops outlaw biker gang is pleading guilty.

Zale Coty, 54, is one of three men charged with serious drug-trafficking allegations last year following a lengthy police investigation into the Throttle Lockers, described by Mounties as a puppet club of the Hells Angels.

Coty is facing three counts each of trafficking in a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking, as well as a single count of conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance. He is alleged to have trafficked cocaine and fentanyl.

It is not yet known which charges will be part of Coty’s guilty plea.

During a brief hearing Monday in B.C. Supreme Court, federal Crown prosecutor Oren Bick told a judge a date will be set next week for Coty’s guilty plea.

“We expected to be able to fix a date today for guilty plea and sentencing,” he said. “We did run into scheduling issues and we need another week.”

Police said last year their investigation into the trio began in 2017. A number of search warrants were executed and, according to Mounties, officers seized $330,000 in cash, significant amounts of drugs and Hells Angels support gear, among other items.

Shawn Carlisle, 49, was sentenced in February to 30 months in federal prison for his part in the operation. He pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking cocaine and unlawfully selling cannabis.

Court heard Carlisle was working at Sunshine Gardens, a hydroponics shop in Valleyview, when it was targeted by police in an undercover sting in 2018. Sunshine Gardens is alleged to have been owned by Coty.

Undercover Mounties posing as drug dealers built a relationship with Carlisle over a period of more than 18 months and purchased three kilograms of cocaine and cannabis distillate during that time. The purchases totalled more than $175,000.

Jacob Cavanagh, 30, is the third man charged in connection with the sting. He is facing charges of possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to traffic fentanyl.

A date for Coty’s guilty plea is expected to be set on Monday.

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