April 18, 2018

Hells Angel facing B.C. civil forfeiture suit dies of suspected overdose

A member of the West Point Hells Angels died of a suspected overdose last week while in the middle of a court case with the B.C. Civil Forfeiture office. Lukasz Cimoszko, 36, was found dead near Barriere, RCMP Sgt. Janelle Shoihet confirmed Monday.

She said there was nothing suspicious about the death and the B.C. Coroners Service is leading the investigation.

Coroners’ spokesman Andy Watson said he couldn’t comment.

Social media tribute to Hells Angel Lukasz Cimoszko, centre, who died last week. Also pictured is Hells Angel Bob Green, left, who was shot to death in October 2016 and Hells Angel Bjorn Sylvest, who died in July 2016 while house boating on Shuswap Lake.

Social media tributes were pouring in for Cimoszko, who became a full-patch member of the notorious biker gang in 2012. Hells Angels spokesman Rick Ciarniello did not respond to requests for comment.

Cimoszko was in the middle of a court battle with the B.C. government agency over $12,270 seized when he was pulled over by Vancouver police a year ago. According to the claim, Cimoszko’s 2015 Corvette was stopped with the engine running across from a pub on Manitoba Street on March 21, 2017.

Officers ran the plate, which showed that the Hells Angel leased the luxury vehicle. They followed the Corvette and watched it “weave within its lane and fail to signal when it changed lanes,” the claim said.
“The VPD initiated a traffic stop to confirm the driver’s sobriety.”

Cimoszko drove for another two blocks before he pulled over, even after police turned on their lights and siren, the court documents said. He was wearing “a sweater bearing (Hells Angels Motorcycle Club) patches and the HAMC deathhead logo.” His passenger was wearing an “HAMC support lanyard.”

Vancouver officers saw a machete “in plain view lodged between the centre console and the passenger seat.” Both Cimoszko and the passenger were arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon, although neither was criminally charged.

Hells Angel Lukasz Cimoszko, 36, died April 12 near Barriere, B.C.

Police searched Cimoszko and found two folding knives in his pants pockets.
They also searched the vehicle and found bundles of cash, more than 240 grams of marijuana, four more knives and “documentation” related to the Hells Angels.

Most of the cash was in two packages of 250 $20 bills located in an open bag on the top of the centre console, the suit says. Two smaller loose bundles were in a black satchel in the trunk of the Corvette.
Cimoszko told police he had a medical marijuana licence to possess the pot. The next day, investigators confirmed he had a pot licence for possession of up to 150 grams and to grow 74 plants at a Langley address.

The director of civil forfeiture alleges the cash “is proceeds and an instrument of illegal activity.”
“The money has been used by Mr. Cimoszko to engage in unlawful activities which variously resulted in, or were likely to result in, the acquisition of property or an interest in property, or cause, or were likely to cause seriously bodily harm.”

A list of the alleged criminal activities included in the civil forfeiture suit includes possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of the proceeds of crime, participation in a criminal organization and commission of an offence for a criminal organization.

The director claims Cimoszko obtained the money from criminal activity and would likely use it for more crimes if it was given back to him.

In Cimoszko’s response, he says police didn’t really stop him for traffic violations, but because he’s a Hells Angel.
“Members stopped the vehicle as part of a ruse in order to engage in a fishing expedition in relation to the defendant,” his written response said. “The defendant carries on a legitimate business and collects, remits and files the necessary taxes to the appropriate government authorities.”

Cimoszko also claimed that the VPD search of his vehicle was warrantless and in violation of his Charter rights. Phil Tawtel, Civil Forfeiture Office executive director, said he couldn’t comment on the Cimoszko case since it remains before the courts.
“As with any civil litigation, where a defendant dies during the proceeding conduct of the (case), litigation can pass to the legal representative of the estate,” he said.

Corporate records list Cimoszko as the president of two B.C. companies, both incorporated on Dec. 3, 2009. One is called Luke Contracting Ltd. of which he is the only director. The second — Exotic Auto Imports Ltd. — also lists  fellow West Point Hells Angel Larry Amero as a director.

Hells Angel Larry Ronald Amero in file photo Vancouver Sun

Amero was charged in January with conspiracy to kill gangster rivals Sandip Duhre and Sukhveer Dhak, who died months apart in targeted 2012 shootings. He remains in pre-trial custody awaiting trial. Cimoszko’s only B.C. conviction was in Surrey in 2002 for driving while prohibited. He got a week in jail.

Land title records show that he bought a 26th-floor apartment in downtown Vancouver in 2012 that is now assessed at $1.05 million. In addition to the leased Corvette, personal property records show Cimoszko also had leased or bought a 2016 Honda Pilot, a 2016 Harley and a 2017 Cadillac Escalade.

Meanwhile, another civil forfeiture case involving the Hells Angels is set to start in B.C. Supreme Court next Monday, more than 10 years after it was first filed. The B.C. government wants the clubhouse of the East Vancouver, Nanaimo and Kelowna chapters forfeited, alleging they would be used for criminal activity in future if returned to the bikers. The Hells Angels are challenging the constitutionality of the province’s Civil Forfeiture Act.

Canada - BN.

No comments:

Post a Comment