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B.C. Hells Angel jailed four years for drug trafficking

Vincenzo James Sansalone is a member of the Hells Angels Haney chapter.
A Hells Angel member is in jail for four years on drug charges.

A member of the Hells Angels Haney chapter has been sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted in Vancouver Provincial Court on multiple drug charges.

An RCMP investigation into the activities of Vincenzo James Sansalone and others came as a result of a joint Canada-U.S. transnational organized crime investigation conducted by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime program and U.S. authorities in San Diego, Calif., Seattle, Wash., and Metro Vancouver.

Lower Mainland residents Martino Calabretti, Daniel Alexander and Zlatko Gavric face charges of conspiracy to import cocaine. Calabretti and Sansalone faced charges of trafficking in MDMA (ecstasy) and MDA (a synthetic amphetamine). Calabretti also faced two additional counts of trafficking in MDMA.

In addition to Sansalone’s recent sentencing, Alexander was given five years in prison in March 2023, while Garvic was handed a four-year prison sentence in April of last year. 

Police said Calabretti’s case remains before the courts and is expected to advance over the coming months.

A resolution in the case was expected as early as November 2022, Vancouver Provincial Court heard in October of that year.

RCMP federal serious and organized crime investigators executed numerous search warrants in March 2018 throughout the Lower Mainland related to a “high-level MDMA trafficking and cocaine importation investigation.”

The search warrants captured 12 kilograms of MDMA and $380,000 in cash. The money was allegedly going to be used as a down payment for 18 kilograms of cocaine to be brought into Canada.

More than 200 investigators, several RCMP units and U.S. partner law enforcement agencies were involved.

Court dockets indicate offences occurred in Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, San Diego and Seattle.

The charges were laid in April 2021.

The lengthy and complex investigation was initially launched by the BC RCMP Kelowna serious crimes unit and quickly extended across multiple Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions.

Through the use of numerous advanced investigative techniques, including undercover operations and wire taps, investigators were able to gather sufficient evidence to arrest the main suspects, police said.

Asst. Supt. Jillian Wellard, officer in charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime, Major Projects, said the unit's investigations of transnational organized crime “are some of the most complex, protracted, and resource intensive undertakings within the Federal and International Policing Directorate.”

“The successful dismantling of this organized crime network demonstrates the high degree of support and collaboration we receive from, and provide to our domestic, and U.S. law enforcement partners,” Wellard said.