Nearly six years and two high-profile drug trials later, former Hells Angels boss Ernie Dew finally knows his fate.
Twelve years in prison and the possibility of 18 months more if he can’t cough up a $57,500 fine two years after being released.
Dew, 52, was previously convicted of three counts of cocaine-trafficking and three counts of possession of property obtained by crime.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice William Burnett sentenced him Friday to the 12-year term.
“There is no doubt in my mind that (Dew) was a sophisticated high-level drug dealer,” Burnett said in his 21-page written decision.
After being credited for time already served, Dew had 23 months left to serve. However, he requested Burnett hike his remaining sentence by one month so he could be sent to a federal prison and not a Manitoba jail.
He’s been in custody since Feb. 25, 2006.
“There are certain advantages to him in terms of lifestyle and parole options,” defence lawyer Mark Wasyliw told court.
Dew was among 12 outlaw bikers and associates arrested in February 2006 as part of an undercover RCMP investigation called Project Defence.
He was convicted in 2008 of seven drug-related charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
In 2009, the Manitoba Court of Appeal quashed the convictions and ordered a new trial after ruling Dew was denied his right to a fair trial because he had been unable to secure a lawyer and had to temporarily represent himself.
Franco Atanasovic, Dew’s longtime friend, was paid more than $500,000 for his help ensnaring Dew and other project targets.
Dew claimed he was trying to help Atanasovic settle a drug debt with fellow Hells Angel Ian Grant.
A Crown claim to more than $65,000 in mortgage proceeds from Dew’s home in St. Andrews will be heard in mid-March.