Al­leged Lon­don biker fac­ing new charges

Al­le­ga­tions re­late to gam­bling probe

The London Free Press - - CITY - DALE CARRUTHERS dcar­ruthers@post­media.com

The for­mer pres­i­dent of the Lon­don Hells An­gels chap­ter faces new charges in con­nec­tion with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a for­mer Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion em­ployee who was swept up in a gam­bling bust.

Robert Bar­letta, an al­leged mem­ber of the Hells An­gels, is charged with mis­chief to data, breach of trust and unau­tho­rized use of a com­puter, the OPP an­nounced Fri­day.

The charges are the re­sult of nine-month probe by the OPP'S anti-rack­ets branch into a breach of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion within the provin­cial Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion, po­lice said.

Richard Pereira, 36, of Oshawa, faces 19 ad­di­tional charges in­clud­ing identity theft, fraud on govern­ment, breach of trust, con­spir­acy to com­mit breach of trust, unau­tho­rized use of a com­puter and mis­chief to data

Bar­letta, 50, and Pereira were among more than two dozen peo­ple charged in De­cem­ber in Op­er­a­tion Ho­bart, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar gam­bling op­er­a­tion that po­lice con­tend was run by mem­bers of the Hells An­gels and an al­leged Toronto crime family.

“It's a re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tion to Ho­bart,” OPP Det. Staff Sgt. Sean Chat­land said of the probe that re­sulted in the lat­est charges.

Chat­land de­clined to go into de­tails of the al­le­ga­tions that led to the charges, say­ing only that the al­leged crimes are linked to Pereira's work at the min­istry.

“It's a con­spir­acy that un­folded,” he said.

Pereira ini­tially was charged with crim­i­nal breach of trust and unau­tho­rized use of a com­puter in con­nec­tion with Op­er­a­tion Ho­bart. A govern­ment spokesper­son said at the time he was sus­pended from his job with the min­istry pend­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A King City man, 39, and Pick­er­ing woman, 34, nei­ther of whom ever worked for the govern­ment, also are charged jointly with Bar­letta and Pereira, po­lice said.

All of the ac­cused are sched­uled to ap­pear next Fri­day at the Peel court­house in Bramp­ton.

The lat­est charges bring the tally of of­fences against Bar­letta to 18. He al­ready was fac­ing 15 charges in­clud­ing book­mak­ing, laun­der­ing pro­ceeds of crime, fraud of more than $5,000, weapons of­fences and com­mis­sion of an of­fence for a crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Po­lice al­lege Bar­letta, a founder of the Lon­don Hells An­gels chap­ter and past owner of Fa­mous Flesh Gor­don's strip club, is a mem­ber of the Ni­a­gara Hells An­gels chap­ter.

A Free Press in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed a sus­pected ar­son in Jan­uary 2018 that de­stroyed a Blue Moun­tains va­ca­tion prop­erty linked to Bar­letta was the cat­a­lyst for Op­er­a­tion Ho­bart. No one has been charged in the sus­pected ar­son.

While out on bail, Bar­letta nar­rowly sur­vived an at­tempt on his life on March 30, when two gun­men fired nearly 20 shots at him out­side an On­tario Street home in Toronto's Cab­bage­town neigh­bour­hood.

The sus­pects in the at­tack, which was cap­tured on sur­veil­lance footage, fled in a car. No ar­rests have been made in the case.

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