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Friday, 13 March 2009

Dale "Deli" Donovan was convicted of several charges, including conspiracy to traffic drugs, possession of proceeds of crime

Dale "Deli" Donovan became the latest casualty of a crime crackdown, receiving eight-and-half years behind bars for his role in a massive drug- trafficking network that was busted by a 2007 year-long undercover police investigation.Donovan follows in the footsteps of former local chapter president Ernie Dew, who is serving a 13-year sentence following his arrest in a similar 2006 police sting.More than 30 gang members and associates have been arrested in the two sweeps, which utilized the services of career criminals turned undercover police agents. Only a handful of the accused remain before the courts.Donovan was convicted of several charges, including conspiracy to traffic drugs, possession of proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal organization.Crown attorney Chris Mainella told court Donovan played several roles in the local organized crime scene. He was an "umpire" to feuding felons and a "tax collector" to people he authorized to sell marijuana and cocaine at various locales throughout Manitoba, such as native reserves and northern communities.Donovan was also trying to recruit people into a criminal lifestyle, Mainella said.Donovan's activities were being closely monitored by police during their Project Drill. Longtime criminal Scotty "Taz" Robertson was able to infiltrate the gang and conduct a series of drug and weapons deals that investigators caught on video and audio surveillance.Robertson was paid more than $600,000 for his work and put in the witness protection program. During the investigation, police seized five machine-guns, three handguns, 11 kilograms of cocaine, 2,000 tablets of methamphetamine and 13 pounds of marijuana. They also broke up a murder-for-hire plot in Thompson.More than 250 police officers across the country were involved in the arrests of 17 accused, which also involved arrests of full-patch Hells Angels members in B.C. and Ontario.
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