Farmer claims he was jailed after refusing to be informant

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Farmer claims he was jailed after refusing to be informant

Postby Thomas » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:46 am

Farmer who claims he was jailed after refusing to be biker informant sues OPP, province

A farmer who alleges he was criminally charged and thrown in jail after refusing to be an informant against the Hells Angels has filed a $6.5-million lawsuit against the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.

Ian Conklin spent more than three years in jail before a judge stayed all the charges against him in June 2014 after a federal Crown prosecutor acknowledged there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction against him.

Conklin had been charged with conspiring to traffic cocaine with a senior member of the Hells Angels, possessing property for benefit of a criminal organization and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He was arrested in January 2010 as part of a project by the OPP’s biker enforcement unit that led to the seizure of drugs and guns and lengthy prison sentences for Hells Angel Mario “Five Cent” Sincennes and his other top lieutenants.

In a statement of claim filed earlier this year, Conklin alleges that the OPP used him as “bait” to lure out members of the gang before attempting to “extort” testimony from him. When he wouldn’t co-operate, the OPP laid charges against him as “punishment” for his refusal to do so, the lawsuit alleges. As a result of his arrest and incarceration, Conklin alleges that he lost both his farm and livestock.

Conklin’s allegations of wrongdoing also extend to the warden and staff at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, who he alleges placed him in a cell with Sincennes and an alleged member of the Ontario Nomads — two of the men who police wanted him to be an informant against. That led to a severe beating that only ended when the guards peeled Sincennes and the other man off Conklin.

Conklin alleges he was repeatedly kicked and punched during the attack, which sent him to hospital.

None of Conklin’s allegations have been proven in court and neither the OPP, the officers involved, the province or the Ottawa-Carleton Detention have yet to file a statement of defence.

According to a detailed statement of claim, Conklin’s troubles with the Hells Angels and later the OPP began in 2007 when his daughter’s boyfriend had been dealing marijuana in competition with members of the Hells Angels.

One of the motorcycle gang’s enforcers asked Conklin about whether he was involved in supplying his daughter’s boyfriend with drugs and warning him that all sales must run through the Hells Angels, according to the statement of claim.

What followed were threats to his daughter, and a home invasion by two armed and masked men at Conklin’s farm where a shot was fired and bear spray used, according to the statement of claim. Conklin alleges in the lawsuit he told police about what was happening, but nothing was done.

Eventually, Sincennes advised Conklin he would have to pay a $10,000 “tax” for his disrespect — an amount that later increased to $50,000 and then $150,000 as the gang’s displeasure with Conklin grew, the statement of claim alleges.

In the meantime, Conklin said he had gone to the OPP. According to his statement of claim, the OPP told him he would be “protected” if he aided their investigation.

Conklin said he agreed to work as a “special agent” for police, but a botched meeting at an Ottawa restaurant that police said they would be watching left him fearing for his life, his statement of claim alleges. Conklin decided to go into hiding. His uninsured barn and equipment were then destroyed in a deliberately set fire in December 2008, the statement of claim alleges.

By January 2010, the OPP asked Conklin to testify against the Hells Angels but Conklin wouldn’t, given the threats, home invasion, arson and lack of police assistance. The lead investigator in the case told him he’d be charged if he didn’t co-operate. Conklin refused, and 12 days later police raided his house. Conklin remained in hiding until his arrest five months later, which led to his placement in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.

Conklin alleges in the lawsuit that his entire stay in the jail was cruel and inhumane.

Conklin said the first two years of his time at the jail were spent in either segregation or in the super maximum wing in a small cell with no mattress and limited yard time. Conklin alleges the jail and their doctor failed to properly diagnose or treat his medical conditions, including diabetes and several infected teeth.

Conklin is seeking $4 million in damages for loss of his farm, livestock and income, and an additional $2.5 million for negligent treatment by the OPP and the province at the jail. ... -5-million ... p-province
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