POLITICS

Eighteen Hells Angels and sympathizers plead guilty to murder conspiracy charges

03/16/2015 02:56 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT
MONTREAL - Eighteen Hells Angels biker gang members and sympathizers arrested during a massive police sweep in 2009 pleaded guilty to reduced charges on Monday.

The group pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and that resulted in the Crown staying premeditated murder charges against the accused during a hearing at the Gouin courthouse in Montreal.

Another five accused are expected to plead guilty later this week.

A spokesman for the Crown's office said most of the accused have little time left to serve because of time spent in detention awaiting trial since their arrest during the SharQc operation in April 2009.

Fourteen were sentenced Monday to terms ranging between 10 and a little over 12 years, said Crown spokesman Jean-Pascal Boucher.

However, due to time served, the actual time behind bars left for them is between one day and nine months.

Others will be sentenced at a later date.

In total, 156 people were arrested during the police sweep aimed at crippling criminal biker activity in the province.

Only 27 cases are pending after this week's pleas.