VANCOUVER - The B.C. government has more than $187,000 found on a Hells Angels trainee almost eight years ago and it's asking the court to allow it to keep the money.
The Ministry of the Attorney General's director of civil forfeiture filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court Friday, stating the RCMP seized $173,560 in Canadian funds and $14,000 in U.S. funds from Jonathan Bryce Jr. in Vancouver March 19, 2005.
Bryce was a so-called "hang around" for the East End Chapter of the Hells Angels, according to the document, and all or a portion of the money was generated from the sale of illegal drugs or from the commission of other Criminal Code offences.
Under the Civil Forfeiture Act, the provincial government can apply to the courts to seize proceeds of unlawful activity.
Bryce was convicted of trafficking a scheduled substance and possession of property obtained by crime on April 10, 2007.
"Mr. Bryce Jr. either directly participated in the selling of the illegal drugs or obtained the money directly or indirectly from the sellers of the illegal drugs," states the document.
"In the alternative, Mr. Bryce Jr. received the money either directly or indirectly from his participation in the commission of Criminal Code offences."
Had it not been seized, the ministry argues, the money would have been used to produce or traffic illegal drugs or would have been applied toward other Criminal Code offences.
Besides seeking an order of forfeiture, the ministry wants Bryce to pay for costs of the court action.
Bryce has 21 days to respond if he plans to fight the ministry.
Since 2006, police have referred more than 1,250 cases to the province's civil forfeiture program, with the civil forfeiture office acting on 932 of them, according to a media release issued by the ministry last November.
The province also announced two-thirds of those cases had been concluded.
Since 2006, the office has also taken in more than $28.7 million, including more than $10.8 million in 2011, states the ministry.
Proceeds of the forfeitures are redistributed by the ministry to programs battling youth crime, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, family violence and violence against women.
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