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B.C. moves to seize Victoria-area properties linked to Savages motorcycle club

Forfeiture claim includes 2 homes, a truck and roughly $47,000 in cash forfeited to the province
Police at the Savages Outlaw Motorcycle Gang’s Langford clubhouse on Jan. 31. (Photo courtesy RCMP)

The B.C. government is taking steps to seize two properties, as well as cash and a vehicle, from three people allegedly linked to the Savages Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.

A civil forfeiture claim was filed on May 29 in the B.C. Supreme Court against John Robert-Lee Riches and two others to confiscate a strata lot on Goldstream Avenue, a single-family home on Sooke Road, a 2014 Dodge Ram and about $47,000 in cash.

The claim stems from a Greater Victoria drug-trafficking investigation that resulted in Jan. 31 RCMP raids on both properties, as well as on the Savages’ Langford clubhouse.

At the time, police called the Savages a “support club” for the Hells Angels.

This is a civil forfeiture claim, and none of the defendants have been charged with a crime related to the raids, though several other people were charged as a result of the investigation.

The defendants have 21 days from when they are served notice to file a response if they wish to dispute the claim, otherwise a judgment could automatically be made in favour of the province.

Riches is said to be the sole registered owner of the Goldstream Avenue property, while the Sooke Road property is owned by Kenneth Sylvan Baker and Taylor Church.

Most of the money was found at Baker’s residence, but money, drugs, guns (or ammunition) and other paraphernalia was found at both properties.

A list of justifications for the seizure are given, but the general argument is that the property was either used to commit a crime, or was paid for with the illicit and undeclared proceeds from unlawful activity.

The claim alleges that both Riches and Baker trafficked in controlled substances in Victoria and the surrounding areas.

Riches is the only person named as a member of the Savages, though Baker is alleged to also be a member of a criminal organization. It is said that Church “ought to have known” the manner in which his property was being used.

In total, nine properties were searched on Jan. 31. Police found 450 grams of fentanyl, 150 grams of methamphetamine, 200 grams of psilocybin, as well as smaller amounts of crack cocaine, two weapons and just over $46,000 in cash.

The Savages Langford clubhouse has since been listed for sale for over $1.3 million.

READ MORE: Headquarters of Langford motorcycle club for sale months after police raid

READ MORE: UPDATE: West Shore RCMP raid Langford motorcycle club in drug trafficking probe

About the Author: Mark Page

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