Sentence closes book on undercover sting operation
ONCE a trusted friend of the Hells Angels who helped facilitate the flow of cocaine from British Columbia to Manitoba, Wayne Holmes has now become a footnote in local legal history.
Holmes, 52, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to traffic drugs and was given an eight-and-a-half year prison sentence under a joint agreement between Crown and defence lawyers. His case closes the book on a successful undercover police sting operation, dubbed Project DRILL, which saw 18 high-ranking bikers and associates taken down in 2007.
"He was the last man standing," Crown attorney Chris Mainella told court Wednesday. He noted that every single person who was arrested pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug network and was given a sentence ranging from four years to 15 years.
Holmes hasn't been convicted of any crimes since 1975 but got involved in the drug business through his association with longtime Hells hangaround Al Lebras, court was told. Holmes now admits he stored cash, cocaine and the cutting agent to dilute the drug in his home and allowed a B.C. drug courier to stay with him.
Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser said it's no surprise Holmes found himself in legal hot water. She said when you "lie with dogs, you get fleas."
Holmes has spent 28 months in custody since his arrest. He must now serve another three years, 10 months.