Saturday, July 3, 2010
Attack outside Winnipeg club nets gang member 4 years
WINNIPEG - The first mistake the former treasurer of a city gang made was beating a man outside an Exchange District nightclub. His second error was working with Zig Zag crew members to get potential witnesses to lie about what happened – all while police had tape rolling.
Corey Lee Gingera, 33, was in court Friday on charges stemming from a beating outside the Alive in the District nightclub in January 2009.
He was sentenced to 59 months in prison on charges of assault causing bodily harm, conspiracy to participate in a criminal organization, conspiracy to launder proceeds of crime, and counselling others to obstruct justice. Gingera will do a total of 51 more months in prison due to credit for time he’s already served. He’ll also have a lifetime weapons prohibition and must provide DNA.
Police surveillance video nailed Gingera for conspiring with fellow Zig Zag crew members regarding ways to get club staff to give inaccurate statements to police about the assault, which left the victim with a broken eye socket and other injuries.
What Gingera didn’t know is that police recorded his meetings with Zig Zag crew members with the help of an undercover agent, and the club had video surveillance which captured him participating in the group attack.
Crown prosecutor Chris Mainella said Gingera’s attempt to conspire with others to obstruct justice was part of Project Divide, one of the largest undercover police operations in the province’s history.
Gingera was also sentenced for conspiring with the gang to launder proceeds of crime and for trying to recruit new members to the Zig Zags, a puppet club for the Hells Angels. Mainella said there was a "constant need" for the Zig Zags to recruit new members to keep up with their criminal enterprises.
"The work is dangerous," he said, adding a number of gang members are "maimed and killed" in the course of their gang lifestyle.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Suche said she hoped Gingera would use his time behind bars to improve himself.
Gingera is the fifteenth person to be sentenced in connection with Project Divide. Thirty-three suspects were arrested and charged in the operation.
I disagree with 4 years prison time for this man. Prisons are the schools of crime filled with negative influences, pro-criminal attitudes and behaviours, drugs, gangs and the prison subculture. This man will likely only become further entrenched in the gang lifestyle through prison. Rehab programs have long waiting lists and are not as well designed as community programs. Often, inmates are released with no rehabilitation, life skills, assistance or support. I believe that some prison time is warranted for this man, due to the nature of the attack, but not 4 years. I believe he should have received a sentence of 2 years less a day in provincial prison combined with a conditional sentence.