Tough sentences handed down in Hell’s Angels drugs case
The leader of the Finnish Hell’s Angels biker gang was acquitted of the most serious charges
On Wednesday the Helsinki District Court acquitted the leader of the Finnish chapter of the Hell’s Angels biker gang of the most serious charges he faced in a large drug trafficking case.
The other defendants were given long prison sentences for illegal trade in cocaine, amphetamines, and in marijuana, which was grown at a large plantation in Hanko in Southwestern Finland.
According to the drugs squad of the Helsinki Police Department, the case is one of the most significant drug smuggling and growing operations ever discovered in Finland.
The police believed that they had been able to trace the Finnish Hell’s Angels’ drug trafficking organisation to the very highest levels.
However, the Helsinki District Court found the 44-year-old leader of the gang guilty of the possession of only one gramme of cocaine, for which he received 30 day-fines.
The prosecutors had demanded a prison term of at least seven years for the gang-leader.
The man denied being the leader of the Finnish chapter of the Hell’s Angels, but the court did not believe him. However, the mere leading position he occupied did not constitute sufficient evidence.
The District Court noted further that the one gramme of cocaine found in a search of the man’s apartment did not prove that he had been involved in the drug trafficking operations, even though it was of the same quality as the consignment of two kilos of cocaine that another gang member had had in his possession.
In the Court’s view, the prosecutors should have been able to prove that the man had given orders or been otherwise involved in the illegal drug trade.
The Court ordered that the EUR 90,000 in cash that had been confiscated from the gang-leader’s apartment is to be returned to him.
The man claimed that the money found and removed was from legal deals in motorcycles and stocks and shares.
The longest prison sentence - 12 years - was given to Tuomo Tapani Salo, who was believed to be the leader of the so-called 1-800 gang.
Hell’s Angel Jyrki Olavi Korhonen received a prison term of 10 years, and Henri Tapani Lyytikäinen, a member of the 1-800 gang, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Furthermore, the Court also handed down unconditional prison sentences to Ville-Petteri Kivelä, Ronnie Bjarne Lindberg, and Sami Olavi Saarinen.
Two other men were given suspended prison sentences.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Hell´s Angels leader could face lengthy sentence (30.9.2011)
Hell´s Angels leaders suspected in massive drug case (8.9.2011)