Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kelowna HA Skreptak associate Montemurro loses appeal.

Cory Joseph Montemurro
The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of a Hells Angels associate on multiple firearms charges. In September 2014, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoff Barrow found Cory Joseph Montemurro guilty of 11 offences, 10 of them concerning firearms or ammunition. The judge found Montemurro’s co-accused, Joseph Bruce Skreptak, a member of the Hells Angels, guilty of 10 offences related to firearms and ammunition and of marijuana possession.

The two men were sentenced to five years in prison.

Joseph Bruce Skreptak

Cops deal with a man wearing Hells Angels colours outside a Kelowna bar on July 11, 2009
The charges against Montemurro and Skreptak were laid on Nov. 25, 2010, after police pulled over a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Montemurro had been driving on the highway outside Salmon Arm. Skreptak was in the front passenger seat. Two other men were in the back seat. A police search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a loaded 9 mm pistol registered to Montemurro, a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun and ammunition of various kinds.

B.C. Court of Appeal Justice David Frankel said that none of the offender’s arguments had merit. “This was a common sense case. Mr. Montemurro was the person who rented the Jeep and was driving it when police stopped the vehicle. The Jeep was essentially a mobile arsenal. At the time the Jeep was stopped it contained not only firearms and ammunition, but also knives, body armour, masks, etc. The loaded 9 mm CZ pistol and one of the knives was indisputably in Mr. Montemurro’s possession and he had the ability to exercise some control over everything in the Jeep.”
That Montemurro would have been unaware of three additional firearms and other items in the vehicle “defies credulity,” added the judge. Skreptak is not appealing his convictions

Joseph Skreptak
September 30, 2014. KELOWNA – Guilty on all counts. That’s the judge’s ruling Tuesday in the trial of a full-patch member of the Kelowna Hells Angels and an alleged associate of the biker gang. Joseph Skreptak and Cory Montemurro were each charged with a dozen offenses after RCMP pulled over a speeding vehicle near Salmon Arm on a snowy night in November 2010.

Police found three loaded handguns, a sawed-off shot gun, knives, clubs, masks, body armour, bear spray and an electronic jamming device to prevent cell phone communication.

Cory Montemurro
They also found a hand drawn map to a residence on Bolton Road in Tappen. Montemurro didn’t testify in his own defence.

But Skreptak told the court he had no idea any of the weapons or other items were in the vehicle, despite having a latex glove with nine rounds of .38 calibre handgun ammunition tucked into his sock.

Joseph Skreptak
Skreptak joined the Hells Angels because he loves motorbikes and appreciates what they do for disadvantaged children, his lawyer said at his sentencing. “One aspect of the Hells Angles is their commitment to the welfare of children. He tells me they’re involved in fundraising events for . . . children having significant times, such as suffering from leukemia."

The Crown is seeking a seven-year prison term for both men. Montemurro is asking for three years and Skreptak, four. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Al Betton has reserved his decision until January. When he sentenced Skreptak to 26 months for aggravated assault in 2013, the judge referred to his membership in the HA as an aggravating factor.