Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Vernon Greeks and the Hells Angels
Disclaimer: Please note this Peter Manolakos is not a Medical Doctor from Boston and has never been to university. He’s a crack dealer from Western Canada tied to the Hells Angels. Different person, same name, worlds apart.
Freddy asked me why I don't write about the Greeks who were selling drugs in Vernon and I simply was honest and said I don't know much about them. My gut feeling was that since Vernon is to Kelowna what Dawson Creek is to Prince George, I could not see how the Greeks in Vernon could function without the support of the Hells Angels. Three minutes on Google confirmed that premise.
Police say the “Greeks” have links to the Hells Angels. Marniuk's death is also linked to last year's extensive search of a Vernon warehouse that has links to the Hells Angels. The place on Fairweather Road is owned by Zenon Stepkowski whom police confirm is an associate of the Calgary chapter of the Hells Angels.
Police allege The Greeks were involved in smuggling cocaine and heroin, and have ties to biker gangs. "The Hells Angels out of Calgary and Kelowna have sanctioned The Greeks in Vernon to carry out their drug trafficking business," alleged Haslett.
Castanet posted two articles about the Greeks in Vernon with a photo of some support gear seized from the Greeks. One shirt said Be Silent or Be Silenced. The others were clearly Hells Angels support gear including one that said support your local big red machine Calgary. Which would not only confirm a Hells Angels affiliation but also specifically an affiliation with Calgary as was implied with Zenon Stepkowski's involvement.
Let's have a quick peek at the drug related violence that affiliation created in Vernon. Andre Raymond admitted to one count of first-degree murder in the death of Ron Thom and three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of David Marniuk, Thomas Bryce and Robert Hewison. Raymond was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.
RCMP said the four deaths were part of a case involving seven homicides in just over a year between April 2004 and May 2005. It's the largest case they've handled in the Okanagan city of about 36,000 residents.
RCMP said they believe the killings were part of an on-going gang war over control of street drugs. Sgt. Al Haslett, who led the police investigation, said Raymond was just one of the people involved in the gang killings. "Andre Raymond was a member of the Greek organization. They were involved in homicides, high-echelon level drug trafficking as well as controlling street-level trafficking," the undercover cop told CBC News. "They were involved in every type of criminal activity imaginable."
In April of 2007, Ken Beck pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Hewison killing and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years.
Five other men — Sheldon O'Donnell, Leslie Podolski, Dale Sipes, Peter Manolakos and Douglas Brownell — are also charged with murder after a total of seven men were shot or beaten to death.
Andrew Yeo, manager of a local shelter called Upper Room Mission, said there's still drug-related violence on the streets. "People fear the Greeks. That's a name that absolutely struck fear in people's hearts," he said. "People walk into the Mission with a bruised eye or broken arm and you just know what [it is] about," Yeo said.
The Vernon Greeks are in the media now because their case is coming to trial in Vancouver. As we hear the gory details of the trial let's remember who is ultimately responsible for that drug related violence. The ones who supplied and empowered them to do their work, the Hells Angels. Moles and mules are a dime a dozen. Let's not forget who the Greeks were affiliated with.
The term silence or be silenced is very temporary. It's like trying to stop water from flowing down stream. It defies gravity. No lie can live forever. Truth crushed to the earth will rise again. What's done in the dark shall be brought to the light. That's a law of physics. Testifying against these kinds of criminals is not being a rat. Being a rat is profiting from that kind of depravity and turning the other way.