N.B. Hells Angels member sentenced to 7.5 years in prison

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Emery Joseph Martin of Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, pictured during a previous arrest, appeared in Bathurst provincial court via video conference on Monday.   (Radio-Canada - image credit)
Emery Joseph Martin of Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, pictured during a previous arrest, appeared in Bathurst provincial court via video conference on Monday. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Emery "Pit" Martin has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to cocaine trafficking and acting in the benefit of a criminal organization earlier in June, according to Radio-Canada.

The 61-year-old man from Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska appeared in Bathurst provincial court on Monday, joining via video conference because he was showing possible symptoms of COVID-19.

The RCMP has identified Martin as a longtime member of the Hells Angels, the outlaw motorcycle gang known for trafficking drugs into the province from Quebec.

The Crown and defence were initially seeking an eight-year prison sentence for Martin, but Judge Denise LeBlanc decided to reduce his sentence because he had already spent 1,209 days in prison since his arrest in 2018.

During that time, Martin was held in solitary confinement for "long periods of time," LeBlanc said, and had also lost his right to privacy due to the presence of a surveillance camera in his cell.

LeBlanc didn't specify how much time Martin had spent in solitary confinement at the Dalhousie Regional Correctional Centre, where he had been since his arrest on June 25, 2018, in Rivière-Verte.

The court also reduced the length of his upcoming imprisonment by approximately five years after crediting him 1.5 days for each day he spent in prison prior to the trial.

Fourteen others were arrested in 2018 as part of Operation J-Thunder, an RCMP investigation targeting the sale of cocaine in the Acadian Peninsula and the Restigouche, Madawaska and Victoria counties in northern New Brunswick.

Due to his close ties to the Hells Angels, the RCMP believes he was the person who was primarily responsible for importing the drugs into the northwestern part of the province.

None of the others who have been charged are members of the Hells Angels, according to police.

Martin imported at least 96 kilos of cocaine over the summer of 2016 and the summer of 2017, the RCMP estimated.

With files from François Lejeune of Radio-Canada

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