Notorious woman-beater in court on Project Forseti charges

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April 18, 2017 - 7:40pm
Evidence against the Fallen Saints motorcycle club displayed by Saskatoon police following a series of raids in early 2015.
File Photo/650 CKOM
Evidence against the Fallen Saints motorcycle club displayed by Saskatoon police following a series of raids in early 2015.

Clinton McLaughlin may be familiar to many in Saskatoon.
 
His name and picture were widely distributed over the May long weekend in 2014, when he abducted and savagely assaulted his former fiancée.
 
McLaughlin was later sentenced to six years after pleading guilty to kidnapping and aggravated assault against his ex-fiancée, along with an assault charge against another ex-girlfriend. 
 
On Tuesday, he was in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench facing weapons charges stemming from his membership in the Fallen Saints motorcycle club.
 
The charges are dated March 28, 2014 — months before the incident between McLaughlin and his ex.
 
McLaughlin is charged with 17 counts relating to illegally possessing and transferring firearms — a pair of shotguns, two rifles and two handguns.

McLaughlin's most serious charges of weapons trafficking carry a mandatory minimum sentence of three years if he's convicted.

The roots of Project Forseti biker raids

Court learned this week that McLaughlin was under police surveillance in March 2014, along with other members of the Fallen Saints, including Noel Harder.
 
McLaughlin was out on release conditions at the time and subject to electronic monitoring. Court heard he was concerned about getting any alcohol and weapons out of his home, as he was forbidden from possessing these items and was subject to being searched at any time. 
 
He allegedly called Harder up and told him to come get two hockey bags containing the guns from the attic of his garage.
 
On Tuesday, McLaughlin's ex took the stand for the Crown.
 
Testifying from behind a screen to prevent McLaughlin from being able to see her, she told court she saw Harder come and load the hockey bags into his truck.

Under questioning from McLaughlin's lawyer, she said she couldn't be sure Harder didn't have any guns with him before he arrived at her home, but insisted the hockey bags were not in his truck when he got there.

While it remains to be proven in court where exactly Harder got the guns from, the weapons would later prove instrumental to Project Forseti, the Saskatoon police operation that led to a series of raids against the Fallen Saints.
 
Harder was stopped by police and arrested with the guns in his truck.

In previous trials, he has explained that he was out on early release following a 2004 conviction for drug trafficking when he was caught with the guns, and that he offered to become an informant in order to avoid charges.
 
Harder's work as a police informant generated evidence to secure charges against over a dozen individuals, mostly Fallen Saints members, along with two members of the Hells Angels. The operation culminated in raids on 19 locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan in January 2015.
 

Twitter @BrynLevy