Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - ONLINE EDITION

Biker faces mandatory life sentence in gang slaying

Bekim Zeneli

Enlarge Image

Bekim Zeneli (HANDOUT)

A Manitoba biker has been found guilty of first-degree murder for killing a notorious rival gang leader.

Sean Michael Heickert faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years after learning his fate on Wednesday. His trial began last November in Thompson and was heard by a judge alone, not a jury.

A co-accused, Kevin Moose, was found not guilty of manslaughter for his alleged role.

Bekim Zeneli was gunned down in November 2007 inside his Thompson apartment in an apparent power struggle over control of the lucrative northern Manitoba drug trade. Zeneli was the founder of the LHS (loyalty, honour, silence) gang.

Heickert and Moose were described by police as associates of the Hells Angels who were competing for lucrative drug profits with LHS at the time. They weren’t arrested until October 2008 following a lengthy police investigation.

In a strange twist, Heickert’s name surfaced days after the slaying -- as a victim of an apparent murder plot. His brother, James Heickert, and Thompson residents Dean Gurniak and Stanley Lucovic were intercepted by police planning Heickert’s death. James Heickert was a full-patch member of the Hells Angels chapter in Oshawa, Ont. The trio later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and received lengthy prison sentences under a joint agreement between Crown and defence lawyers.

"There are no good guys in this conflict. They’re all villains," federal prosecutor Chris Mainella told court at the sentencing hearing. "Trying to assess the virtue in the Thompson drug trade is likened to trying to pass out speeding tickets at the Indy 500."

Sean Heickert was back in the news in August 2008 after being shot in Thompson and medivaced to Winnipeg with serious injuries. No arrests were ever made in that attack.

Court documents obtained by the Free Press revealed police had listened in on a detailed plan to kill Zeneli just two days before his death, but never warned him about the apparent threat. Many of those wiretap recordings are expected to be played at court.

Undercover police agent Scotty "Taz" Robertson told several gang associates inside a Pembina Highway hotel room he would take out Zeneli for $20,000. Robertson was paid $650,000 to infiltrate the Hells Angels during the year-long undercover Project Drill probe that resulted in 18 arrests, including Manitoba Hells Angels president Dale Donovan and full-patch members from Ontario and British Columbia.

Zeneli was described by his rivals as a "terrorist" who was pushing the Hells Angels out of Thompson and needed to be stopped. Police also recorded detailed discussion about killing Sean Heickert, who was working with Zeneli at the time. Talk of killing Zeneli began at the start of Project Drill in December 2006. Police sent Zeneli a warning letter, but took no further action, such as charging any of the men who had discussed the conspiracy.

www.mikeoncrime.com

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media