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Ex-Angel may leave pen early

Grant impresses parole panel

Ian Grant

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A notorious Manitoba gangster is on the cusp of returning full time to the community despite being a sentenced prisoner until 2022.

Hells Angels member Ian Grant was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years behind bars for his role in an elaborate drug operation busted in an undercover police sting.

But Grant, 39, has been given the green light to make a full parole application on the grounds he has seemingly turned his life around, according to documents obtained Wednesday by the Free Press.

His parole hearing is expected early next year.

Grant got his first taste of freedom in July 2012, thanks to a successful day-parole application that allowed him to spend his days in the community and his nights in a halfway house. His day parole has been renewed every six months since. The National Parole Board has repeatedly praised Grant for his progress.

He has worked several jobs, opened his own painting company, attended treatment programs and upgraded his education.

He has also renounced his gang association by having his Hells Angels tattoos "dated," which signifies the end of a membership. The physically imposing Grant also turned heads by "confronting" other Hells members and associates in prison to tell them he was out of the gang, according to the parole board.

"You have also attended a number of (redacted in documents) where you speak about the 'biker lifestyle,'" the parole board wrote in their decision earlier this month.

There have been no allegations of any breaches of day-parole conditions, which forbid contact with his former criminal cohorts and using drugs and alcohol.

Grant has been rated a low risk to reoffend, but police in Manitoba have voiced their objection to his release on the grounds they believe he is manipulating the system. Grant is an excellent public speaker and has above-average intelligence, acting as his own lawyer at his trial.

For those reasons, sources say, police have been watching him closely, knowing any parole breaches would land him back behind bars, where he could be forced to serve the remaining nine years of his sentence.

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