Biker trial hears of ‘major changes’ phone call

Biker trial hears of ‘major changes’ phone call

LONDON, ont. – Wiretaps eavesdropping on the chatter of 19 people intercepted coded hints about “fire in the hole” and “major changes” ahead just a day before Ontario’s largest mass killing, characterized by the Crown as an internal cleansing of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle club, court heard Friday.

The explosive evidence played for a jury came as a result of another investigation into the December 2005 death of drug dealer Shawn Douse, which resulted in penitentiary terms for four men connected to the Bandidos.

Police sought taps on the phones of 14 primary and 15 secondary “targets” for that investigation, but ended up catching clues about the grim discovery they would later make on April 8, 2006, when eight bodies were found in four abandoned vehicles in rural southwestern Ontario.

None of the six accused in the mass murder had their lines tapped, but two of the victims did, as did others associated with the Bandidos, leaving police with a wide range of calls to listen to.

Among them was a conversation with the national president of the Bandidos, Wayne Kellestine, who appeared to foreshadow the bloodbath that was about to play out.

The Crown alleges the victims, who were all associated with the Bandidos, were lured to Kellestine’s farm before they died.

Court first heard a call Kellestine placed to Sharon Acorn about his desperate need to talk to her son Cameron, who was incarcerated at the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, Ont., and would later be convicted of manslaughter in Douse’s death.

“It’s kind of important that I talk to him … fill him in on what’s going on,” court heard Kellestine say on tape. “I don’t want him to be in the dark.”

He twice gives Acorn a message to pass onto her son.

“When you talk to Cameron just say one thing to him … fire in the hole,” Kellestine said.

When Kellestine speaks with her son the next day, he warns him about big news in coded, guarded language.

“Now there’s going to be some major changes,” Kellestine said, before hinting about orders being passed down from the U.S.

“People have been lying to us … about everything being all right — everything ain’t all right,” Kellestine said.

“Someone in Toronto has, uh, stabbed, uh, Boxer and Bam Bam and, uh, Chopper and all them guys in the back,” he said in reference to the nicknames of some of the victims.

He goes on to warn Acorn about protecting himself and distances himself from what is supposedly about to happen.

“It’s not my doing, I don’t want no part of this but, uh, I’m going to try to salvage as many guys as possible,” Kellestine said.

At this point, something seems to dawn on Acorn and he asks despondently, “It’s not what I think it is … what they were talking about before?”

“Yeah,” Kellestine replies. “Yep, you keep that to yourself.”

Kellestine wraps up the call by saying he would do what he could to “fix this.”

“I’m trying to salvage as many guys as possible,” he said.

The 20-minute conversation ends with the men saying they love each other.

In both calls with the Acorns, Kellestine expressed frustrations with “the boys in Toronto,” including Luis (Chopper) Raposo, Frank (Bam Bam) Salerno and John (Boxer) Muscedere, who were also caught on wiretaps and were later killed in the massacre.

Kellestine says Raposo won’t return his calls and didn’t pass on some envelopes to other associates as he’d asked.

“I don’t get invited to too many things in Toronto anymore,” he said to Sharon Acorn.

“I know who I love and I know who I don’t love, you know what I mean?”

Cameron Acorn spoke with Raposo and Muscedere hours after being updated by Kellestine, but did not tip them off to what he knew.

Apparently oblivious to his impending fate, Muscedere tells Acorn of having had a bizarre conversation in which he learned disturbing news, and says he wishes they could trade places. It wasn’t clear who Muscedere spoke with.

Both Muscedere and Raposo repeatedly say, “love you, bro” during their conversations with Acorn.

Court also heard that another victim, Paul Sinopoli, tried to get out of the meeting at “church” — Kellestine’s farm — but was told in no uncertain terms to show up or face consequences.

Sinopoli complained of a bleeding ulcer and not feeling well enough to make the trip to Kellestine’s farm during a conversation with Muscedere, who said the meeting was about “trying to straighten some of this out.”

But in a subsequent conversation with Salerno — who would also be dead within hours– Sinopoli is told bluntly that attendance is mandatory and that he’d better not “call in sick.”

“You’re on your last legs here, almost out the door,” Salerno said, and warned Sinopoli to bring money he owed and not show up empty-handed.

Almost immediately after that call, he rings up another victim, Jamie Flanz, and dejectedly asks for a ride to the meeting.

“I have to go to church tonight.”

The Crown said court will hear more wiretap calls when the trial resumes April 14, with evidence that’s being dubbed the “victims’ trip to the farm.”

Charged in the deaths are Kellestine, 59, and Frank Mather, 35, of Dutton-Dunwich, Ont.; Brett Gardiner, 24, of no fixed address; and Michael Sandham, 39, Marcelo Aravena, 32, and Dwight Mushey, 41, all of Winnipeg.