KELOWNA – A member of the Hells Angels took the witness stand to testify in his own defense Wednesday in Kelowna.
Joseph Bruce Skreptak, and co-accused Cory Montemurro, are charged with 11 firearms related offenses.
Charges were laid after police pulled over a speeding vehicle on the TransCanada Highway near Salmon Arm in November 2010.
RCMP seized a small arsenal of weaponry including a sawed-off shotgun, three loaded handguns, a bulletproof vest, balaclavas, latex gloves, knives, clubs, bear spray and a cell phone jamming device.
At the time, RCMP said Montemurro was an associate of the Hells Angels but his lawyer denies that.
“This is not unusual for police to make stories bigger than they are. That story was inaccurate and the police officers have sworn it’s inaccurate in this trial,” says Don Skogstad.
In his testimony, Skreptak claims he had no idea any of the weapons or other seized items were inside the vehicle.
Even though it was night-time and snowing, Skreptak says he traveled from his Kelowna home to the Salmon Arm area to look at a rural property he was considering buying.
He says It contained a medical marijuana grow operation and he was interested in getting into that line of work.
As to why Montemurro was in the vehicle, Skreptak says he had no idea and never bothered to ask.
And Skiogstad says: “Well that’s what the trial is for isn’t it? The trial is ongoing. I can’t make a comment on that right now.”
Under cross examination by the Crown, Skreptak admitted that even though he says he wanted to get into the medical marijuana business, he hadn’t even applied for a license.
The trial is scheduled for three days.
Two other men, who police say are linked to the Hells Angels, were also in the vehicle when it was pulled over.
The charges against them were earlier stayed by the prosecutor.