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Murder suspect offered job in Newfoundland by undercover cop

Allan Potter, 55, chats with Jon Noonan, one of his defence lawyers, during a break in his murder trial Thursday.
Allan Potter, 55, chats with Jon Noonan, one of his defence lawyers, during a break in his murder trial Thursday. - Tara Bradbury

Vikings motorcycle club member supplied information to RCMP regarding Dale Porter's death and about members of Leonard family of St. John's

"Hi Brother Al," the letter began, then continued with small talk about laundry.

"I was talking to our work pals last night. They wished me and you a Happy Canada Day. I said that your day would be just as happy as mine because you can make good times in bad situations. They were glad to hear that."

The letter, dated July 1, 2016, was sent to Allan Potter while he was serving a jail sentence in Ontario for an assault. The writer was a fellow member of the Vikings Motorcycle Club, based in St. John's. The biker told Potter he was working for a couple of men who ran a debt collection service, making good and easy money. The men had seen Potter on the internet and liked the look of him, and wanted to offer him a job.

"When I get up there and hopefully get to visit, one of them will come with me," the letter continued. "He's dying to say hello."

Unbeknownst to Potter at the time, there was no job for him. The business owners were actually undercover RCMP officers hoping to earn his trust and get him to talk to them. The fellow Viking was working as a police agent, attempting to obtain information from Potter about the stabbing death of 39-year-old Dale Porter of North River two years earlier.

The man was the second Viking-turned-agent to testify this week at the trial of Potter, who is charged with Porter's murder. Another man is also charged, and will go to trial at a later date; his name is banned from publication for now.

Both agents came to Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's under heavy security, escorted by armed RCMP officers.

Porter, a fisherman, trucker and father of two, died in the early morning hours of June 29 2014, after being found stabbed almost 20 times in his driveway. The cause of death was blood loss,

Dale Porter.
Dale Porter.

according to an autopsy, and his death was ruled a homicide.

The agent who testified Thursday said he became a member of the Vikings after a conversation with longtime acquaintance Vince Leonard Sr., whom he said was president of the club at the time.

"I said, 'You must have a big crowd now,' and he said yes. I said, 'I should get in," and he said, 'Yes, we'd love to have you,'" the man told the court.

He became a full-patch Vikings member right away, he said, skipping the prospect stage the first agent had completed.

When he agreed to become a police agent, the man said, he signed an agreement with the RCMP that he would be paid $250,000 plus $500 weekly - later increased to $800 - to obtain information for investigators about Porter's murder. That base amount increased to $300,000 when police asked him to also get information about certain Vikings, particularly members of the Leonard family.

"I would provide information to police. I had to abide by the law. They would write a task out on paper and I would complete the task. If a takedown or arrest was made, I had to use my real name in court, I couldn't use a fake name, which I agreed to," the agent said, explaining the terms of his agreement.

The agent said police paid $6,500 for his second-hand Harley Davidson bike, as well as the registration and insurance for it. He didn't have a licence to drive the motorcyle, he said, adding, "I didn't need one." The RCMP also paid for the man's $250 Viking vest and his $30 monthly club fees.

The man described how his work for the police took place: he would receive a phone call from officers, who would then pick him up somewhere inconspicuous and take him to a rented hotel room or apartment, which he called a "safe house." The officers would give him his task and he'd sometimes don a jacket fitted with a recording device. When he completed the task he would return to the safe house, switching the wired jacket for an identical one without the device, and write detailed notes on what had transpired.

On Wednesday, the court heard a number of audio recordings made by that recording device, as well as police recordings of the agent's cellphone, featuring conversations between him and Potter. One conversation was recorded at the agent's apartment in April 2015, a year after Porter's death, and the night before the two men took a flight to Ontario.

"Did you hear the news?" the agent is heard saying, as the TV news plays in the background.

"No. Well, what do you want? About what?" a voice said to be Potter's replies.

"About the Vikings."

"What did they say about them?"

"New DNA evidence linking two suspects. Ah, not releasing any evidence or won’t be releasing right now."

Potter seems to grow upset about media reports linking him to the Hells Angels, telling the agent that media outlets were publishing lies about him, and lamenting "the media is not held accountable."

"They don't appreciate their name in the media," the agent tells him.

"OK, I didn't put their name in the media. The media put their name in the media," Potter replies. He tells the agent, "I'm guilty of f--- all."

Allan Potter
Allan Potter

Later, Potter says, "C---sucking media has got me in trouble. I'll go up and I'll start f---ing killing everybody.

"I'll go down at NTV and I'll cut their heads off."

At one point in the conversation, the agent attempts to question Potter about the night Porter died. It's alleged Potter was with the co-accused and his girlfriend, as well as Porter, that night.

The Crown has suggested Porter made an "indecent proposal" to the woman and had been disrespectful to the Vikings club the night he was killed.

"Listen, I f---ing defended all three of them," a voice said to be Potter's is heard on the recording, telling the agent. "Cause (the co-accused) couldn't lick a five-cent stamp but he'd get himself in trouble.

"Buddy says, 'I'm f---ing her tonight, not you.' He says, 'I'm going to f--- your girlfriend."

Potter ended up staying in Ontario, while the agent returned to St. John's after a few days. The pair kept in touch through phone calls and letters. The agent also visited Potter in prison, and brought an undercover police officer - who was pretending to offer Potter a job - with him.

"What was the job?" prosecutor Sheldon Steeves asked the agent in court.

"Something along the lines of a bill collector and a hitman," the man replied. "Anyone in the game knows if they say a bill collector is coming, they're going to collect money or do something else."

One of the audio recordings played for the jury was of a phone call between the agent and Potter on the day of that visit. Calling the agent from prison, Potter says the visit meant a lot.

"He was really impressed," the agent tells Potter of the undercover officer pretending to offer him a job.

"Honestly?" Potter replies. "Give him my respect and tell him thank you for coming to visit me. He don't f--- around, he's a very serious f---ing man. He's got a sense of humour, but I can see myself in him.

"Can you please let him know I'm looking forward very much to working with him and I'm looking forward to doing a good job?"

The agent, who is expected to be the last witness to testify this week, will continue his testimony Friday.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury


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