Frank Dean Rudge, a disgraced former detective for the Niagara Regional Police, was described Wednesday as committing crimes “analogous to treason” for passing secret police documents on to members of the Ontario Hell’s Angels gang during a long-standing investigation as Welland (Ont.) Superior Court Justice Peter Hambly ordered him to serve a four-year term in federal penitentiary.
Rudge, 51, of Welland, who was convicted by the judge last Aug. 2 of breach of trust by a public official, during his second trial in the case, has been off work but fully paid since his April 4, 2007, arrest in the case. Niagara Regional Police Chief Jeff McGuire said Wednesday the paychecks, mandated by provincial legislation in cases against police until they are incarcerated, have been “suspended effective immediately.”
Rudge did not speak, but after the sentencing his lawyer, Mark Evans, said his client is considering an appeal. Rudge was charged with passing on confidential police documents to the Hell’s Angels between August 2004 and September 2006 during a criminal investigation of the international outlaw motorcycle club dubbed Project Tandem.
Another Superior Court judge heard the case without a jury in the spring of 2010 and acquitted Rudge. But the Crown Attorney’s Office appealed that, and in December 2011 the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered the second nonjury trial.