The RCMP have laid criminal organization charges against members of an outlaw motorcycle gang for the first time in Nova Scotia.

Police laid the charges against three members of the Bacchus Outlaw Motorcycle Gang as a result of an ongoing investigating which started in September.

Investigators say this is the first time such charges have been laid against the Bacchus since they were established in the province.

Patrick James, 45, of Dartmouth, Duane Howe, 43, of Grand Desert, and David Pearce, 38, of Dartmouth are each facing charges of commission of an offence for a criminal organization, as well as extortion.

“This is a first for Nova Scotia and a first for the Bacchus,” says RCMP Insp. Joanne Crampton. “Criminal Organization charges are a significant blow to this group.”

The men were previously charged with uttering threats and intimidation on Sept. 21 after police searched four locations, including the Bacchus clubhouse on Hogan road in Nine Mile River, and residences on Renfrew Road and Elmwood Road in Dartmouth and Dyke Road in Grand Desert.

“As we’ve said in the past, the Bacchus attempt to fool people and portray themselves as a group of charitable motorcycle enthusiasts, ” says Crampton. “Today’s charges are once again proof that these individuals are involved in criminal activity.”

The suspects are scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Monday.

If convicted, they could face up to 14 years in prison.