IHIT on the scene of Colony Farm slaying

Homicide investigators have closed off a popular trail at Coquitlam’s Colony Farm park after a body was found Sunday afternoon.
Coquitlam RCMP arrived at the scene first about 4 p.m. and determined the victim had met with foul play.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team now has conduct of the investigation.
“I can confirm that IHIT is now taking over this case from the Coquitlam RCMP. I can also confirm that the victim is a man in his 40’s.  The investigative team is in the process of positively confirming the identity of the victim and completing the notification of next of kin,” Sgt. Bari Emam said in a release.
“Once the identity of the victim is confirmed, the investigators are hoping to find more answers surrounding this homicide.”
He said investigators want to talk to anyone who was in the area adjacent to the Dyke system and alongside the trail in the Colony Farm area on May 12, who may have witnessed anything suspicious.
IHIT can be reached through the tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or by email at ihittipline@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
 
Meanwhile IHIT has also been at an unrelated crime scene in south Vancouver since Friday. The house remained behind police tape Monday, with an RCMP cruiser in front of it. But Sgt. Emam said he had no information about IHIT’s link to the Vancouver house because he hadn’t had time to meet those investigators yet because of the new Coquitlam case. I’ll update you on both cases when I learn more.
 

RCMP car outside south Vancouver house

RCMP car outside south Vancouver house

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Red Scorpion killer Albert Jackman loses appeal

Two killers with links to the Red Scorpion gang have lost an appeal of their 2011 convictions in a Langley murder case.
Albert Jackman, a member of the notorious gang, was convicted of first degree murder for the brutal stabbing death of Kyle Barber in his home on March 28, 2009. And gang associate Gregory Barrett was convicted of manslaughter for helping Jackman as he confined and attacked Barber.
In convicting both, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein described how Jackman intimidated Barber during a home invasion by showing him Jackman’s Red Scorpion tattoo on his hand.
The duo burst into the home Barber shared with his girlfriend, demanding information about a theft of $50,000 worth of marijuana from a neighbouring barn.
The girlfriend testified at trial that the two men were violent and pushed their way in, with Barrett holding her and Jackman savagely beating Barber with a pair of scissors in his fist. A slash to Barber’s carotid artery under his jaw was the fatal wound.
Both Jackman and Barrett argued on appeal that their convictions should be set aside and a new trial ordered.
Jackman’s lawyer said Stromberg-Stein had erred in concluding Jackman had the requisite intention to kill required for first degree murder.
And Barrett’s lawyer said his client should not have been convicted of manslaughter because he lacked knowledge of what Jackman was going to do that night.
And both appellants attacked the credibility of the girlfriend who testified for the Crown.
But Chief Justice Lance Finch dismissed all their arguments saying Stromberg-Stein properly assessed the evidence at the original trial, including the credibility of key Crown witnesses.
“I would dismiss both appeals and affirm both convictions,” Finch said in his ruling Tuesday, with which Appeal Court Justices Kathryn E. Neilson and Catherine Ryan agreed.
“There was ample evidence from all three key witnesses to show that the first physical altercation between Mr. Jackman and Mr. Barber in the bedroom, the assault in the basement, and the final violent and savage stabbing in the bedroom were all part of a series of escalating violent attacks by Mr. Jackman upon Mr. Barber,” Finch said.
Jackman had claimed during the trial that he stabbed Barber in self-defence and that he and Barrett had only gone to the house to make an inquiry, with the tone of the conversation friendly.
But Stromberg-Stein said Barber sustained defensive wounds to both hands, wounds on his face consistent with a pair of scissors, and he had been stabbed in the back, the legs and several other places.
Just days after she convicted the pair, Jackman was also pleaded guilty to a brutal sledgehammer attack on an associate that took place three weeks before Barber was killed.
Read the ruling here:

Independent Soldier wins transfer to minimum security prison

A one-time leader of the Independent Soldiers gang has won his transfer back to a lower security jail after claiming in B.C. Supreme Court that his Charter rights were violated.
Jayme Russell, who is serving a seven year sentence for two separate trafficking convictions, was transferred last November from minimum-security Ferndale Institution to Matsqui – a medium security institution.
The Correctional Service of Canada argued that the transfer was necessary because Russell was suspected of being involved in trafficking inside Ferndale and had been linked to contraband – including a stash of steroids and GHB – the so called “date rape drug.”
In the decision to transfer Russell, the Ferndale warden said his “index offence consisted of multiple convictions for drug possession and trafficking within the context of his position as a high level member of the Independent Soldiers gang in the Kamloops area.”
“While incarcerated at Ferndale Institution, Russell had two documented security incidents in June and August of 2012 involving unauthorized contraband. Three separate sources provided information that was believed reliable by Ferndale Institution’s correctional staff that Russell was involved in the institutional drug sub-culture: specifically, the consumption, distribution and importation of GHB and steroids,” the warden said.
But Russell’s lawyer argued to B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan that the prison didn’t follow proper procedures because the warden failed to disclose all the information used to make the decision to increase his client’s security level.
McEwan agreed that procedural fairness was denied to Russell and ordered him back to Ferndale.
Two of three jail sources relied on by the warden were of “unknown reliability,” McEwan said.
While Russell admitting to using GHB, he denied trafficking inside the institution, the judge noted.
McEwan also said that he took no position on how the CSC classifies Russell in future- just that proper procedures should be followed.
“I imply no particular view as to the proper placement of the applicant, upon a fair hearing. To do so would infringe upon the discretion properly exercisable by the respondents,” McEwan said.
”I do, however, suggest that there ought to be some attempt to demonstrate how the institution weighed the evidence, rather than to merely identify the factors went into the decision. Simply laying out several sources of suspicion and stating a conclusion without demonstrating how the institution knits them together, will not normally justify a transfer.”
Russell was convicted in two separate drug trafficking cases out of Kamloops in 2009 after being caught in an undercover police sting, along with his second-in-command of the local chapter of the Independent Soldiers – Thomas Crawford.
Last week, Crawford was also convicted of kidnapping, unlawful confinement, extortion and firearms charges in connection with the October 2011 abduction in Vancouver of drug trafficker Sulaiman Safi.
Read the full ruling here:

More “unindicted co-conspirators” named in Bacon murder plot

A Calgary gangster arrested at Vancouver airport last week was recently added to an indictment alleging his involvement in a United Nations gang plot to kill the Bacon brothers, The Vancouver Sun has learned.
Billy Ly was picked up by the Canada Border Services Agency after arriving on a flight from Asia. He is now in jail in Calgary charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon for a near-fatal stabbing of a rival gangster in Calgary on April 23.
Calgary Police Staff Sergeant Dave Mills said Friday that he expects the charges to be upgraded to include attempted murder given the severity of the injuries to Nick Chan.
Chan was repeatedly stabbed outside a health food store where he’d been shopping, Mills said.
“Even the doctors thought he wasn’t going to pull through, but somehow he managed to.”
Despite Chan’s close encounter with his attacker, he has not cooperated with police. Great witness accounts from bystanders led police to identify Ly and get charge approval, Mills said.
Ly then left for Asia.
CBSA spokesman Perry Boldt said Friday that “Ly was intercepted at the Vancouver International Airport on June 26.”
“CBSA works closely with our domestic and international law enforcement partners and have access to numerous law enforcement databases and warrants,” he said.
Ly is linked to the FOB Killers gang and has close associations to the United Nations gang in B.C.
He was one of 11 additional names of alleged co-conspirators in the high-profile Bacon murder conspiracy listed on a new indictment sworn March 27, 2013.
An older indictment said Yong Sung John Lee, Dilun Heng, Barzan Tilli-Choli, Karwan Ahmet Saed and Ion Kroitoru conspired with UN gang founder Clay Roueche, Daniel Russell and fugitives Cory Vallee and Conor D’Monte to kill the sibling trio between Jan. 1, 2008 and Feb. 17, 2009.
But while the earlier document said the accused also conspired “with persons unknown,” the March indictment specified those names — Ly, Christopher (Spaz) Chand, Mauro Zuzolo, Troy Tran, Jae Sung Yoo, Shafa Aram, Craig Cameron, Ryan Murphy, David Murphy, Jesse (Egon) Adkins and Manh (Versace) Nguyen.
None of those newly named is charged in the case, though the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has said the investigation is still open.
The new indictments were sworn in the case the same day Russell, a high-ranking UN member, appeared in B.C. Supreme Court to say he intended to plead guilty. He has since been sentenced to 12 years, minus time served, for conspiring to kill the Bacons and their Red Scorpion associates, as well as for manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jonathan Barber on May 9, 2008.
Barber, a stereo installer with no gang links, had just picked up a Porsche Cayenne owned by the Bacons to work on the vehicle when he was sprayed by gunfire along Kingsway in Burnaby.
The other five accused are scheduled to make their next court appearance in Vancouver on Monday.
Police continue to hunt D’Monte and Vallee, who have Interpol warrants out for their arrest.
Two of the Bacons — Jamie and Jarrod — are in jail. Eldest brother Jonathan was shot to death in Kelowna in August 2011.
 

Seattle trial delayed for former B.C. Mountie

The trial for a former B.C. Mountie charged in Washington state with smuggling cocaine has been postponed until November.
Rapinder (Rob) Sidhu had been scheduled to go to trial in Seattle on Sept. 23.
But U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik agreed last week to a continuance of the trial until Nov. 18 after a joint motion from Sidhu’s lawyer and the Assistant U.S. Attorney.
The motion, which was filed on Aug. 23, said the defence needs more time to prepare because “the case is complex for a number of reasons: voluminous discovery, witnesses and potential witnesses which include cooperators and non-cooperators, both in custody and out and on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border.”
And the joint motion hinted that a plea deal may be in the works.
“The parties continue to work toward a resolution that will avoid a trial altogether and believe a continuance of the trial date until at least mid-November 2013 would promote more thoughtful and better informed negotiation as well as adequate time to prepare for trial should a resolution not be achieved,” the motion said.
Sidhu’s lawyer has met with RCMP officers “and obtained limited discovery.”
“That discovery has been shared with the government, but more investigation is required,” the court document said.
Sidhu, now 46, was charged in August 2011 with participating in an international cocaine smuggling ring that U.S. authorities allege had links to B.C. Hells Angels.
The U.S. indictment said  that beginning at least by the middle of 2007 until at least May 2008, Sidhu worked with convicted B.C. smugglers Rob Shannon and Devron Quast “to operate a cocaine transportation organization based in British Columbia.”
Forty people on both sides of the border have been convicted for their role in the drug operation. The gang moved more than $19 million worth of marijuana and cocaine across the border over five years.
Sidhu, who quit the RCMP in 2003 in the midst of an internal investigation, had also been charged and acquitted in Surrey of impersonating a police officer to get information about the Bacon brothers out of a protected police data base.
He was living in Montreal at the time of his extradition.

Teen charged with attempted murder in Tuesday night shooting

An 18 year old Vancouver man has been charged with attempted murder using a firearm after a shooting that left a young woman injured Tuesday night.
Hartej Singh Kang was arrested by Vancouver Police about 11:30 p.m.Tuesday, hours after he allegedly shot at another man, wounding instead his 19 year old female companion.
Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said Kang has also been charged with two counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound, as well as unlawfully possessing a loaded restricted gun and possessing a handgun without a licence.
He has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance Aug. 7.
 VPD Const. Brian Montague said the woman sustained minor injures in the shooting near St. George Street and 52nd Avenue and went to Vancouver General Hospital with the man who was targeted in the attack.
Police later found their SUV, damaged by gunfire, at the hospital.
Area residents called 911 about 6:10 pm to report shots had been fired near beside Henderson Elementary school. Police arrived to find glass shards and other evidence in the school parking lot and cordonned off the crime scene.
Emergency Response Team members and gang unit officers were in the area searching for a suspect about two hours after the shooting.
They appeared to be focusing on a house on East 51st Avenue, but stood down about 9:15 p.m.
Montague said Kang was arrested “without incident at a home near the shooting.”
“Early indications are that the shooting was targeted and related to a dispute between the two men, who are known to each other. The woman who was treated and released from VGH is not believed to have been the intended target,” he said.
Montague said investigators will look at whether the dispute involves other people or earlier criminal incidents.
“It is definitely something we will look into,” he said.
While police are always concerned about the risks posed by “public and brazen shootings,” Montague said the fact the suspect in now in jail “is very good news.”

Hooded men with gloves got out of black BMW: witness

Surrey Six witness Helen Lee said she was nearly run over by a black BMW occupied by suspicious men wearing hoodies and leather gloves in the Balmoral Tower parkade on the afternoon of the murders.
Lee testified in B.C. Supreme Court Monday that she was with her then three year old son after a bible study in the Surrey high-rise at about 2:25 pm on Oct. 19, 2007.
As she attempted to go around the BMW, it backed up suddenly, nearly striking her and her child, she told Justice Catherine Wedge through an interpreter.
“My son and I almost got hit by the car. I was stunned and I got angry too,” said Lee, 43.
She said the men in the vehicle looked “very angry.”
“I got scared and so I took my son and ran to the car and got into the car.”
As she was pulling out, she saw the men get out of the BMW.
“They covered their faces with their hoods and both had leather gloves on.”
She said the driver, who was about 183 cm, clean-shaven and young “looked towards me so I had eye contact with him.”
Lee said she was so concerned about “the scary men” that she called her friend in the Balmoral to warn another person in their bible group to wait before going to the parkade.
“I phoned her to let her know that because there are some strange men in the parking lot, she should come out later,” Lee said.
She told Crown Kathleen McIntosh that she saw a third man, holding a door open in the parkade who was also wearing a hoodie pulled down over his face, as well as gloves.
Lee testified that she was concerned because “unlike ordinary people, they were all wearing gloves and covering their faces with their hoodies. I thought they were thieves actually.”
Crown Mark Levitz has told the court that accused killers Cody Haevischer, Matt Johnston and someone known as Person X arrived at the Balmoral Tower about 2:25 pm that day and made their way to suite 1505 on the penthouse floor where they executed Corey and Michael Lal, Eddie Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo and bystanders Ed Schellenberg and Christopher Mohan.
The Crown submits that Haevischer, Johnston and Michael Le were targeted rival drug trafficker Corey Lal, but killed the others so there would be no witnesses.
Meanwhile, a series of admissions filed at the trial were provided to reporters Monday.
The admissions say that police found crack cocaine in several locations inside 1505 after the murders. There were two white Pyrex dishes in the oven that had cocaine on them. There was also 119 grams of crack cocaine in the freezer and more crack cocaine in several kitchen cupboards and envelopes found in the suite.
Also in the admissions are details of Eileen Mohan’s final call to her son.
Mohan called home about 2 p.m. on Oct. 19 to talk Christopher, who had agreed to wait in suite 1504 for a gas technician before heading to his basketball game.
“Christopher told his mom that the fireplace technician was there. The duration of the call was between one and one and one-half minutes,” the admissions say. “This was the last time that Mrs. Mohan ever spoke with Christopher.”
The admissions also state that “blood soaked business cards” of Schellenberg, who was caught in the slaughter after arriving to service 1505’s fireplace, were found in the jacket pocket of Narong.
The admissions also detail how a black BMW police believe was used to transport the killers to the Balmoral was later seized at a Burnaby auto detailing business where it had taken for cleaning a few days after the murders.
The admissions included photos of Red Scorpion tattoos on Haevischer, Johnston, Le and Jamie Bacon, who is also accused in the Surrey Six murders, but is being tried separately.

Man with HA links charged in brutal cabbie assault

A Vancouver man with links to the East End Hells Angels has been charged with aggravated assault after the brutal beating of a taxi driver last weekend.
Lloyd Peter Robinson, 29, appeared in Vancouver Provincial Court Friday for allegedly punching and stomping on the cabbie after a dispute over a $5.40 fare early Nov. 17.
He was remanded in custody until his next appearance Monday morning.
Robinson’s father Louie was an original member of the East End Hells Angels but retired from the club after a major undercover investigation during which police agent Micheal Plante infiltrated the gang by getting close to him.
Lloyd Robinson’s uncle John Bryce remains the president of the East End Hells Angels, which has filed a civil suit against the B.C. government challenging the constitutionality of the B.C. Civil Forfeiture laws.
The government moved in a year ago to seize the East End clubhouse and other assets of the bikers alleging they were the proceeds of crime and that the Hells Angels is a criminal organization.
Vancouver Police Const. Brian Montague said Friday that the cab driver was attacked after he picked up a man and three women on Granville near Davie Street.
“The driver took the four passengers to a nearby apartment building at Drake Street and Marinaside Crescent,” Montague said.
“The verbal argument quickly ended when the man allegedly punched the victim, before kicking and stomping on his face as he lay seemingly unconscious on the ground.”
He said investigators spoke with several witnesses from nearby buildings who heard the verbal and physical altercation, and saw the accused run off after the attack.
“We do have video evidence. I can’t say exactly where that video evidence is from and where it was obtained,” Montague said.
He said the cab driver “received a number of head injuries that included fractures to bones in his face, cuts and the assault did appear to render him unconscious at the time so he was severely beaten.”
Montague said the investigation is on-going and that anyone with information should call police at 604-717-2541.
He described Robinson as having a criminal record and “known to us,” but did not mention the connection to the notorious biker gang.
Robinson Jr. was convicted of an assault in Kelowna in March 2012 and got a fine and a year’s probation. He also faced allegations of uttering threats in August 2012 after which a peace bond was issued last February.

Surveillance team lost Bacon hours before Surrey Six murders

Gang cops watching accused killer Jamie Bacon lost his vehicle just hours before the Surrey Six murders on Oct. 19, 2007.
Two officers who were with the Integrated Gang Task Force at the time testified Friday that they last saw Bacon’s vehicle – a black Mercedes – in Abbotsford near the Clearbrook Town Square late that morning.
Det. Thomas Zwissler, one of the drivers in the nine-person surveillance team, said he saw the vehicle occupied by Bacon, his girlfriend and a man who can be identified only as Person Y turn into the mall parking lot.
The Vancouver Police officer told Justice Catherine Wedge that he knew both Bacon and Person Y “from previous surveillance and from the target package.”
The Mercedes they were in “just went into the parking lot and I lost contact with it.”
He said the team searched for the vehicle, but didn’t locate it again.
He said he was off-shift by 1:30 p.m.
The Surrey Six trial has heard that the murders of Corey and Michael Lal, Eddie Narong, Ryan Bartolomeo, Ed Schellenberg and Chris Mohan happened about 2:40 p.m. in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower.
Defence lawyer Simon Buck asked Zwissler if he learned about the murders later that day.
“I can’t recall when I heard the news. I don’t watch the news when I go home and I was off shift,” Zwissler said.
Buck replied: “I would have thought the murder of six people would have been of interest to a police officer. Apparently it’s not.”
Zwissler said he “was not called with the information.”
“They don’t call everyone with the information. If I was to hear it over the news or something, I would have gotten the information,” he said.
Det. John Farquharson, another member of the surveillance team, said he saw the Mercedes about 10:56 a.m. in the parking lot of the Clearbrook mall near an A&W restaurant.
“From my vantage point at that time, I could not tell if anyone was inside the vehicle,” he testified.
A few minutes later he saw Person Y exit the A&W, get into the Mercedes and drive eastbound.
“At that time I also observed Mr. Bacon in the front seat,” Farquharson said, adding that Bacon’s girlfriend was also in the vehicle.
He told prosecutor Alex Henderson that he didn’t see the Mercedes again that day.
Several officers have testified at the murder trial of Matt Johnston, Cody Haevischer and Michel Le about being part of the team that was conducting “lifestyle” surveillance on Bacon, his brothers Jonathan and Jarrod, as well as on several associates in 2007.
The surveillance was not related to any specific criminal case, the trial also heard.
The Crown has said that Bacon and Le ordered a hit on rival drug dealer Corey Lal and that Haevischer, Johnston and a man identified only as Person X went to the Balmoral on the afternoon of Oct. 19 and ended up killing six people.
Bacon is also charged in the Surrey Six case, but is being tried separately at a later date.
The Surrey Six trial has now been adjourned until Nov. 25.

Another guilty plea in the Dudley-McKay slayings

Another suspect has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the fatal 2008 double shooting of Lisa Dudley and Guthrie McKay.
Justin MacKinnon had faced two first degree murder counts when he was arrested in June 2011, but instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charges and was sentenced Monday to seven years in jail.
MacKinnon’s plea in B.C. Supreme Court follows earlier guilty pleas from two of his co-accused.
In March 2012, Jack Douglas Woodruff pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder. And in July 2013, Bruce Ian Main pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter.
A fourth accused, Tom Holden, is awaiting trial on two counts of first degree murder after being arrested last summer.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said the case was “extremely demanding” on IHIT investigators.
Dudley and McKay were shot inside their rural Mission residence on Sept. 18, 2008 in a targeted hit. Both had been involved with marijuana grow-ops. McKay died instantly, while Dudley lay critically injured for four days, despite a neighbour’s call to 911.
RCMP at the time said they drove near to the house, but didn’t have details about where the shots had been fired so left. An officer was eventually disciplined for the botched response to the 911 call. Dudley’s mother and step-father have filed a civil suit against police.