The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC) is B.C.'s anti-gang police force. The agency released its second annual community report this week.

‘Significant decline’ in gang killings: CFSEU annual report

Community report from anti-gang police unit notes more big cases go to trial in 2015

A recent drop in gang violence now has B.C.’s anti-gang police unit looking to the courts for closure on several major outstanding cases.

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit chief officer Kevin Hackett said the “significant decline” in organized crime homicides comes after a series of high-profile investigations leading to charges, as well as new initiatives to prevent or reduce gang membership.

His comments were published Monday in the unit’s 2014 annual community report. It can be found online at bc-anti-gang.com.

The number of gang-related killings in B.C. fell to 13 last year from 18 in 2012 and has been cut by almost two-thirds from the 36 gang murders committed in 2009.

Nearly 100 organized crime figures or gang-related individuals were arrested and charged last year with more than 270 offences in close to 30 B.C. communities, Hackett said.

The report’s release came after the province announced policing cuts that will pare the CFSEU budget by $2.8 million.

Much public attention has focused on the Surrey Six murder trial, which concluded in early July. A decision is expected to be handed down Oct. 2 in the case against two of the men accused of killing two innocents along with four other targeted victims.

But a separate murder conspiracy trial for Red Scorpions gang member Jamie Bacon is slated to begin next May for his alleged role in the Surrey Six slayings.

And there could be two other major gang murder trials in 2015 as well.

A trial is expected to begin next year in Kelowna, where Jonathan Bacon was gunned down three years ago. Jujhar Khun-Khun, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones and Jason Thomas McBride face first-degree murder charges as well as four counts each of attempted murder.

CFSEU officials say next year could also see the start of a trial against Cory Vallee, accused in two murders – the 2009 shooting in Langley of Red Scorpion Kevin LeClair and the 2008 shooting in Burnaby of Jonathan Barber, who was mistakenly targeted because he was installing a stereo in a car owned by a Bacon brother.

Vallee, who was arrested in August in Mexico and quickly returned to B.C., also faces conspiracy charges in relation to a UN Gang plot to kill the Bacon brothers.

Hackett said a joint CFSEU-IHIT investigation also led to murder conspiracy guilty pleas last year against six UN Gang members and associates.

He said the gangsters had been “ruthlessly hunting” members of the Bacon crime group in 2008-09, a period during which police efforts also prevented at least two more murders.

“They displayed blatant disregard for public safety in what Crown counsel referred to as ‘human safaris’ while they targeted their rivals.”

The six received sentences of seven to 14 years each and although UN Gang leader Barzan Tilli-Choli could be out late in 2018 due to time served, he is expected to then be deported to Iraq.

Hackett was optimistic the CFSEU’s edgy End Gang Life campaign (endganglife.ca) will help persuade more gang members to reform. It plays on the emotions of gangsters with imagery of loved ones left behind after they’re dead.

The annual report includes statistics on the ethnicity of gang murder victims, where the bodies are typically found (31 per cent inside a car, 20 per cent inside a residence), as well as seasonal patterns in gang violence.

Jonathan Bacon was killed outside a Kelowna hotel three years ago.The murder trial of his three accused killers is slated to begin next year.

Just Posted

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

VIDEO: Protesters chain doors shut at DFO office in Saanich

Fish farm protesters removed from Commerce Circle for a second time

Plans in place for Cordova Bay mixed-use residential and commercial development

Staff approve proposal for 91 residential units and 46,797 square feet of mixed-use for Cordova Bay

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Funding brings more tech spaces to UVic and Camosun

Students can look forward to the addition of hundreds of tech-related seats… Continue reading

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read