BY RATTAN MALL
BACK in July 2015 when there were rumours that Hells Angel Larry Amero could be released on bail from a Montreal, Quebec prison where he had been incarcerated since 2012 for allegedly being one of the six leaders who united Quebec and B.C. criminals to supply cocaine to Quebec and Ontario, then-Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC (CFSEU-BC) told me: “While it’s just one guy, [this] could result in a number of different things happening.”
Houghton noted: “He’s probably one of the most high profile Hells Angels members in British Columbia in terms of his criminal profile. He was shot and injured during the murder of Jonathan Bacon.”
Well now, after two more years, Amero is a free man after a judge stayed charges against him because of the inordinate delay in the case going to court.
But the CFSEU-BC made it crystal-clear on Thursday that they are ready to deal with Amero.
Sgt. Brenda Winpenny told The VOICE: “If Amero chooses to return to B.C., it is up to him how he chooses to conduct himself or if he continues with his gang affiliation.”
She added: “CFSEU-BC is prepared to support our policing partners with as many resources as necessary if Amero chooses to heat up a conflict within the organized crime groups.”
AMERO, Red Scorpion leader Jonathan Bacon, and James Riach, a high profile member of the Independent Soldiers, along with two women, one of whom is reportedly related to several Hells Angels members, were attacked in Kelowna on August 14, 2011. While Bacon was killed, Amero and the two women sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Riach, who was also injured, fled the scene.
Jujhar Khun-Khun of Surrey, Michael Jones of Gibsons, and Jason McBride of North Vancouver were arrested on February 22, 2013, and charged with the first degree murder of Bacon as well as four counts each of attempted murder, are on trial in Kelowna nowadays. Manjinder “Manny” Hairan, 29, who was shot dead on January 15, 2013, in Surrey, was also reportedly involved in the Kelowna shooting.
The Lower Mainland gang war involved the Dhak-Duhre group and United Nations gang, on one side, and the ‘Wolf Pack’ of some Hells Angels with Independent Soldiers and Red Scorpions, on the other side.
Gurmit Dhak, described as a charismatic gang leader by police, was shot dead in 2010 and that started a whole chain of violent events that are still going on.
In January 2012, Sandip Duhre was shot dead in a downtown Vancouver hotel bar and later a ruling by a B.C. Supreme Court judge revealed that Riach was one of the gang members seen at the scene.
Gurmit’s brother, Sukh, who was himself shot dead in 2012, blamed Amero and Riach for his brother’s death and reportedly wanted revenge.
So you can see the potential for violence if and when Amero returns to B.C.
Last June, when I asked Houghton about the members of the Dhak and Duhre gangs, he said they were like seeds in the wind. They have scattered and, like cockroaches, they scurry around to find dark corners to hide in them.
And what they do, if they decide to stay in that lifestyle, is to find other groups and associations they may have been on friendly terms with to continue their businesses and they get essentially absorbed into those groups.
Houghton told me that nothing had changed as such in the gang world. They are still fighting in communities over the drug trade with expansions and alliances, not just in this province but all across Canada, and shoring up their businesses.
ADDED to this situation is the fact, as The VOICE reported in July, that there is a massive power struggle going on in the violent world of organized crime in southern Ontario.
Peter Edwards, who has authored 10 books on organized crime, in an article in Toronto Star had reported that B.C.’s notorious Wolf Pack alliance is involved in it.
Edwards, noting that some of the violence this year is blamed on “a culture clash between the old and the new,” added: “On one side are the aggressive young computer-friendly newcomers from B.C. and Quebec allied to a gang called The Wolfpack Alliance. On the other side are the old guard — the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] arm of the traditional ’Ndrangheta family of Cosimo (The Quail) Commisso of Siderno, Italy.”
And Sgt. Winpenny told me at the time: “We’ve publicly confirmed in the past that the Wolf Pack has a presence not only across Canada but internationally. They have had a presence in other provinces, like Ontario, for at least a couple years … and several gang members who have ties to the Wolf Pack, like Hells Angel Larry Amero, have been back east for several years – albeit Larry’s in jail but he has spent a lot of time between here and Ontario and Quebec.”