IN early 2014, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC (CFSEU-BC) led an investigation into a long-time Independent Soldiers gang member and his girlfriend after receiving information that a Kelowna-based Independent Soldiers (IS) member was allegedly actively recruiting new members for the IS for a planned resurgence of the notorious gang.
The investigative efforts came to a conclusion on January 30, 2015, after Donahugh Frederick McWhirter and his girlfriend Brittany Stinn were arrested. This was followed by the execution of a search warrant at a residence in the Lake Country area.
During the search, a high-powered prohibited handgun, a 20 gauge shotgun, AR-style .22 calibre rifle, assorted ammunition, a crossbow, and drug paraphernalia were seized. In addition, three large boxes of new clothing bearing the Independent Soldiers logo were also discovered and seized.Throughout this investigation several drug and firearm seizures were made.
On February 5, 2018, Donahugh McWhirter entered a guilty plea in Kelowna Supreme Court to the following charges:
Drugs: possession for the purpose of trafficking in methamphetamine; and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Possession of firearms: unlawful possession of Mossberg 20 gauge shotgun; unlawful possession of Squires and Bingham .22 calibre rifle.
Possession of firearms while prohibited: unlawful possession of Mossberg 20 gauge shotgun while being under a court order prohibiting possession of firearms; unlawful possession of Squires and Bingham .22 calibre rifle while being under a court order prohibiting possession of firearms.
Last week, on June 29, Donahugh McWhirter was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna to five years and six months in prison in his attempt to create a resurgence of the Independent Soldiers. As part of McWhirter’s plea agreement, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada has stayed all charges against his girlfriend Stinn.