BY RATTAN MALL
CFSEU-BC spokesperson Sgt. Brenda Winpenny is as usual very blunt about the dangers of being a gang member as she points out to The VOICE: “Hells Angels are not immune from being killed, too!”
She told me on Tuesday after the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed that Sunday’s homicide victim was Chad Wilson, 43, of Maple Ridge: “The fact remains that Mr. Wilson was a very prominent, high-ranking member of the Hells Angels and, as we have seen in the past, the Hells Angels as any organized crime group are not immune to the violence in the current gang landscape”
She added: “So again, we see the escalation of violence, whatever that conflict may have been, the CFSEU [Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit] will work with our partners to make sure that we are utilizing our specialized resources such as our analysts, intelligence and our Uniformed Gang Enforcement Unit to make sure we are assisting all of our partners to mitigate any violence that may occur in retaliation for this.”
I asked Winpenny if the Wolf Pack and their usual rivals were still out there, and she replied: “The Wolf Pack is still very prominent,” adding, “but again, within those alliances there is always internal fighting and changes of alliances. It’s that constant sort of ebb and flow of the changes that create the conflict.”
As I have reported in the past, the Lower Mainland gang war has 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.
I asked her if it’s quite possible that Wilson’s murder could also be connected to that conflict? She replied: “Quite possibly,” adding “IHIT will conduct their investigation determining the motive, but clearly his involvement in the gang lifestyle has created this type of environment for him.”
Winpenny pointed out: “As we have seen in the past, he leaves behind a family. He’s got children now that are without a dad because of apparently choosing to be involved in a violent lifestyle.”
Winpenny noted the constant efforts of the CFSEU to dispel myths about gangs such as the Hells Angels. The CFSEU were diligent in exposing the Hells Angels last July as they partied in Nanaimo.
She said: “We publicly acknowledged through a social media campaign who the Hells Angels were and the level of violence these organized groups were involved in and the risk that they pose to the public. And that was part of our need to expose that side of the motorcycle gangs and the violence that’s associated [with them].”
Winpenny added: “You’d think the public still has a perception that these guys are okay and that if you don’t have the attention of the Hells Angels, there is no risk to you. Well the reality is that they are dangerous and they are surrounded by violence they escalate themselves … as they continue on with their business.”