This story was first posted online on September 12. With the first verdict in the Surrey Six murder case expected this Thursday (October 3), we are posting this once again for our readers who may have missed out on it.
BY RATTAN MALL
THE Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC (CFSEU-BC), the province’s anti-gang unit, has ongoing investigations and we will learn of them as they get sufficient evidence to charge and arrest gang members.
But some other things are more obvious, such as the high profile trials.
CFSEU-BC speokesperson Sgt. Lindsey Houghton pointed out to The VOICE: “In the next six months to a year we are going to see a number of high-profile court-related matters come to fruition. The first of those is going to be the first verdict in the Surrey Six coming in early October.”
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge will deliver her verdict in the trial of Cody Haevischer and Matt Johnston, who are charged with six counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Surrey Six murders, on October 2.
Innocent victims Chris Mohan, 22, a South Asian, and Edward J. Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford and four other victims who police say led criminal lifestyles – brothers Corey Jason Michael Lal, 21, and Michael Justin Lal, 26, and Edward (Eddie) Sousakhone Narong, 22, and Ryan Bartolomeo, 19 – were executed in typical gang-style fashion at Apartment 1505 of the Balmoral Towers at 9830 East Whalley Ring Road in Surrey on October 19, 2007.
HOUGHTON also noted: “Not long after that the trial of Jamie Bacon is going to start and then we will have the trial for the murder of Jonathan Bacon and the attempted murder of James Riach and Larry Amero.
“So there is a number of very high profile big gang-related events happening in our courts as a result of major public violence offenses that have happened.”
Surrey Six co-accused, Jamie Bacon, who is being tried separately, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Corey Lal and, along with Haevischer and Johnston, conspiracy to commit murder in Lal’s death.
In the Jonathan Bacon case, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen has ruled that the murder trial will be held in Kelowna. There is a publication ban on whatever was spoken at the hearing at which lawyers for the three accused – Jujhar Khun-Khun of Surrey, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones of Gibsons, and Jason Thomas McBride of North Vancouver – had applied to move the trial out of that city.
Bacon was killed on August 14, 2011. Bacon, Larry Amero, a full-patch Hells Angels member from White Rock, and James Riach of the Independent Soldiers along with two women, one of whom is related to several Hells Angels members in Haney, were attacked in Kelowna. While Bacon was killed, Amero and the two women sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Riach, who was also injured, fled the scene.
Khun-Khun, Jones and McBride were arrested on February 22, 2013, and charged with the first degree murder of Bacon as well as four counts each of attempted murder.
Manjinder “Manny” Hairan, 29, who was shot dead on January 15, 2013, in Surrey, is believed to have also been involved in the Kelowna shooting.
HOUGHTON also pointed out: “Only weeks ago, [there was] the arrest of Cory Vallee down in Mexico and his extradition to Canada. He was one of Canada’s most wanted men involved in the gang conflict at its height and he’s accused of murder. So we expect that sort of trend to continue – these very high profile things from 2008-09 and 2010-11 now coming to fruition as they make their way through the courts.”
Vallee was arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico, on August 13 after four years of evading police in connection to the homicides of Jonathan Barber and Kevin LeClair.
On May 9, 2008, at about 10 p.m. shots rang out in the 7000 block of Kingsway in Burnaby. Several rounds of gunfire hit a black 2008 Porsche Cayenne that was driven by 24-year-old Jonathan Barber. Barber was killed in the hail of gunfire. The vehicle was associated with the Bacon brothers and this was apparently a case of mistaken identity.
On February 6, 2009, 27-year-old Kevin LeClair, a high-ranking Red Scorpion member and very close associate of the Bacon crime group, was murdered in a hail of gunfire during a brazen daytime shooting. The gunfire erupted throughout the quiet community of Walnut Grove at the Thunderbird Shopping Center as LeClair left a restaurant and lounge located in that plaza.