B.C. poker champ arrested in Surrey Six slayings
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:11AM PST
Homicide investigators in British Columbia have arrested a sixth person in connection with British Columbia's worst gang murders in history -- the "Surrey Six" slayings.
Sophon Sek was remanded into custody after making a brief appearance in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday morning.
The 30-year-old Cloverdale resident is charged with manslaughter and break and enter with intent. Additional charges are being considered, Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said.
Sek, an avid poker fan, beat out more than 680 players to win the BC Poker Championships Sunday night at the River Rock Casino Resort south of Vancouver.
He gave a thumbs-up to the camera behind a high stack of poker chips after winning the grand prize of $364,364.
Four other men connected to the Red Scorpions gang are facing murder charges for the October 2007 execution-style slayings. Six men, including innocent bystanders Ed Schellenberg and Chris Mohan, 22, were gunned down in a high-rise apartment.
Investigators said Schellenberg, a fireplace repairman, and Mohan, a tower resident, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Dennis Karbovanec has already pleaded guilty for three-counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Mohan, Ryan Bartholomeo, 19 and 26-year-old Michael Lal.
He was sentenced to life in prison in April.
Jamie Bacon, whom police say is the leader of the gang, is charged with conspiracy and the first-degree murder of Cory Lal, Michael's brother.
Matthew Johnston and Cody Rae Haevischer are also charged for conspiring to kill Cory Lal and the first-degree murder of all six men.
Another accused, Quang "Michael" Le, was arrested in June by Interpol and Philippines law enforcement as he arrived at the Manila airport. He was returned to Canada and faces a first-degree murder charge for the death of Corey Lal.
Carr said Le, who was born in Vietnam but became a Canadian citizen, fled to his native country to flee prosecution.
Jamie Bacon launched a constitutional challenge in B.C. Supreme Court November 3 to protest the conditions of his solitary confinement.
The 23-year-old has also complained about having no pillow, enduring cold food and having restrictions on his visits and phone use.
His lawyers said Bacon suffers from mental problems from spending six months in solitary confinement.
The 18-month investigation into the Surrey Six slayings, dubbed "Project E-PESETA," has involved more than 100 investigators at the municipal, provincial, federal and international levels.
The parents of Chris Mohan filed a civil suit against Karbovanec and several other of the accused in October. Eileen and Sunil Mohan say their son was killed because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Cpl. Dale Carr said after Sek's arrest there is strong potential for more arrests and charges in what remains "a very active case."
"Just because charges have been laid and people have been arrested we don't stop. We will take advantage of all opportunities to bring someone to justice."