4 men sentenced in Chilliwack drug trafficking investigation
In February 2015, the CFSEU seized $2 million worth of drugs, including nearly 15 kilograms of fentanyl pills and powder, as well as eight firearms, prohibited magazines, silencers and more than $200,000 in cash. (CFSEU-BC)
VANCOUVER - Police who specialize in combating organized crime in British Columbia are celebrating the sentencing of four people arrested on drug trafficking charges in 2015, and they say more sentences are on the way.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia said in a release Wednesday that Clayton Archie Eheler, Mathew Jordan Thiessen, Kyle Harrower and Andrew Vithna Va had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 18 months to nine years in length.
The sentences stem from a CFSEU investigation that began in 2014 and led to the execution of several search warrants and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs.
According to the unit, the investigation was focused on a "Fraser Valley crime cell operating primarily out of the Upper Fraser Valley and B.C.'s north."
In November 2014, the unit executed a search warrant on an apartment building in Chilliwack where Thiessen and Eheler were living at the time. Officers seized eight kilograms of powder cocaine, 1 kilogram of crack cocaine, a large cocaine press, cutting agent and packaging materials.
A few months later, in February 2015, the unit executed search warrants at two more properties in Chilliwack, arresting four men and one woman. These searches resulted in the seizure of $2 million worth of drugs, including nearly 15 kilograms of fentanyl pills and powder, as well as eight firearms, prohibited magazines, silencers and more than $200,000 in cash.
In May 2015, investigators carried out yet another search, this one after observing a meeting in an isolated area outside Fort St. John. Officers arrested two more men connected to the crime cell and seized 1.8 kilograms of powdered cocaine, 1.6 kilograms of crack cocaine and $138,000 in cash.
Charges were approved against Eheler, Thiessen and one other man in December 2015. Five more men, including Harrower, were charged in February 2016.
Harrower received the shortest sentence announced Wednesday: 18 months in prison. He was initially charged with five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, according to the CFSEU.
Va was sentenced to three years in prison. His charges are not listed in previous CFSEU releases, but online court records suggest a person by his name was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking in relation to an incident that occurred in Fort St. John.
Thiessen and Eheler face sentences of six and nine years, respectively. Each one was initially charged with a single count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, according to the CFSEU.
The unit said Wednesday that it expected two more sentences to be handed down in connection with this investigation before the end of this week.