Eight alleged UN gang members facing charges
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 15, 2009 9:34PM PDT
The RCMP appears to have delivered a major blow against organized crime in British Columbia.
On Friday, eight men who police say are members of the United Nations Gang were charged with conspiracy to murder three brothers - the Bacon Brothers -- who investigators believe are at the top of a rival gang.
The United Nations (UN) gang is at the centre of the violent drug war playing out on the streets of Metro Vancouver.
For three years, the RCMP's organized crime unit says it has been watching the UN gang, documenting the group's drug smuggling activities between Canada, the U.S. and South America.
"This group is one of the highest levels, creators of violence in this area," said Supt. Doug Kiloh of the Combined Force Enforcement Unit.
Four of the gang members were arrested on Friday during simultaneous raids, but one -- Dilun Heng -- remains outstanding.
Last year, American authorities nabbed UN founder Clayton Roueche in the United States.
He has pleaded guilty to trafficking charges. Yet police in Canada were having difficulty gathering evidence
In spite of that, it was wiretaps that may bring down the UN gang. Police say conversations they overheard involved a plan to kill rivals, the Bacon brothers.
"The goal was to maintain public safety by stopping the increasing violence, while ensuring those responsible were brought to justice,'' said Cpl. Dale Carr of he RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
In March, police charged UN member Barzan Tilli-Choli, 26, Karwan Saed, 32, and Aram Ali, 23, with conspiracy to commit murder.
Now police have charged five others, including John Croitoru, a former professional wrestler and part time actor. He was convicted of trafficking cocaine and bombing an Ontario police station.
He was at Clay Roueche's side at a UN gang funeral last year.
Also charged are
Yong Lee -- who was once acted as a bodyguard for Clay Roueche .
Daniel Russell, who is wanted in the U.S. for trafficking with Clay Roueche.
Soroush Ansari, a Vancouver realtor, is also charged with trying to kill the Bacon brothers.
Ansari has been selling condos in Vancouver's Dunbar area. But on Friday, he told a CTV News reporter that a scheduled showing had been cancelled.
"We've had a family emergency, so there won't be any open houses today,'' he said. "So you are not coming to the office? the showroom? not today."
Police are also looking for Dilun Heng, who is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
As for one time UN leader Clayton Roueche, police say he was involved in the conspiracy too -- but they're waiting to see how much jail time the Americans give him before deciding whether to charge him with murder.
All together, police now have seven UN gang members in custody in B.C.
The four arrested on Friday are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Besides the charges, Carr also said police seized a stash of $265,000 in cash, volumes of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy and prescription drugs, more than 20 guns and over 100,000 rounds of ammunition.
There were also explosive devices, including grenades, Carr said.
With reports by CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington and The Canadian Press