Four B.C. men have been charged with plotting to kill a member of a rival drug faction in a year-long plot that may have spawned the murders of two innocent people.

Police in the small Kootenays community of Cranbrook arrested the men on Friday, but say the plot was born exactly a year earlier after a shooting at the Sam Steele Inn.

Victim Chad Everett Munroe was shot several times in the dispute between two rival groups, but survived.

"As the result of that shooting, what came about was a murder conspiracy," Sgt. Shinder Kirk of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit told

The plot, he said, was to kill a 39-year-old man who belonged to the group responsible for the shooting.

The alleged conspirators have "significant links" to motorcycle gangs in Vancouver, Kirk added.

Investigators believe that two innocent people lost their lives as the plot unfolded.

On May 29, a man and a woman were shot to death on a rural property just east of Cranbrook. The intended target had lived on the property just months earlier.

"This was the former home of the intended conspiracy victim," Kirk said. "These were innocent victims in the murder conspiracy."

No one has been arrested in connection with those homicides, and investigators are pleading with local residents to come forward with any information they might have.

But four men suspected in the assassination plot -- including bar-shooting victim Munroe -- were charged this week with one count each of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and counselling to commit murder and aggravated assault.

The charged men are Cranbrook residents Munroe, Lonnie James Adams and Calin Raymond Correia, all 33, and 28-year-old Lorne William Murray Carry. All four men were previously known to police.

Police have also seized an AK-47 assault rifle that they believe was to be used as the murder weapon, along with two other guns.

Kirk said, however, that the investigation is not yet complete, and more arrests are expected.