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Man pleads guilty 10 years after gang-war shooting
Published Thursday, September 26, 2019 12:40PM PDT
More than 10 years after the shooting of a notorious gang member at a shopping centre in Langley, another man has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the crime.
Kreshnik Ismailaj, 38, was arrested in Ontario last year in connection with the 2009 killing of Kevin LeClair. On Thursday, Ismailaj pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, according to the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
In a release announcing the plea, Supt. Dave Chauhan said it "speaks to the determination" of investigators to finish their work, even on cases that take an extended period of time to conclude.
LeClair was 27 at the time of his death. He was known as a high-ranking member of the Red Scorpions gang, according to B.C.'s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which deals with organized crime and gang activity.
Ismailaj, who police say had no criminal record, is one of several people who were arrested and charged in connection with LeClair's murder.
Cory Vallee was found guilty of first-degree murder in June 2018 for his involvement in the fatal shooting.
Vallee, who was known as a hit man for the United Nations gang, was also charged with conspiracy to murder the Bacon brothers and associates.
One other person alleged to have participated in LeClair's murder remains at large. Police believe 40-year-old Conor Vincent D'Monte left Canada around 2011 to escape arrest and has been on the run since.
Earlier this year, CFSEU-BC and partners unveiled a $100,000 reward for any information leading to D'Monte's arrest.
In the release about Ismailaj's plea, CFSEU-BC Supt. Paul Dadwal said the war between the Red Scorpions and UN gangs led to "an unprecedented level of gang violence in the history of British Columbia."
"The hundreds of officers and support staff, from dozens of police agencies and units, working the associated investigations have remained determined and committed over the years to ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice," Dadwal said.