Police trumpet five arrests in B.C. drive-by
Police in Metro Vancouver say they've made a significant strike against area gangs with the arrest of several "major players."
RCMP E-division Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass said Tuesday weapons and attempted murder charges have been approved against two members of the UN gang, along with one associate and two women.
The suspects were arrested this weekend following a six-month investigation by both the Vancouver Police and RCMP.
The charges stem from a targeted shooting outside the TBARZ strip club in Surrey on Feb. 16 that wounded the driver of an SUV.
Police say the intended target was an associate of the Abbotsford-based Bacon brothers who was sitting in the back seat.
Barzan Tilli-Choli, 26, of Vancouver, who police say is a UN Gang leader, faces two charges of attempted murder, along with 23-year-old gang associate Aram Ali of Vancouver and 26-year-old Nicola Cottrell of New Westminster.
Sarah Jane Trebble of West Vancouver is charged with being in a vehicle knowing a firearm was present, and alleged UN Gang member Karwan Saed of Burnaby is charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Police are calling the arrests a large victory in the fight against gang violence.
"This is a major strike against the UN Gang," said Bass from RCMP "E" Division, "and a major win for public safety."
Bass says the investigation found that UN gang violence is not limited to B.C.'s Lower Mainland, but that the suspects "have tentacles that spread into Alberta."
The BC Organized Crime Units have been working alongside both the Calgary and Edmonton municipal police departments to assist B.C. forces.
"These are already significant arrests and charges," said Bass, "but we must emphasize that the investigation continues, and will continue until all those responsible for the recent wave of violence are held to account."
Police are promising more arrests in the coming days.
"This is by no means over," said Bass. "We will track down the thugs responsible for the violence in our streets, out them, and arrest them."
"The tide is starting to turn," said Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu.
"Our message to gangsters is clear: no one puts our citizens at risk with impunity. We know who you are and where you are. We are coming for you."
There have been 20 targeted shootings in B.C.'s Lower Mainland in the past month -- nine of them fatal.
Police in Delta, B.C., spent the night searching for evidence after a man was found shot in the head near the Delta Golf Course.
There are no suspects, and the name of the victim has not been released.
Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Vancouver to fuel his government's push for Criminal Code changes that would sentence gangsters to longer stretches in prison.
With files from The Canadian Press