Top B.C. gang leader arrested in Texas sting
The leader of a powerful British Columbia gang has been arrested in Texas, CTV News has learned.
Clayton Roueche, who heads up the United Nations gang, was picked up on May 19, according to documents filed in the United District Court in Fort Worth.
He has been charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine, conspiracy to import marijuana, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
The man's arrest and pending transfer to Washington State, where the crimes were allegedly committed, could create a vacuum at the top the United Nations, which police say has grown to become a formidable rival to the Hells Angels in B.C.
Roueche and his gang have become so powerful, they were being watched by authorities in Canada and the U.S., a move that led to his arrest on Monday.
"These groups are developed as a shelter for the drug trade, so they can say 'I'm a member of the UN gang so you should fear me or be intimidated',"said Supt.John Robin, of the RCMP's Integrated Gang Task Force.
Court documents indicate that Roueche will be flown back to Seattle where he has been indicted for conspiracy to distribute and export cocaine, conspiracy to import marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Details of this investigation are just coming to light. But CTV News has learned that Roueche's arrest is part of an international police operation.
Police say as far at the illegal drug trade goes in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, the UN gang is in control.
Police say the UN is now more powerful than the Hells Angels and even feared by senior members of the infamous biker gang.
Investigators believe the UN is responsible for many of the shootings in the Lower Mainland. Yet there have been few arrests.
"They are well aware how we do business, they are well aware of how we follow people, how we intercept their communication,'' Robin said
If Roueche is found guilty, and given maximum penalty, he could be sentenced to up to 220 years in jail and be handed $8 million in fines.
Roueche's lawyer Mathew Nathanson did not return calls to CTV.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington