Long-time Chilliwack gangster and cocaine dealer Clayton Archie Eheler will have no chance to flee the country with a fake passport after a provincial court judge revoked his bail on Wednesday.
Eheler, who has been a high-level illicit drug dealer across British Columbia for many years, was convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking one year ago after a long, drawn-out trial.
While out on bail he is accused of acquiring a passport with his photo in his cousin’s name.
Eheler and co-accused Mathew Jordan Thiessen were caught red-handed with nine kilograms of cocaine they were processing with several kilograms of cutting agents in a Brett Avenue apartment back in 2014.
The experienced gangster used legal tactics to force delay after delay in the dated case when the province’s anti-gang unit, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC), started looking into the Chilliwack-based crime cell’s extensive drug distribution network.
Eheler was supposed to be sentenced in June of this year, but that was postponed until September after he fired his lawyer and brought on high-profile criminal lawyer Ken Beatch.
It was in the lead up to all of this that Eheler, a former Bacon brothers associate, while out on bail and under strict court-ordered conditions, was allegedly plotting to flee Canada and avoid any justice at all.
Crown counsel Joshua Cramer, Eheler, his lawyer Beatch and a dozen-or-so supporters were in courtroom 203 in Chilliwack on Wednesday to hear Judge Browning’s decision on the Crown’s application to revoke bail.
That application came after Eheler allegedly made a passport application in the name of his cousin Tyler Vanbasten with Eheler’s photo. That application was made on March 6 of this year and the passport was issued on April 9. Facial recognition software now used by Global Affairs Canada led to the identification of Eheler as the man in the photo with the passport under Vanbasten’s name, according to Browning.
“The photograph is attached to the application and it has not been argued by Mr. Beatch it is anyone other than Mr. Eheler,” Judge Browning said in court.
On June 20, CFSEU-BC was notified of the fake passport picked up by Eheler. A search warrant was issued, and executed on his Chilliwack Mountain residence on Sunrise Drive on June 26.
During the raid that involved an armoured RCMP vehicle, Eheler was leaving the house and was found with a “large amount of cash” and a valid passport in his own name. Inside the residence anti-gang officers found ammunition, firearms, an instructional sheet for filling out a passport, allegedly a false birth certificate in Eheler’s name, and a press used for cocaine processing similar to the one found at the apartment where he was busted in the first place.
There were also two prohibited weapons found in the form of a flip knife and a switchblade.
Judge Browning found that there was reasonable grounds to find Eheler had committed at least one and as many as three indictable offences including two breaches and the fraudulent passport application, so his bail was revoked.
He was remanded in custody and he is set for sentencing on the drug trafficking charge in September.