High-profile Chilliwack cocaine dealer Clayton Eheler is now out of prison pending an appeal of his nine-year sentence.
Eheler was granted bail in the B.C. Court of Appeal on Oct. 8 in part because Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten accepted defence submissions that his health is at risk in the correctional facility where he was housed.
Eheler tested positive for COVID-19 and has since recovered. He also suffers from severe sleep apnea and says he is not given access to medical equipment he needs.
DeWitt-Van Oosten agreed to release Eheler on a $100,000 promise to pay with a $25,000 cash deposit paid by his father. His former common-law partner is also acting as a surety.
Part of the conditions include that Eheler will be living in Chilliwack with his father, be subject to electronic monitoring, and a curfew.
Eheler was sentenced to nine years in prison in November 2019 convicgted of cocaine trafficking. He and co-accused Mathew Thiessen were caught red-handed with nine kilograms of cocaine they were processing in a Chilliwack condominium on Nov. 18, 2014.
Eheler almost slipped through the fingers of authorities when, while out on bail, he allegedly applied for a passport in his cousin’s name. That application was made on March 6, 2019. 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 the different name.
In June 2019, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) executed a search warrant on his Chilliwack Mountain residence and arrested him.
During the raid Eheler was leaving the house and was found with a “large amount of cash” and a valid passport in his own name. Inside the house anti-gang officers found ammunition, firearms, an instructional sheet for filling out a passport, an allegedly false birth certificate in Eheler’s name, and a press used for cocaine processing.
Crown counsel opposed the bail release this month arguing that the alleged false passport incident showed a substantial flight risk, adding that public confidence in the administration of justice would be adversely affected if Eheler was released.
While Justice DeWitt-Van Oosten agreed the passport incident was “suspicious,” and Eheler has a history of non-compliance with court orders, she was satisfied with the proposed release plan.
His appeal is scheduled to be heard Jan. 25 and 26. His lawyer is appealing the conviction on a number of grounds, including questions about the warrant, and the so-called Jordan principle regarding how long the case took to conclude.
Eheler’s younger brother was 25-year-old Zacharia Nicholli Cross, victim an unsolved homicide in 2018.
Eheler has an extensive criminal record with more than 40 convictions dating back to 1995. He has connections to the Hells Angels and is a former associate of the Bacon Brothers and the Independent Soldiers.
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