Crime syndicate trial may not go until 2018

Five members of the Fraser Valley crime cell appear in Chilliwack

(This story originally appeared in the Sept. 8, 2016 edition of the Chilliwack Times)

A long trial, lack of court time along with defence scheduling, means it could be years before a local crime syndicate alleged to be dealing drugs in B.C.’s north will see justice.

Five members of the Fraser Valley crime cell had a court appearance in Chilliwack Provincial Court Aug. 29, one that was attended by lawyers for two of the men.

Crown told the court it had been ready to arraign for the previous four court appearances. Defence suggested a trial may not be possible until 2018.

In February of this year, the province’s gang task force announced 50 more criminal charges were approved against five Chilliwack men in connection with a search warrant a year earlier that uncovered eight firearms, prohibited magazines, silencers, more than $200,000 in cash and more than $2 million worth of drugs, including a large quantity of fentanyl.

Charged was Jordan Anthony Ramos, aged 29; Dana Mikael Hendrick Schaper-Kotter, 25; Darcy Horvath, 23; Lucas Benajmin Thiessen, 22; and Kyle Harrower, 25.

The complex inter-jurisdictional case led by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC) began in August 2014 into the Chilliwack-based gang dealing drugs in the north.

An alleged drug runner was nabbed in May 2015 in Fort St. John. Then in December, CFSEU-BC announced charges were approved against Clayton Archie Eheler, 33; Raymond Morrissey, 59; and Mathew Jordan Thiessen, 29.

Also charged in the case, as announced in May 2016, are Andrew Vithna Va, 27; and Le Hoang-Duy Vo, 21.

In court in Chilliwack Aug. 29, lawyers for two of the five men charged in February, and acting on behalf of the other three, agreed with Crown’s estimate of a need for a three-week trial but added they would need approximately two weeks extra to argue their clients’ Charter rights were breached.

Further delaying the proceedings was a note from lawyer Ken Beatch who represents one of the men, saying he had no court availability until February 2018.

Lawyers for the other four men said they could be available for trial in 2017.

Judge Edna Ritchie said a pre-trial conference three months in advance of the trial was recommended and sent the parties to the judicial case manager.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Christmas cheer, crafts and music at Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries

Make festive ornaments out of old books while enjoying Christmas music at Chilliwack libraries

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

Chilliwack company faces charges for 2017 abuse of chickens

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Water-filled ditch had pump going to prevent flooding in Chilliwack

City crews monitoring site on Ashwell Road after heavy rain hit Chilliwack Wednesday

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read