Accused drug trafficker and gang affiliate Clayton Allan Archie Eheler remains in custody after a court appearance scheduled as a bail hearing on Tuesday (March 29).
Eheler was arrested in Langley, where he now resides, on March 22 by the RCMP Projects and Organized Crime Unit (POCU).
Eheler, 39, is charged with commission of an offence for a criminal organization related to an alleged offence on May 1, 2021 in Chilliwack, Hope and Kamloops.
Also charged on the same file is Blair Robert Anders Smith, 59, of Merritt who is facing one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and Tyler Damien Van Basten, 30, of Chilliwack who is also charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking as well as conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Over the summer of 2021, the POCU conducted an investigation of an alleged illegal drug distribution organization targeting a suspect and associated properties.
Evidence gathered by officers during the investigation included the seizure of drugs believed to be fentanyl, which led to the arrest of the three individuals.
Smith and Van Basten are each charged with conspiracy to commit indictable offence and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Eheler, who has been described as 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.
That conviction was overturned in an August 27, 2021 judgement by three B.C. Court of Appeal judges, who ordered a new trial for Eheler, and co-accused Mathew Jordan Thiessen, in a unanimous decision that admitted new evidence tendered by the appellants, allowed their appeals and quashed the convictions.
After their appearance in Chilliwack provincial court on March 29, Court Services Online reports that both Smith and Van Basten are out of custody. Eheler’s bail hearing is scheduled now for April 12.
In 2019, Eheler’s bail on previous charges was revoked when he was accused of acquiring a passport with his photo and Van Basten’s name. Van Basten is Eheler’s cousin.
On June 20, 2019, CFSEU-BC was notified of the fake passport picked up by Eheler. 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.
A search warrant was issued, and executed on his Chilliwack Mountain residence on Sunrise Drive on June 26, 2019.
Eheler is a former Bacon brothers associate. According to Court Services Online, Eheler has gone by several aliases over the years, including Clayton Gibb, Clayton Field, and Danial Fabas.
In June of 2018, Eheler’s younger brother, Zacharia Nicholli Cross, was shot to death in Chilliwack.
Cross was “known to police and associated to drug activity,” the Integrated Homicide Investigation team said at the time. That case remains unsolved.
– with files from Dan Ferguson
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