Two members of the Chilliwack gang underworld involved in a violent crime spree that included shooting a man in the head in a moving vehicle over the 2017 Canada Day long weekend were convicted of most of the charges they faced in late August in BC Supreme Court.
Jonathan David Olson and Brodie Tyrel Takahashi Robinson were first charged with attempting to kidnap another gang-connected individual, Dane Miller, but they were found not guilty of that charge.
Miller was shot in the head by one of the two men from a vehicle, but the 27-year-old proved to be a reluctant witness, fearing, as many gang-connected individuals do, for his own safety.
“Mr. Miller expressed general concern at being seen as a rat,” BC Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries wrote in her decision released on August 23, 2019, adding later in her decision that he “agreed with any suggestion put to him by defence counsel.”
Robinson, a local drug dealer, was also convicted of trafficking cocaine in the case. Robinson, however, is far less known to police and the court system than is Olson who has an extensive violent criminal record from his career in the drug trade.
In 2016, Olson was sentenced to 34 months jail for a botched home invasion at a wrong address during which Olson pointed a firearm at a terrified 25-year-old man who had been watching TV in his parents house. Olson was also on trial in 2015 alongside Trevor Egilson charged with torturing and beating a local drug-addicted man. The victim’s genitals were pepper-sprayed, his orbital bone was broken with a punch and a propane torch was used on his leg. But Olson and Egilson were acquitted when the judge found the cocaine-addicted victim too unreliable of a witness.
The trial on the recent charge began with video evidence from the Husky station on Lickman Road in Chilliwack from June 30, 2017. There was dispute between the two accused and Crown counsel Henry Waldock regarding what exactly transpired at the Husky, but there was an accusation that the two men attempted to abduct Miller, an act of revenge for an alleged theft of another drug dealer, Lucas Thiessen.
Thiessen was sentenced to 8.75 years in jail last fall for drug trafficking and firearms.
Miller, a self-described heroin addict, was with Robinson and Olson at the Husky. He was pistol-whipped by Olson as he described it in a statement to police. Video evidence clearly shows Olson hitting Miller in the head.
Miller then escaped the altercation at the Husky. While driving a mini-van across the No. 3 Rd. Highway 1 overpass he was shot in the head from behind.
“Mr. Miller said he was chased by another vehicle over the overpass where he was shot at several times,” Justice Humphries wrote. “The rear window was shot out and he was hit in the head by a bullet which remains lodged against his skull.”
He stopped, wrapped his head in a shirt, called his girlfriend, went home and then to the hospital where he spent the night.
The bullet found in the headliner of the Chrysler he was driving came from a gun later located at a residence where Robinson was arrested on July 2, and which had Robinson’s DNA on it.
Fighting a police dog in the canal
A day after the shooting, the drama continued as Olson was found in possession of a stolen vehicle with his girlfriend, a woman who has frequently attended the Chilliwack law courts for Olson’s various court appearances over the years.
Upon being confronted by an RCMP officer with a police dog at the Vedder Canal, Olson fled the scene eventually jumping into the water. He was tracked by the dog, Grinder, who jumped into the canal and pursued him. Olson fought the dog off and it returned to his handler who had called him back.
Olson originally faced the rare charge of attempting to drown a police dog, but that was later dropped.
He was found hiding in the bushes by the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team.
Then, on day three of the incident on July 2, Robinson was arrested at a Lewis Avenue house while he was under surveillance. Police located a black handgun in a holster with Robinson’s DNA on it. Also on the bed was .357 and .38 calibre ammunition, another handgun, .9 mm ammunition, $1,400 cash and the tools of the trade used by drug dealers.
In the end, Justice Humphries found the two not guilty on two counts, attempted kidnapping and using a firearm while kidnapping, and Crown did not pursue the charges during closing. On the count of assault in the beating of Miller, Olson was found guilty, Robinson not guilty.
Both were found guilty of all other seven counts charged individually and jointly against them in the crime spree, most significantly discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life or safety of another person. While it was found more likely Olson fired the gun that hit Miller in the head, Robinson was driving so both were liable.
“The entire pursuit was done with a common purpose,” Justice Humphries decided.
Olson was convicted on his own regarding the stolen vehicle and firearm possession near the canal. Robinson was convicted of possession of the handgun and cocaine trafficking.
Incidentally, the court heard it was obvious the cocaine found was for trafficking because it was of an “exceptional” level of purity, which dealers dilute or cut to sell to users. Normal cocaine is at 55 to 60 per cent purity, Robinson’s stash was 88 per cent pure cocaine. He was also found with MDMD, heroin, fentanyl and cutting agents.
No date has yet been set for sentencing, although an application regarding Olson’s sentencing was scheduled in court on Sept. 11.
The two face a bare minimum of four years in jail for firing the gun at Miller. The criminal code calls for a minimum of five years if it was done with the use of a restricted or prohibited firearm, and a maximum of 14 years. For a second or subsequent offence, the minimum is seven years.