A historical account of the revenge of Jonathan Bacon; an update on the British Columbian narco-conflicts (March 27, 2013)

Hello avid PanAm Crime readers. I would like to take this moment to apologize for the delay between our last publication and today’s release on the mid-level gang conflict in British Columbia. Apart from negligible spring cleaning, we have been working diligently on new projects and have, tragically, fallen behind our publication schedule. Please bare with us and enjoy our latest piece: “A historical account of the revenge of Jonathan Bacon.” Rest assured, more rumours, conjecture, and back-stabbing violence are just around the corner.

– Scott Paulseth, Founder, Editor, Contributor, PanAm Crime

Anyone in Canada who reads national news is well aware that British Columbia is, to put it lightly, facing some law enforcement challenges. It seems that every few months a new “shocking” incident of gun play reverberates through the hyper-sensitive Canadian news media, challenging the news anchors and uninformed experts to guess as to the “root causes of BC’s violence,” which, in all fairness, has occurred at an unprecedented level of brutality relative to the actions of the typical Canadian criminal. Automatic weapons and expensive SUVs are routinely pictured in national news coverage, with car windows blown out and dozens, if not hundreds of high-calibre shell casings littering the ground. With such scenes occurring with surprising regularity, the lower mainland of British Columbia, specifically suburban Vancouver, has become a battleground in the minds of most Canadians. While such assertions are fairly exaggerated – Vancouver and its environs remain one of the safest urban areas on the planet – there is truth amongst the hysteria.

Nothing reveals this reality with greater accuracy than a look at the life and criminal career of Jonathan Bacon, who met his end at the age of 30 in a hail of bullets in a Kelowna BC parking lot in August, 2011. This week we will examine his murder, the reasons why it happened, and, naturally, the revenge being exacted by his compatriots against his former foes. Since his death over a year ago there have been 13 shooting incidents related to his demise. While young, Jonathan Bacon commanded a well-earned reputation for violence, and the revenge being exacted by his friends and criminal colleagues for his death continues to take place in communities throughout the Canadian Rockies. Bacon and his infamous brothers (Jarred and Jamie – both now incarcerated) grew up in suburban Abbotsford, BC. A small, quiet city lying just a few kilometres from the most unguarded stretch of the most unguarded border in the World, the community has become the epicentre of the ongoing BC gangland conflict. The reason for the importance of Abbotsford is not merely its personal connection to the Bacon dynasty, but rather its strategic physical location. Canada produces the greatest amount of high-grade marijuana per capita in World, (a quantitative rather than qualitative assessment). While production of the product has now spread across the country, southern British Columbia has always been one of the major production centres of the popular illicit narcotic, producing millions of dollars in illegal revenue. In fact, the CBC conservatively estimates that BC pot revenues reach over $500 million a year for criminal organizations. Other estimates put that number at well over $1 billion, and it is likely that the massive influx of marijuana revenue has bolstered an already burgeoning BC economy. But why is the profit margin so much bigger for BC pot-growers than those growing for biker gangs in southern Ontario, where the population is larger? The answer brings us right back to the geography of Abbotsford. This, in reality, is the story of Abbotsford and its most famous antagonist to date, Jonathan Bacon.

The Rocky Mountains’ north-south axis creates natural valleys of dense forest and rocky, mountainous terrain that extends across the Canada-US border and which is almost impossible for law enforcement to adequately monitor. The small population of the mountainous interiors of Washington State and British Columbia also contribute to local and national law enforcement redirecting needed resources elsewhere to areas with greater population densities. Abbotsford itself could be featured in any advertisement for suburban living. It did not historically have the small town drug consumption problems of other rural communities in parts of North America. A fact that is largely due to affluence, as Abbotsford lies near the bottom of the Fraser River Valley – one the of Rockies’ rare east-west transit points – putting it just 40 or so kilometres from Vancouver itself. It is also not an ethnic melting pot of poor, disenfranchised immigrant populations, communities of which have traditionally been the epicentre for the genesis of almost all major organized criminal groups in North America over the past century. What these qualities of Abbotsford reveal is that the issue of narco-violence in the community is not the result of poor social conditions, broken homes or systemic government persecution. The situation in southern British Columbia in general and Abbotsford in particular has been created by the immense wealth that can be generated by sending marijuana south and receiving cocaine in return from American based drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) with little relative risk. Abbotsford not only gives Canadian traffickers access to the American consumer market in order to sell their product, it also allows those same Canadian traffickers access to the burgeoning consumer drug market in Vancouver, where cocaine consumption has risen exponentially over the past twenty years. Geography, the strategic location of the town and the wealth generated by drug trafficking have created a nexus of conflict in Abbotsford, to which the Bacon’s added their unique brand of Canadian gangsterism.

However, we at PanAm Crime would be remiss if we began the story of Jonathan Bacon’s assassination with his own career. Gangsters, like all of us, are the victims of not only our geographic positions and familial relations, but also of their history. And in the case of Abbotsford and the suburban criminal trafficking groups that dot southern BC, history matters more than race, class or geography. All British Columbia residents remember the on-air tirades of the Bindy Johal era. Johal was one of the first publicly-prominent Indo-Canadian gangsters of the age. His group engaged in sporadic drug trafficking efforts that became both increasingly profitable and dangerous. Specializing in heroin from east Asia and hashish from south Asia, the gang was not able to tap into the indigenous growth potential of BC’s drug trade favoured by later gangsters such as the Dhak-Duhre group and the Bacons. However, Johal’s organization, largely family and friend based, was a revealing symptom of the growing changes in BC’s criminal culture at the time. Throughout the 1990s large numbers of Indian (as well as Chinese and other east Asian) immigrants continued to flood the lower BC mainland. While Vancouver had always enjoyed a diverse ethnic population, the increasing numbers of new Canadians arriving each year altered the living conditions and the traditional areas of habitation of the average BC immigrant, with the burgeoning immigrant population groups now forced to build communities outside of the established immigrant communities of Vancouver proper. Throughout the 1990s large immigrant communities formed in Richmond and Burnaby, then moved east up the Fraser River Valley into Surrey, Coquitlam and Langley. And thus, Bindy Johal’s group became the first recognized instance of the suburban BC gangster.

Johal’s role in this story is not personally significant. He died in a hail of gunfire in 1998 after associates of his engaged in threats and other macho-induced behaviour before local and national TV cameras. Again, this occurred not in front of rundown tenements or ramshackle living conditions, but on a street that could be taken from any middle-class suburb across North America. While the Bindy Johal organization largely disintegrated after his death, something that would become a hallmark of BC gang culture, elements of his DTO continued to ply their trade regardless of demonstrating specific loyalty to one DTO or not. More importantly, the youngsters who grew up in the shadow of Johal saw what perhaps Bindy never did – that suburban BC was a major untapped consumer point for narcotics. The Abbotsford boys would later see the lower mainland of BC in another way – as a point of entry for distribution into the American market – but the Indo Canadian elements of Johal’s legacy were initially content to expand their influence and drug sales throughout the Indo-Canadian communities of the lower Fraser River Valley, which ends at the Pacific Ocean in the port of Vancouver. The most prominent of the Johal successors were what would become the Dhak-Duhre group. This group centred around the leadership of Gurmit Dhak, who, along with his brothers and the boys of the Duhre family, formed the core of the new DTO. Allegedly, by the mid-2000s, this new gang began expanding its influence throughout the communities of the lower Fraser River Valley. Initially, the Dhak-Duhre expansion was conducted with relative harmony, and the public remained unaware of its growing power. Yet this progression in power and influence throughout southern BC would lead to the deaths of many Dhak-Duhre members as well as the main character of our story: Jonathan Bacon.

As the Dhak-Duhre organization began to expand throughout the mid-2000s into the Indo-Canadian communities of places such as Surrey, Langley and Richmond, the Bacons were up to their unique brand of shenanigans. BC gang conflicts during this era were focussed not around Indo-Canadian gangs, as Bindy Johal’s had been, but on east Asian-Canadian gangs, such as the Red Scorpions. However, again, this new development in BC gang culture was not necessarily the product of poor living conditions or broken homes – although many involved undoubtedly did fit this mould – it was the product of the vast money and wealth that was available for the taking. The Red Scorpions began as a predominantly Asian gang in Vancouver that progressed to become a mid-level DTO by 2005-2006; (in this case “mid-level” is defined as being above common street-level drug distribution in favour of engaging in wholesaling). As they expanded outside of their traditional areas of influence they ran into trouble with another well-established mid-level Vancouver-based DTO, known as the United Nations gang, or UN. The UN gang itself fit the model its name implies, and many different ethnic groups were and are involved in its leadership structure and activities. The UN organization was initially run by Clayton Roueche, who began his criminal career in Abbotsford several years prior to the Bacons. Recognizing the strategic importance of Abbotsford to drug trafficking in the region, Roueche and several close friends began a growing relationship with east Asian organized crime in Vancouver in an effort to cash in on the potential he saw in the Vancouver-Abbotsford-Washington State corridor.

The expansion of Roueche out of Abbotsford occurred just prior to the expansion of the Bacon brothers out the same area. In the case of Roueche, his successes would be exponential but also short-lived. The UN group succeeded in not only expanding their profitable drug network but also in establishing a working relationship with arguably the most powerful organized crime network in BC: the Hells Angels biker club. Notably, by 2008, the Hells Angels and UN began to show up to the same funerals and it began to be circulated on the street that UN members were now seen as prospects by the Hells Angels for eventual membership. It should be noted here that while the UN, Red Scorpions, Dhak-Duhre group, Independent Soldiers and other BC mid-level trafficking networks do not put a lot of stock in race, bikers, of course, still do. Thus, white members of the UN were seen as Hells Angels prospects, while members from other racial backgrounds were, for the most part, overlooked. So, while the Hells Angels-UN relationship initially strengthened both groups, it also created the first fissures in the gang that would eventually lead to its fall from pre-eminence in favour of the Red Scorpions and the Bacons. Eventually, white members of the UN were seen to receive more favouritism from the leadership under Roueche and the Hells Angels, leading to feelings of disenfranchisement by Asian and East-Indian members. Eventually, Roueche would be arrested on cocaine trafficking charges in California in 2008 and charged with running an international drug trafficking conspiracy. He was sentenced to 30 years in US prison and his removal from the gang scene would be tumultuous for BC organized crime and also provide a window of opportunity for the up-and-coming Bacon boys.

Throughout 2005-2006 Jonathan Bacon and his younger brothers, Jarrod and Jamie, became more deeply involved in the area of illegal drug distribution in Abbotsford. Their connections to other Abbotsford gangsters, such as Clayton Roueche (although it remains unclear whether there was any true interaction between them), provided the brothers with an inroad into the greater BC drug distribution scene. As the Bacon brothers’ notoriety grew in Abbotsford and suburban Vancouver their activities progressed from selling small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, to running large and fairly sophisticated distribution networks dependent on codes for ordering illicit narcotics over the phone, known as “dope lines.” The politics of the Bacon’s loyalties during this time-period also changed or were altered to some degree. This fact is most easily demonstrated by the attempted murder of Jonathan Bacon in the Summer of 2006. Bacon was reportedly shot eleven times on his parents’ driveway and was saved by the terrible marksmanship of his attacker and the Kevlar bullet-proof vest he was wearing under his clothes. Tellingly, after Jonathan had been taken to hospital, his father remarked at the scene to local media that his son had been shot “more times than 50 Cent,” the popular American gangster rapper who repeatedly brags about being shot “9 times.” While there is no concrete evidence on who was involved in the first Jonathan Bacon shooting, several observers note that during this period the Bacons went from being supposedly a part or subset of the UN operation to running their own organization.

Regardless of former loyalties, the Bacon brothers and their close associates, such as Abbotsford residents Cody Haevischer, Dennis Karbovanec, and Matt Johnson, began to become increasingly associated with the Red Scorpions gang led by Asian gangster Michael Le. By the end of 2006 law enforcement agencies believed that the Bacons had usurped control of the Red Scorpions from Le and had begun to fully implement their new version of Roueche’s Vancouver-Abbotsford-Washington State drug pipeline. The construction of the Bacons’ new Canadian-Asian hybrid organized crime network naturally produced rivals and enemies that were threatened by the emergence of a new wealthy and powerful DTO with connections across the strategic areas of BC. This tension is often cited as the reason for the first attempt on Jonathan Bacon’s life, and has been attributed to the former Red Scorpion leadership who may have been attempting to prevent the Bacons’ takeover; however, it may just as easily have been rivals of the Red Scorpions, such as the UN, Independent Soldiers, or the Sanghera DTO, who were seeking to halt the Red Scorpions’ expansion efforts. Regardless, by the end of 2006 the tensions, while simmering, appeared to be contained.

This gangland peace throughout southern BC would not last long, and would eventually be shattered by the arrest of Clayton Roueche. As mentioned earlier, the UN group during the early mid-2000s had become the pre-eminent DTO for the lower mainland of BC and had become a veritable recruiting tool for the Hells Angels, who were essentially one peg up the ladder in the criminal underworld from the UN. The removal of Roueche from this scene would have dramatic results, the most important being the gradual withdrawal of support from the UN by the Hells Angels. Roueche’s arrest did not merely represent the loss of an individual, but the loss of important illicit connections that stretched from Sinaloa State in Mexico, throughout the west coast of the United States, and ending in Vancouver. Cocaine and guns flowing north, with marijuana and ecstasy flowing south. To make matters worse for the UN, Roueche wasn’t the only casualty of the law enforcement effort that trapped him, with eight other close associates being locked up as well. Thus, by mid-2008 the entire leadership of the UN, which included the members most associated with the Hells Angels and Mexican Cartel suppliers, had been removed leaving an unstable UN gang in an unstable criminal environment. The consequences of this would be three-fold. Firstly, as mentioned previously, the Hells Angels would withdraw their support and affiliation with the new UN leadership, delegitimizing it on the street and creating unease. Secondly, the UN group would experience internal instability as members sought new drug connections after Roueche’s connections to Mexican and Canadian biker suppliers dried up; this situation caused many fringe members to leave the group, sometimes violently, and found new DTOs. And finally, perhaps as a response to the first two previous effects, other criminal groups, such as the Red Scorpions, began to fill the void, a pattern that would cause the province to erupt in unprecedented levels of gang violence.

Although it is unclear who exactly fired first, open gang conflict began throughout BC in 2008. Dozens of high-profile shootings occurred across southern BC as groups such as the Red Scorpions and UN fought for supremacy of the BC drug trade. Although the term “gang” is often used to describe these groups, the label is misleading. These groups that were in conflict in 2008 did not compete over specific street corners or neighbourhoods, per se, as other traditional street gangs do. There are many street gangs in BC as there are throughout Canada, but it is not these groups we are discussing. Mid-level DTOs in BC have access to illegally smuggled American firearms that are acquired in deals for marijuana grown in BC, meaning that shootings occur in parking lots outside of hotels and shopping malls, or even throughout suburban neighbourhoods. Yet while the trend of killings therefore seems random, this is not really the case. When competing over the wholesale market for illicit narcotics the competition exists over total market share and therefore the geography that is being fought over is not specific but general and encompassing in nature. Groups that control the most reliable connections to overseas DTOs and Transnational Criminal Groups, such as Mexican cartels, draw in the greatest profits and therefore allow them to assume a greater share of the market. Competing DTOs mitigate the connections of their rivals by removing the competing groups’ liaisons with these international groups or by attacking the leadership structures that facilitate these connections. Therefore the realities of the 2008-2009 BC gang conflict stress what PanAmerican Crime repeatedly attempts to make clear: organized crime is defined first and foremost by connections rather than any other discernable trait; they are what separates gangs from mid-level DTOs, and DTOs from transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). Revealingly, throughout the 2008-2009 conflict several members of the UN group, including Ahmet Kaawach and Elliot Castenada, were murdered in Mexico while serving in Sinaloa State as the group’s liaison contacts for Mexican and Colombian cartel organizations, demonstrating the importance of such connections during conflict.

The 2008-2009 war resulted not just in an increase in the criminal status of the Bacon boys and their supporters, but also in the emergence of another BC DTO that had gradually been on the rise: the aforementioned Duhre-Dhak group. But while the Duhre-Dhak DTO gained increasing influence post 2009, the Bacons themselves had to deal with the fallout of the conflict. Law enforcement pressure on the Red Scorpions increased exponentially as the war progressed, and RCMP officers released a rare warning about the dangers of any form of association with the notorious Bacon boys. In April of 2009 Jamie Bacon was arrested for his involvement in the heinous “Surrey Six” shootings, which took place in October, 2007, and involved the murder of six people in a Surrey apartment building. Several of the murder victims were later found to have been murdered by mistake due to the false-identification of the intended victims by the supposed shooters. Jamie Bacon was likely given up by long time Abbotsford associate and friend Dennis Karbovanec, who pled guilty to the charges and received a 15-year sentence in return for his cooperation. Karbovanec is expected to testify for the prosecution against Jamie Bacon in his upcoming trial, which is expected to wrap up in 2013-2014 after years of indefensible delays. In another sign of increasing law enforcement pressure being directed at the brothers, Jarrod Bacon was arrested in May, 2009, on drug trafficking and weapons charges. He was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Therefore, while apparently ascendant over their rivals by the end of 2009, the Red Scorpions under the last remaining Bacon brother, Jonathan, were not as prepared to deal with the competition brought on by the expansion of the Dhak-Duhre group as one might imagine. While they had succeeded in triumphing over some of their rivals, new groups and alliances were already in the process of forming and expanding. One apparent sign of such changes in the criminal landscape was the gradual development of a working relationship between the Hells Angels and the Bacon brothers specifically, who replaced the UN as the paramount trafficking ally of the Hells Angels in BC by 2010. During that same year, the Dhak-Duhre DTO had expanded throughout the Fraser Valley and into the traditional stomping grounds of the Red Scorpions. It was even rumoured that the Dhak-Duhres sought some form of accommodation with the Red Scorpions in order to gain access to the lucrative Abbotsford pipeline. When their efforts were rebuffed, the Dhak-Duhre organization began to use it anyway. It was this decision to utilize the territory of the Bacon boys and their Red Scorpion adherents that would ultimately lead to the death of Jonathan Bacon.

While the initial expansion of the Dhak-Duhres was not expressly opposed by the Red Scorpions, the relationship between such competing organizations can turn sour quickly and without warning. So, when Gurmit Dhak, the eldest Dhak brother and hegemon of the organization, authorized the use of Abbotsford for drug shipments south it did not take long for the relationships between the two DTOs to spiral down past the point of amicable return. Gurmit Dhak was shot and killed in a shopping mall in Burnaby BC in October, 2010. Several months passed without incident following this attack and many observers believed that the Dhak-Duhre group had receded in the face of the Red Scorpions’ response. However, on August 14, 2011, Jonathan Bacon was shot and killed in another brazen attack while exiting a parking lot in Kelowna, BC. Several gunmen wielding automatic weapons exited a car in front of Bacon’s and riddled his vehicle with bullets, killing Bacon instantly. What is not clear from the shooting is whether or not the gunmen knew who was in the car with Bacon at the time of his death. Arguably the most prominent inhabitant of the vehicle was Hells Angels member Larry Amero. Amero is a full-patch (full fledged) member of the Hell’s Angels in BC and has connections to the Vancouver chapters, who reportedly hold sway over the other Hell’s Angels chapters in BC. Besides Amero, a member of the Independent Soldiers – another well-known BC-based mid-level trafficking organization – James Riach was also in the car along with two other young women. While the fates of women involved in the drug trade are often dismissed by crime reporters and observers, in this case one those in the car – Leah Hayden-Watts – was the niece of a chapter president of a Vancouver-based Hells Angels chapter. This young woman was hit in the neck and narrowly survived the attack, but was left paralyzed as a result.

Clearly the occupants of the car, besides Bacon himself, represent some of the other large DTOs currently present in BC. An attack on those present represents a startling development in the gang conflict and reveals who could be siding with whom in the post-Jonathan Bacon world. There are several scenarios to consider. Firstly, it is possible that the shooters did not know who was actually in the car with Jonathan Bacon. It is safe to assume that Bacon was the intended target, but this only became confirmed with the arrest of Jujhar Khun-Khun, Michael Kerry Hunter Jones, and Jason Thomas McBride in February, 2013, each of whom had ties to the Dhak-Duhre organization and Gisby Group DTO respectively. If the attackers were unaware of the presence or roles of the other occupants of Bacon’s car then such a failure in intelligence only adds credence to the warnings regarding the dangers of such gangland violence to the general public. The second scenario involves the targeted shooting of Bacon as well as his companions, who police stated were in the process of forming a new hybrid organization, known as the “Wolf Pack.” It would be easy to see how the development of a powerful alliance between the Red Scorpions, Hells Angels and Independent Soldiers would be seen as a direct threat to other competing DTOs, especially those most in conflict with the Bacons and their associates. If this scenario is true then the shooting would solidify a natural alliance between the Hell’s Angels, Red Scorpions and Independent Soldiers, who would be in conflict against certain remnants of the UN organization, the Dhak-Duhre organization, as well as another independent DTO known colloquially as the Gisby Group.

While there is no direct proof as yet, the fatalities that have piled up in the wake of the Jonathan Bacon shooting incident seem to validate the latter scenario. Since Bacon’s death in 2011, at least 13 shooting incidents have been reported, all of which involve members of the supposed opposing alliance. (See timeline of violence since Bacon’s death below). Thomas Gisby, a mid-level drug trafficker known to police, was the victim of a firebomb attack in January, 2012, at his motor home. Fleeing Canada for Mexico, where he reportedly has extensive ties, Gisby was soon found murdered in Puerto Vallarta. Besides the Gisby Group patriarch, multiple members of the Dhak and Duhre families have been targeted for assassination, including Sandip Duhre and Sukh Dhak, both of whom were publicly murdered in 2012. Others who have been targeted include several UN members as well as Ranjit Singh Cheema, who had been arrested in California for drug trafficking but was released in Canada just prior to Sandip Duhre’s murder in January, 2012. Cheema had been a member of Bindy Johal’s organization in the 1990s and it is unclear whether he was murdered for supporting Johal’s proteges – the Dhak-Duhres – or for competing with them.

Despite violence on both sides, it appears that the fatalities since the death of Jonathan Bacon seem to be largely one-sided. Apart from the murder of Independent Soldier Randynesh Ramon Naiker, who could have been murdered for reasons outside of the current conflict, there have been no casualties to report on the side of the Hells Angels-Red Scorpions-Independent Soldiers alliance. This fact does not mean there won’t be, merely that at this point the Dhak-Duhre-UN-Gisby DTO alliance is visibly in retreat. While it is rumoured that Paul Duhre is now leading the remnants of the Dhak-Duhre DTO, it remains to be seen if the group can muster a continued response to the pressures being imposed by the Red Scorpions and their powerful allies in the Hells Angels. If their place in the conflict was unclear prior to Bacon’s demise, the attempted shooting of a full-patch member and the paralyzing of the niece of another powerful member leave no real doubts as to what side the Hells Angels have aligned themselves. While there are still members of Thomas Gisby’s group alive and well, their leader is dead and along with him the connections that allowed him to become so pre-eminent in the Fraser Valley drug trafficking scene.

The aftermath of the Bacon shooting is about to usher in a new wave of gangsterism in BC. Such changes will not necessarily occur in the same form or under the same logos as the earlier combatants, but the death of so many prominent figures in the world of BC organized crime will facilitate the rise of new members and new DTOs to fill the void. Quiet suburban Abbotsford, by virtue of geography, will continue to be an epicentre of organized criminal activity as criminal groups trade Canadian ecstasy and marijuana for American cocaine and guns along the unguarded border. Rival DTOs throughout the Fraser Valley will continue to jockey for position in relation to the powerful Hell Angels, and such competition will inevitably come to blows. Another possible and unexplored interesting motivation for the Bacon shooting is that the Hells Angels, along with Bacon and his proteges, were seeking to streamline the drug trade throughout all of BC, making the Hells Angels and the newly created “Wolf Pack” the overall suppliers of illicit narcotics in BC. Clearly such an arrangement would be contested by other mid-level trafficking groups, such as the Gisby Group, UN and Dhak-Duhre group, who would find themselves subservient to the Hells Angels and their allies. However, it is unclear whether the supposed streamlining of the drug trade was actually the plan or whether it was merely a repercussion that was feared by the Dhak-Duhres and their supporters.

The vast quantities of money and illicit narcotics that are available in BC today create a scenario where it is simply impossible for the Canadian and British Columbian governments to effectively control organized criminal activity; (although developing a provincial police force and amalgamating some of the disparate municipalities would go a long way). As long as BC continues to grow high-grade marijuana and the United States maintains its consumption of this drug there will always be organizations that develop to oversee and profit from this relationship. There is simply too much money and too much ease of access due to the geography of BC and neighbouring Washington State to stop it. The only real solution available is the decriminalization or outright legalization of marijuana in BC (Canada-wide) in the hopes that the traffickers who grow the drugs and practice violence to obtain the profits of their labour will be put out of business. Rest in peace Jonathan Bacon, yours will certainly not be the last death caused by the natural turmoil of organized crime and narco-culture on the lower mainland of British Columbia.

 – Scott Paulseth, Editor of PanAmerican Crime

BC Gang conflict Timeline: (beginning in 2010 with the death of Gurmit Dhak)

 October, 2010 – Gurmit Dhak (DD), shot and killed in Burnaby.

August, 2011 – Jonathan Bacon (RS), shot and killed in Kelowna. This was a seminal moment as IS James Riach and HA Larry Amero were also in the car with Bacon and were wounded. Also wounded and paralyzed in the attack was the niece of a prominent member of a Vancouver-area HA chapter.

February 27: Harm Gill wounded and two others targeted in Surrey shooting

January 19: Sean Beaver shot to death in Surrey, second man wounded

October 22, 2011: Stephen Leone shot to death in a vehicle in Surrey. Manjinder Hairan and 15-year-old boy wounded

Oct. 2, 2011: Billy Woo found slain near Squamish

Sept. 16, 2011: Jujhar Khun-Khun critically wounded in Surrey shooting

January, 2012 – Sandip Duhre (DD), shot and killed in Vancouver.

January, 2012 – Thomas Gisby (GG), mobile home firebombed near Whistler.

January, 2012 – Salih Abdulaziz Sahbaz (UN) shot and killed in Culiacan, Mexico.

April, 2012 – Thomas Gisby (GG), shot and killed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

May, 2012 – Ranjit Singh Cheema shot and killed in Vancouver. He was a partner in or member of Bindy Johal’s drug trafficking organization in the 1990s. He was arrested and sent to jail in California following a lengthy extradition process. He was convicted off arranging a trade of Colombian cocaine for heroin that originated in Pakistan but that was likely produced in Afghanistan. He was released one week before Sandip Duhre was shot and killed, and his shooting death in May, 2012, comes just months later amidst the ongoing feud between the RS-HA-IS and the DD-UN-GG. It is likely that he had been slotted in on one side of the divide, either by supporting Johal’s former protégés the Durhes, or by competing with them.

May 2012 – Gurbinder (Bin) Singh Toor, shot and killed in Port Moody.

June 2012 – Randynesh Raman Naiker (IS), shot and killed in Port Moody.

November, 2012 – Sukh Dhak (DD), shot and killed with bodyguard in Burnaby.


Bolan, Kim, “Gangster Bin Toor shot near Port Moody rec centre, dies in hospital,” The Vancouver Sun, June 1, 2012, http://www.vancouversun.com/Gangster+Toor+shot+near+Port+Moody+centre+dies+hospital/6704745/story.html

The Real Scoop, “Vancouver UN member Sal Sabhaz executed in Mexico,” The Vancouver Sun, January 17, 2012, http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/01/17/vancouver-un-member-sal-sahbaz-executed-in-mexico/

Paz, Chivis, “Canadian gangsters in over their heads in Mexico,” Borderland Beat, March 6, 2012, http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2012/03/canadian-gangsters-in-over-their-heads.html

The Canadian Press, “BC Marijuana tax could net billions if pot legalized,” CBC News, November 20, 2012, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/11/20/bc-pot-market-value-tax.html

“3 charged with first-degree murder of Jonathan Bacon,” CBC News, February 25th, 2013, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/25/bc-gang-announcement.html


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