Four alleged members of B.C.'s notorious United Nations gang made a brief appearance in provincial court in Vancouver on Tuesday to face conspiracy to commit murder charges, while a fifth suspect is still being sought by police.
Soroush Ansari, Daniel Russell, Yong Sung John Lee and John William Croitoru all appeared relaxed as they entered the courtroom, waving to family and friends. During the brief hearing, all four were remanded into custody until June 9.
Crown lawyers indicated they will seek direct indictments for the charges, allowing the matter to go directly to trial without a preliminary hearing.
The four were arrested late last week by Lower Mainland RCMP. Police are still looking for Dilun Heng, who is also facing conspiracy to commit murder charges; they say he is expected to turn himself in shortly.
Total of 8 face charges
Three other alleged members of the UN gang, Barzan Tilli-Choli, Karwan Ahmet Saed and Aram Ali, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder in April as part of the same investigation. Those three were already in custody following their arrests in March on charges related to a shooting at a Surrey strip bar in February.
The alleged leader of the UN gang, Clay Franklin Roueche, who is currently incarcerated in the United States, has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Police said charges of conspiracy to commit murder might be laid against him at a later date.
Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr told reporters the charges stem from the long and bloody turf war between the UN gang and their rivals in the Red Scorpions gang, particularly the equally notorious Bacon brothers.
"I can tell you these charges stem specifically from a conspiracy to kill Jonathon David Bacon, James Kyle Bacon and Jarod Wayne Bacon and their associates," Carr said on Friday.