Five alleged members and associates of the United Nations gang have pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to conspiring to kill the notorious Bacon brothers, their alleged rivals in the Red Scorpions gang.
The five men — Barzan Tilli-Cholli, Yong Sung John Lee, Dilun Heng, Karwan Ahmet Saed and Ion Kroitoru — admitted to conspiring to kill brothers Jamie, Jonathan and Jarrod Bacon and their associates in 2008 and 2009, at the height of the gang war in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Reporters and spectators packed into the Vancouver courtroom gallery on Monday, and the five accused appeared confident, one even jovial, as they took their places behind bulletproof glass.
The guilty pleas for the five accused took about five minutes to enter. The sentencing hearing is expected to take place over the next two days.
Few details surrounding the crimes were given, other than that the Crown and defence lawyers have put together an agreed statement of facts about the conspiracy to murder the Bacon brothers, who led the Red Scorpions gang.
Jonathan Bacon died two years ago after being shot in Kelowna.
Jarrod and Jamie Bacon are currently both in jail.
Jarrod is serving a 12-year sentence for conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
Jamie is serving time in a federal facility on a weapons conviction and is also awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the so-called "Surrey Six" slayings in October 2007, a separate case that resulted in the deaths of two innocent bystanders.
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An application to impose a publication ban on the identities of unindicted co-conspirators in the plot against the Red Scorpions may mean few details will be released to the public.
Murder charge stayed
With their plea, the Crown stayed charges of murder and attempted murder against the five in the fatal shooting of Jonathan Barber, a stereo installer with no connection to gangs or organized crime.
Barber was killed in May 2008 in a case of mistaken identity, while reportedly driving a Porsche owned by Jamie Bacon along a street in Burnaby.
Someone fired shots into the vehicle killing Barber. His girlfriend, who was following in another vehicle, was injured by automatic gunfire.
Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie would not elaborate on the decision to stay the more serious murder and attempted murder charges, saying only that the evidence did not support the charges.
"The evidence that will be put forward in the proceeding does not establish that any of these accused were directly involved in the death of Mr. Barber, or the attempted murder of (Barber's girlfriend) Ms. King," MacKenzie said.
Earlier this year, another UN gang member, Daniel Russell, pleaded guilty to the same murder conspiracy charge against the Bacons and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Russell also admitted to manslaughter for his part in the death of Barber.
2 more wanted by police
The Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says it is still seeking at least two more suspects in the conspiracy plot against the Bacon brothers and their Red Scorpions associates.
Cory "Frankie" Vallee and Conor Vincent D'Monte, alleged members of the UN gang, have both been wanted on Canada-wide warrants since being charged in January 2011.
Both are wanted for the conspiracy against the Bacons, and for the slaying of rival gang member Kevin LeClair, who died after being shot outside a mall in Langley in 2009.
Vallee was also charged in the killing of Jonathan Barber.
Police say that Vallee, known to frequent Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and the Hamilton area, grew up in Florida and may still have connections there.
D'Monte, known to frequent Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, is also known to travel to Spain and Asia.
Both men are associated with drug networks in Mexico, have violent histories and are known to carry firearms, police say.