Two men, who homicide investigators say are UN gang members, have been arrested and charged in two of the most brazen, public shootings of the "all-out gang war" that gripped B.C. in 2008 and 2009.
Police say Troy Tran, 32, is charged in relation to the murders of Jonathan Barber and Kevin LeClair — specifically with conspiracy to commit murder of known gang members, the Bacon brothers, and their associates, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) which made the statement in Surrey Monday at a news conference.
A 31-year old man, who police are not identifying, "to preserve the integrity of a future court proceeding," is facing the same charges, according to police.
Tran's lawyer, Mathew Nathanson, told CBC News the allegations are serious, but his client is still presumed to be innocent.
"I look forward to receiving any evidence which could justify these allegations," he said.
The arrests followed the execution of 13 search warrants on the Lower Mainland and in Calgary, Alta. last Friday.
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Innocent man murdered
Barber, 24, had been shot and killed in May 2008 while driving a Porsche Cayene SUV belonging to a man police identified as a known gang member. Barber had no gang involvement, and was just hired to install stereo gear in the vehicle, said police.
LeClair, 26, was a high-ranking member of the Red Scorpion gang and an associate of the Bacon brothers, according to police. He was gunned down on a Friday afternoon in a mall parking lot in Langley in February 2009 — with a high-powered weapon that left 40 bullet holes in his truck.
"These homicides create a lasting effect on our communties that does not diminish with time," said Supt. Dwayne McDonald, the officer in charge of IHIT.
'All-out gang war'
The murders of Barber and LeClair happened during a time of attack and retaliation between rival gangs in the Lower Mainland, said Chief Supt. Kevin Hackett, officer in charge of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit B.C., a police agency that targets gangs.
"There was a rise in gang violence in 2007," said Hackett. "United Nations gang members conspired to kill the Bacons and their associates" leading to an "all-out gang war in B.C."
"Much of the violence culminated with brazen public executions, shootings and subsequent retaliations," said Hackett. Jonathan Bacon was murdered in 2011 in Kelowna.
The UN gang no longer has the same look and feel, said Hackett, "but they're still there, lurking behind the scenes."
Gang leader wanted
McDonald also said alleged UN gang leader Conor D'Monte is still wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for Kevin LeClair's murder and for conspiracy to kill the Bacon brothers.
D'Monte, 38, is known to frequent Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and was last seen in Vancouver in 2011, according to the RCMP. He has previously been described as armed and very dangerous.
Anyone with information about him is asked to call 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.