British Columbia

Alleged Fraser Valley gang leader remains jailed in U.S.

The alleged leader of a gang known as the United Nations will remain behind bars in the U.S. after prosecutors convinced a judge he was a dangerous flight risk.

The alleged leader of a Fraser Valley gang known as the United Nations will remain behind bars in the U.S. after prosecutors convinced a judge he was a dangerous flight risk.

Documents filed in a Seattle court on Tuesday by U.S. prosecutors described Clayton Roueche as the powerful and violent operational leader of the multinational, multi-ethnic gang.

Roueche has been charged with distributing cocaine and marijuana. A conviction means a minimum of 10 years in a U.S. prison.

Doug Whalley, an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, said evidence shared by Canadian police convinced the judge that Roueche should remain in U.S. custody.

In court documents, U.S prosecutors alleged Canadian authorities had searched Roueche's house, and found an illegal weapon, handcuffs and a picture of a rival gang member.

"It looked like he had material for some kind of a kidnapping. We explained that to the court, and that was one of the factors that I think caused the judge to detain him," said Whalley.

Roueche has not been charged in Canada for any crimes in connection with that evidence, as far as CBC News was able to determine.

Arrested while returning from Mexico

Roueche was arrested in May after he was refused entry into Mexico. Despite his protests, Roueche was put on a plane back to Canada that had a stopover in Texas, according to U.S. authorities.

Roueche was immediately placed under surveillance on the flight by U.S. officials who alleged he began sending coded messages from his Blackberry on the plane, saying he feared he would be arrested.

When the plane made a stopover in Texas, Roueche was arrested and transported to a prison in Oklahoma, and later transferred to Seattle to face charges.

Police alleged in the court documents that the UN gang originated in the Fraser Valley 11 years ago, and operates by importing huge quantities of cocaine from the U.S. and exporting B.C marijuana.

They said an investigation yielded three cocaine seizures totalling more than 200 kilograms. Some kilos were actually stamped with the UN logo.

Irwin Schwartz, Roueche's lawyer in Seattle, described the allegations made by prosecutors as sweeping, with no hard facts, no witness and no proof.  But U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler denied Roueche bail, and agreed to keep him behind bars until his next court appearance.