Body found under Golden Ears Bridge identified by police as Hells Angels member
Chad John Wilson served time for gun offences in the U.S. after being acquitted of attempted murder
A man who was killed and then dumped under the Golden Ears Bridge in Maple Ridge on the weekend has been identified as a full-patch member of the Hells Angels.
According to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Chad John Wilson's body was discovered Sunday morning. Police have been tight-lipped about what might have happened to him, but have said they believe his death was targeted.
"Mr. Wilson was a well established member of an organized crime group and it is believed that his homicide was not random," Cpl. Frank Jang said in a media release.
"While the motive for Mr. Wilson's murder has not been confirmed, this is yet another reminder of the significant dangers posed to one's life by being part of a criminal organization."
'I was terrified, I wasn't afraid'
Court records suggest that Wilson, 43, was no stranger to extreme danger and violence.
In August 2006, he was involved in a shootout in South Dakota with members of a rival gang who outnumbered him and a fellow biker. Wilson was later acquitted of attempted murder after arguing self-defence.
He described the incident — and his life with the gang — in courtroom testimony.
"I was terrified, I wasn't afraid," Wilson said.
"I was going to die. If I didn't shoot back they would have kept shooting me until I was dead. There is no ifs, ands and buts."
According to his testimony in the U.S. court case, Wilson was originally from B.C. but moved to Seattle and then San Diego, where he became a prospect for the Hells Angels in January 2005.
He became a full-patch member of the gang one year later, and was involved in the shootout less than six months after that.
Wilson ultimately pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearms and was sentenced to four years in prison. At the time, he wrote a letter to the judge.
"I want to go home. I have everything great waiting for me," the letter read. "My kids my wife and my dog and the number one thing is my life!! Because being in jail is the farthest thing from life. This is a true hell that I have been through."
'Dead men tell no tales'
After his return from the U.S., Wilson made headlines again when he and three other Hells Angels were arrested in Spain in 2013 and charged with attempting to smuggle 300 kilograms of cocaine into the country.
The men were sentenced to four years and six months in jail.
IHIT said Wilson was living in Maple Ridge, B.C., at the time of his death. A Facebook page purporting to belong to Wilson says his home is in Nanaimo, B.C.
The Lower Mainland has seen the killings of a number of Hells Angels members in recent years. Robert Keith (Bob) Green was shot and killed in Langley in 2016. A man was later sentenced to eight years in connection with his death.
In March 2001, Donald William Roming, a member of the Nomads chapter, was shot and killed outside a Vancouver nightclub.
The Vancouver Police Department's website still lists his death as an unsolved homicide, although the shooting death of another man in April 2001 is believed to be connected.
IHIT says investigators will be "engaging with numerous gang enforcement units throughout the Lower Mainland region that will be working to mitigate any ongoing violence."
Most of the photos on Wilson's Facebook page are of Hells Angels gatherings.
The words above them read: "Dead men tell no tales."