2013-02-25 14:00 PST
Charges have been laid following an 18-month investigation into the homicide of Red Scorpions’ gang member Jonathan Bacon.
On August 14, 2011, Mr. Bacon along with four associates, Larry Amero, James Riach, Lyndsey Black, and Leah Hadden-Watts were the subjects of a targeted shooting at the Delta Grand Hotel and Resort in Kelowna, B.C.
The investigation, led by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) and in partnership with the Kelowna RCMP, came to a conclusion with the arrests of three men on Friday, February 22, 2013. One hundred police officers and law enforcement personnel also executed six search warrants in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Toronto.
The successful conclusion of this investigation was a perfect storm of cooperation, commitment and support by many law enforcement agencies and members of the public who took an interest in the communities in which they live and greatly assisted us with our investigation, said CFSEU-BC Chief Officer Dan Malo.
The arrests and charges of these individuals is an important accomplishment that will go far to enhance public safety in the province of British Columbia, he added.
Three men are now charged with the First Degree murder of Jonathan Bacon. They also face four counts each of attempted murder.
CFSEU has worked tirelessly on this investigation to reach today's outcome. It is essential that we continue to support the work CFSEU is doing to remove guns and gangs from the streets of our Province. The charges send a strong message that we won't tolerate these crimes in B.C and that we will continue to pursue the gangs until the violence stops, said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
This is an important day for public safety in British Columbia, added Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout Officer-In-Charge of Investigative Services and Organized Crime for the British Columbia RCMP.
E-Nitrogen was a high-priority case for law enforcement and for the citizens of British Columbia. Numerous resources from CFSEU-BC, the RCMP, municipal police departments and government agencies were dedicated to this critical public safety project, A/Comm Rideout adds.
Many police agencies greatly assisted CFSEU-BC during the course of this investigation. They include, the Kelowna RCMP, numerous BC RCMP Divisional resources, the Surrey RCMP, Sunshine Coast RCMP and Ontario RCMP, the Provincial Intelligence Centre (PIC), Toronto Customs and Excise, Public Prosecution Service Canada, BC Criminal Justice Branch – Crown Counsel, CFSEU in Toronto, Golden Horseshoe and Edmonton, Vancouver Police Department, Abbotsford Police Department, Victoria Police Department, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the Canada Border Services Agency.
All of the arrests were conducted without incident. The three accused are remanded in custody.
Sgt. Lindsey Houghton
Desk: (604) 777-7987 Cell: (604) 764-9085
Desk: (604) 777-7971 Cell: (604) 616-7797
Good afternoon and welcome.
I want to begin by taking a moment to recognize our partner agencies. Their contribution has been substantial.
My thanks go to:
It is evident from that long list, that it takes great commitment and teamwork to bring an investigation of this magnitude to a successful end.
Today marks the conclusion of E-NITROGEN, an 18-month investigation, led by CFSEU-BC, into the targeted murder of Jonathan BACON and the attempted murders of his associates,
On August 14, 2011 at 2:41 in the afternoon, a group of unknown assailants opened fire at the occupants of a white Porsche Cayenne parked at the entrance to the Delta Grand Hotel and Resort.
This violent incident rocked the City of Kelowna in an act so brazen that it might have been mistaken for a bad action film. However, for the victims and members of the public who witnessed the events, it was all too real.
Minutes before, it was a typical summer day in the Okanagan. Families gathered to enjoy the resort - and all that Kelowna has to offer. That peace was shattered when Mr. Bacon was fatally wounded and his four associates were badly injured by gunfire. One of the young ladies Leah Hadden-Watts is now a paraplegic because of the injuries she suffered that day.
In my many years of investigating gangs and organized crime, one thing stands out. Gangs and organized crime groups attract broken people. They are looking for connections, love and acceptance. They demand loyalty but give little in return, and the price of that can be catastrophic.
Bacon, Amero and Riach were in Kelowna on that weekend as members of a recently formed criminal alliance commonly called 'The Wolfpack,' yet all were from distinct criminal groups. Amero was a member of the Hells Angels, Riach, a member of the Independent Soldiers, and Bacon of the 'Bacon Brothers' or Red Scorpions.
It was clear to us from that day on that this reckless public act would become one of the most critical public safety projects for law enforcement in the province of B.C.
Minutes after the shooting, the Kelowna RCMP quickly secured the scene, laying an excellent foundation for the grueling investigative work ahead that would assist CFSEU-BC in bringing those responsible for this violent act to justice.
I also want to take a moment to reflect on the courage of the civilians, who put aside their own safety and performed first aid to the injured parties in the immediate aftermath of this event. Given the alarming circumstances, they were very brave.
Many community-minded citizens also came forward with information that greatly assisted CFSEU-BC. We sincerely appreciate the contributions from the citizens of our province.
The flashpoint of this gang violence began with the murder of Gurmit Dhak in Burnaby in October of 2010. But the Bacon shooting, as it was commonly called became a starting point for a cascade of violence we saw repeated throughout B.C. during the last 18 months.
At times, the public was critical of us. Sometimes the public was impatient and the investigation was the subject of intense media scrutiny. We understood and sympathized with those feelings of frustration.
But the scope and breadth of this investigation cannot be underestimated. It simply wasn’t going to happen overnight. Organized crime investigations take significant resources. Over the course of this investigation up to 80 officers and civilian personnel worked diligently to collect and analyze evidence at a great sacrifice to them personally.
I am please to tell you, their efforts paid off.
On Friday, Feb. 22, 100 police officers in Vancouver, Kelowna and Toronto executed six search warrants and arrested three men.
Three men have been charged with the First Degree murder of Jonathan Bacon. They also face four counts each of attempted murder.
Khun-Khun was in the hospital at the time of his arrest where he was recovering from gunshot wounds because of an attempt on his life on January 15, just a few weeks ago.
McBride was arrested in Toronto where he was recently living. He was subsequently transported by RCMP Air Services to British Columbia where he was remanded in custody. Jones was arrested at a residence in Vancouver without incident. All three have been remanded in custody.
We were all appalled by the public nature of this reckless and violent act. It reminds us, that organized crime members have little regard for public safety. They have shown us all, that if they are determined to commit murder, they will do so and it doesn’t matter who’s in the way.
The successful conclusion of this investigation was a perfect storm of cooperation, commitment and support by many law enforcement agencies and members of the public who take an interest in the communities in which they live. The arrests and charges of these individuals are an important accomplishment that will enhance public safety in the province of British Columbia.
Thank you. I will now give the floor over to Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout.
I am Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout, Officer in Charge of Investigative Services and Organized Crime for the British Columbia RCMP.
This is an important day for public safety in our Province.
E-Nitrogen was a high-priority case for law enforcement and for the citizens of British Columbia. Numerous resources from CFSEU-BC, the RCMP, municipal police departments and government agencies were dedicated to this critical public safety project. Many police officers worked endlessly at a great personal sacrifice to themselves and to their families to ensure a successful conclusion to this case.
Organized Crime investigations are highly complex in regards to scope, scale and reach. The most successful of these investigations rely heavily on the cooperation and commitment of hundreds of officers and law enforcement personnel right across Canada. CFSEU-BC took the lead on this case, but as Chief Superintendent Dan Malo noted, many agencies came together to make public safety their number one priority in British Columbia.
Organized Crime has no boundaries. So in order to detect, disrupt and dismantle organized crime, law enforcement has to work in a seamless manner vertically integrating at the local, regional, provincial and national level. CFSEU –BC is a striking example of how that vertical integration works at the very highest level and at the most critical of times.
Initially, this investigation was run by the Serious Crime Unit of the Kelowna RCMP Detachment. As the scope of this investigation expanded, I asked CFSEU-BC to take conduct of it on September 15, 2011.
E-Nitrogen was an extremely complex and challenging project that has set an important standard for how these organized crime investigations work. It represents the very best of an integrated and coordinated law enforcement approach to organized crime investigations supported by dedicated organized crime funding.
The RCMP is leading a multi-level approach to combating gangs and organized crime. We are engaged nationally and internationally as part of an integrated response to this ongoing threat. Gangs, guns and organized crime will continue to be a top priority for law enforcement and CFSEU-BC is on the front line of this effort to ensure the public safety of British Columbians.
Today's announcement is an example of our investigative efforts working together to go where we need to go to hold those accountable. This is the type of work that law enforcement contributes to daily across this country. I would like to acknowledge all of the hard work put into this important public safety project and my thanks go to those who worked so hard and for so long on this case.
Good afternoon, I am Chief Superintendent Mike Sekela, RCMP Southeast District Officer. I am here today representing the Southeast District, which includes the Kelowna RCMP Detachment.
The targeted shooting and killing of known criminal Jonathan Bacon and murder attempts on the group with him that day, put at risk the safety and well-being of the general public and emergency first responders in Kelowna.
While a young man lost his life and a young woman was left a paraplegic, we are extremely fortunate that no other bystanders were physically harmed.
This brazen daylight shooting, in one of our busiest downtown areas of Kelowna, saw an immediate response by local police, and by emergency services.
First on scene were numerous uniform and plain clothes Kelowna RCMP officers and BC Ambulance paramedics, who attended and simultaneously carried out the priority tasks of assessing the life and limb and medical needs of the victims, re-establishing public safety and securing the scene of a critical incident.
We are very proud of the response and actions taken by our Kelowna RCMP and BC Ambulance first responders and appreciative of the public assistance and support received thus far. As with any homicide investigations, we asked the families of the victims and the public to be patient. We assured them we would do everything possible to solve this crime and it is indeed a pleasure to stand side-by-side with our law enforcement partners at the conclusion of this important investigation.
I also speak on behalf of RCMP Kelowna Officer in Charge Superintendent Bill Mckinnon who is unable to attend today, that the advancing of this investigation to where it is today, is an example of the results that the BC RCMP and partners such as the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia can achieve, when we share our expert resources and criminal intelligence to collectively combat organized crime throughout British Columbia.
My name is Inspector Rick Flewelling and I am the Operations Support Officer for the Kelowna RCMP.
Gangs and organized crime is found everywhere in British Columbia. Kelowna is no exception. These gangs operate at the lowest dial-a-dope level or all the way up to a highly sophisticated organize crime group.
Over the past decade, Kelowna has also seen an increase in the number of organized crime members in our community. Their presence has been highlighted in recent years by the reckless acts of violence such as the targeted shooting of Jonathan Bacon.
These incidents, although isolated, raise obvious public safety concerns, in particular when these acts are carried out at great risk to innocent bystanders.
The dedicated men and women of the Kelowna RCMP acted quickly on that day to secure the scene and ensure public safety in the face of an unknown danger.
The Kelowna RCMP has shared a close relationship with CFSEU-BC since their inception.
We continue to work together through this investigation and others, sharing intelligence and deploying resources where they are most needed.
Through this partnership, we have been able to achieve the great results we see today and we look forward to more successful partnerships in the future.