Two arrests were announced today in connection with an ongoing investigation into gang-related murders in the Lower Mainland.
The investigation dates back to 2008 when members of the United Nations gang were embroiled in a bitter conflict with Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie Bacon and their associates, the Red Scorpions. During this period, UN gang members conspired to murder the Bacon brothers and their associates. The conspiracy led to a series of shootings and murders across the Lower Mainland and was known as the “Gang War” of 2007-2009.
On Friday, a joint forces investigation in the Lower Mainland and Calgary involving the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team (IHIT), the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, Calgary police, Vancouver police and RCMP, resulted in the arrest of two UN members.
Charged with conspiracy to commit murder of the Bacon brothers and their associates is 32-year-old Troy Tran from Vancouver and a 31-year-old male whose identity is not being released “to preserve the integrity of a future court proceeding.”
The Mounties said they believe Tran and his co-accused are members of the rival United Nations gang, which was embroiled in a violent turf war against the Scorpions between 2007 and 2009.
The pair also face first-degree murder charges in relation to the 2008 killing of Jonathan Barber and the shooting death of Kevin LeClair the following year.
WATCH: More arrests made in 2008 dispute between U.N. gang, Bacon brothers
Barber, who worked as a stereo installer, was to work on Jamie Bacon’s black Porsche but died in a hail of gunfire in Burnaby, B.C., while driving the vehicle.
Barber’s girlfriend, who was following behind him, was also injured in the gunfire.
LeClair was shot at a shopping centre in Langley, B.C. Police said he was a high-ranking member of the Scorpions.
UN gang member Daniel Russell pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his part in Barber’s death and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2013.
Russell, along with five other UN members, also admitted to a murder conspiracy against the Bacon brothers that same year.
“There’s a culture in the gang lifestyle where people are reluctant to come forward and speak with police,” RCMP Supt. Dwayne McDonald said on Monday. McDonald heads up the province’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
“Our simple message is that that gang lifestyle really ends in only one of two ways: jail or death. We the police want to offer an alternative to that. We can keep our witnesses safe.”
Investigators also seized a stolen handgun, drugs and other drug trade equipment.
Also charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking, possession of stolen property and possession of a prohibited firearm is alleged UN Gang member David Murphy.
A Canada-wide warrant still remains in effect for Conor D’Monte, another alleged leader of the UN gang, who is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to kill the Bacon brothers. D’Monte is described as a Caucasian male, 33 years old, 6’1″ tall, 201 pounds with black shaved hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo of Chinese characters on his left arm and goes by the aliases: Benzo, Brian Black and Manuel Nico Ortega.
To date, there have been seven people convicted for conspiracy to commit murder in relation to this case.
PHOTO of Conor D’Monte:
– With files from The Canadian Press
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