‘Extremely violent’: Vancouver gangster shot dead in Toronto linked to Wolf Pack gang
A former Vancouver gangster killed in a daytime shooting in a busy downtown Toronto neighbourhood had connections with a dangerous criminal alliance known as the Wolf Pack gang, according to investigators in British Columbia.
Sukhvir “Sukh” Deo, 35, was sitting in a white Range Rover near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue when he was shot multiple times Tuesday afternoon, in what police called a “targeted shooting.”
“I can tell you that he wasn’t a member of this community, it wasn’t a random shooting, it was targeted,” Toronto homicide Det.-Sgt. Joyce Schertzer told reporters Thursday.
And while Toronto police revealed little information about Deo’s background, investigators in British Columbia are well acquainted with the man suspected of cocaine trafficking and ties to several criminal organizations.
Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of B.C.’s anti-gang squad, said Deo, while not a full-fledged member, was aligned with a violent gang known as the Independent Soldiers, which are part of a larger criminal organization called the Wolf Pack.
“Mr. Deo, who was just murdered in [Toronto], was historically aligned to the Independent Soldiers,” Houghton, with the B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement, told Global News. “But he was definitely aligned to at least several people in leadership positions of the Independent Soldiers and if we extend that up, it extends into this [larger criminal organization] that is the Wolf Pack.”
Houghton said the origins of the Wolf Pack go back to the Aug. 14, 2011 murder of Jonathan Bacon, an infamous B.C. gangster and leader of the Red Scorpions gang, who was shot by masked gunman while sitting in a car outside a hotel in Kelowna.
Larry Amero, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was also wounded in the shooting and James Riach, a member of the Independent Solders, managed to escape unharmed, said Houghton.
“Here in British Columbia these groups the Red Scorpions and the Independent Soldiers were extremely violent,” Houghton said. “They are involved in a lot of drug trafficking, street level killings, murders.”
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Houghton said Amero was later arrested in Quebec in a drug trafficking case and is in jail awaiting trial. Riach’s whereabouts are currently unknown but he was arrested in the Philippines in 2014 for drug trafficking before being released.
Despite the events of 2011, the Wolf Pack gang continues to operate across Canada today, said Houghton, as a collection of gangs, criminal organizations and consortiums.
“We look at it as a crude business alliance of these groups who recognized they needed to come together to form what we called ‘power blocks’ within the organized crime scene, not just here in B.C. but across Canada and even internationally,” said Houghton.
Several members of the Deo family are well known to police in Metro Vancouver, including his brother Harjit Singh Deo who was convicted in 2007 for a 2005 kidnapping for ransom in which the victim was held inside the Deo family home in New Westminster.
Sukh Deo had been living in Ontario since 2013 and was involved in drug dealing, said Houghton.
A statement from the family said that they were going through a “difficult time” and that they were “shattered” by his death.
“There have been many things written and said about Sukh alleging all manner of things that are not true,” the statement read.
Deo’s father, Parminder Singh Deo, is also wanted in an Interpol warrant from India on charges including drug smuggling, forgery, theft, and criminal conspiracy.”
Before his death, he was seen sitting courtside during a Toronto Raptors playoff game and was ejected from his seat during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals after heckling referees.
Houghton said police in B.C. work closely with police agencies across the country in targeting violent gangs like the Wolf Pack, and warned there could be more violence.
“If history tells us anything, especially here in British Columbia, when we have individuals — no matter where they are placed on the gang hierarchy— any time one of them is a victim of violence, whether it’s murder or an attempt on their life, in the past 10 years we’ve seen tit-for-tat reprisals,” he said.
With files from Adam Miller
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.