Fugitive B.C. gangster Conor D’Monte loses court battle in extradition fight

Click to play video: 'B.C. gangster charged in rival gang hit loses court battle in extradition fight'
B.C. gangster charged in rival gang hit loses court battle in extradition fight
Former UN gang leader Conor D'Monte fled to Puerto Rico after he was charged with the killing of Red Scorpion Kevin LeClair. Rumina Daya reports. – Feb 3, 2023

Longtime fugitive B.C. gangster Conor D’Monte, who was finally captured in Puerto Rico last year, has lost a court battle in his fight against extradition to stand trial in the 2009 killing of a rival gang member.

In 2011, the former UN gang leader was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kevin LeClair, a member of the Red Scorpion gang. D’Monte disappeared, believed to have left the country, but resurfaced more than a decade later, when he was arrested in Puerto Rico.

Canadian authorities seeking his extradition have argued he participated in LeClair’s murder and conspired to murder the leaders of the Red Scorpion gang, the Bacon Brothers.

Read more: Alleged B.C. gangster fights extradition from the U.S. to Canada

Meanwhile, D’Monte has argued the federal government has not provided proof he committed any crimes in Canada and that its extradition request should be dropped unless more evidence could be disclosed.

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On Jan. 27, a judge certified his extradition on all offenses for which it had been requested and committed him to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, according to court documents filed on Feb. 1.

It’s unclear what happens next in the process. Neither the U.S. nor the Canadian departments of justice provided details.

Chris Johnson, D’Monte’s lawyer in Canada, only said the extradition is ongoing and that a final decision has not been made.

Click to play video: 'Alleged B.C. gangster Conor D’Monte fighting extradition to Canada'
Alleged B.C. gangster Conor D’Monte fighting extradition to Canada

LeClair, a known associate of the Bacon Brothers, was killed at the height of a violent and highly public gang war between the Red Scorpions and the UN gang in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

He was ambushed at a parking lot in front of a crowded grocery store in Langley’s Walnut Grove area in broad daylight on Feb. 6, 2009.

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According to U.S. court documents, based on Canadian submissions, D’Monte had coordinated a plan to target members of the Red Scorpions gang by collecting information about targets, including photographs, places they frequented, and descriptions of vehicles.

Click to play video: 'Anti-gang task force raises stakes to capture accused killer Conor D’Monte'
Anti-gang task force raises stakes to capture accused killer Conor D’Monte

D’Monte recruited and paid a hitman to be “on call” for participation in shootings when opportunities arose on short notice, the documents allege, adding that he also contributed to a reward-money fund from which conspirators would be paid to shoot Red Scorpion targets.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hitman Cory Vallee was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for pulling the trigger after he was captured in Mexico in 2014.

Read more: $100K reward offered for info leading to arrest of former UN gang leader Conor D’Monte

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In 2019, B.C.’s anti-gang unit offered a massive reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to D’Monte’s arrest.

He had been living in Puerto Rico for years, volunteering for a honeybee charity, before he was arrested with a firearm in February 2022, based on U.S. court documents that also mention news reports stating D’Monte had been living in a penthouse and owned a Lexus, three motorcycles and an old jeep Cherokee.

– with files from Rumina Daya

Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. A previous version reported that D’Monte had been ordered to be extradited to Canada. In fact, the judge has certified the extradition and remitted him into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

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