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'Significant development' in gang murder, say police

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Police are announcing what they’re calling “a significant development” today in a gang murder investigation — possibly in the high-profile execution in Kelowna of notorious gang leader Jonathan Bacon.

RCMP in Kelowna forwarded a news release to media early Monday morning saying B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit would stream a live news conference Monday over the Internet at 1 p.m.

  • Link: Feed to Monday's 1 p.m. news conference.

Police said Sgt. Lindsey Houghton was out of the country and would not be available to speak to reporters until Monday at the news conference. bacon022513

It's unclear whether the announcement may be in connection to the murder of Red Scorpion leader Jonathan Bacon outside of the Delta Grand hotel in downtown Kelowna in August 2011. Bacon was killed by a masked man with a semi-automatic rifle who pumped rounds into a Porsche filled with people.

Gang expert Kim Bolan, with The Vancouver Sun, is reporting on her blog that charges are expected to be laid in the Bacon murder.

Bolan said the Vancouver Sun learned that suspects were arrested over the weekend in connection with the Kelowna gang hit. She reported the suspects are tied to Sukh Dhak, a gangster who was executed in Burnaby in November 2012.

In the Bacon murder, gunmen in a Ford Explorer pulled into the Delta Grand's lot, drove up to the car, jumped out and opened fire.

Hells Angel Larry Amero was hit. His vehicle advanced and collided with the Explorer before coming to rest in the hotel's courtyard area. The gunmen got away. Two hours later, police found the Explorer destroyed by fire in Lake Country. No DNA or fingerprints were found, but police identified it as the suspect vehicle.

Bacon died at the scene. Amero was shot multiple times but lived. Independent Soldier James Riach escaped relatively unscathed. Leah Hadden-Watts was shot and paralyzed. Lindsay Black was shot several times and survived.

The case shocked the community because it was so reckless and dangerous to people nearby. When no one was arrested in the months that followed, frustration grew.

  • Link: Bacon murder called a crime catalyst

There has also been a recent double murder in West Kelowna that has been speculated to have gang ties. snow-web

Jeremy Snow and Tiffany Goruk were found dead last Monday in Goruk's crashed Cadillac Escalade. Emergency officials thought they were responding to a vehicle crashed into a condo building. Instead, they found two murder victims inside the high-end SUV. A man was reported fleeing from the scene.

Snow had been previously convicted in a cross-border drug smuggling operation in the U.S. He was recently parolled. Goruk was a 30-year-old mother of two who had run a tanning salon.

  • Link: West Kelowna murder victim caught in crossfire?

The CFSEU's mandate is to focus on organized crime groups "and individuals that pose the highest risk to public safety due to gang violence."

Credits: Vancouver Sun photo of Jonathan Bacon; Facebook photo of Jeremy Snow and Tiffany Goruk;

With files from Don Plant/The Daily Courier

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