Kamloops This Week looks at major events linked to gangs, organized crime and the city’s drug trade going back to 2016
- Emergency crews are called to the Petro-Canada travel centre in west Kamloops after a report of shots fired on Feb. 18. There, they find a man who was shot in the leg. The suspect flees the scene before police arrived. Police say the victim was not being co-operative with investigators.
- Police execute a search warrant at a home in Valleyview — in the 2800-block of Valleyview Drive — and seize trafficking amounts of cocaine and marijuana on Feb. 25. Nathan Townsend, described by police as someone with gang ties, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
- KTW reports on March 3, based on information from an unnamed justice official, that Kamloops could be on the verge of a gang war. The source says the Red Scorpions, which controlled the local drug trade at the time, are facing mounting pressure from a rival criminal organization. The report is rebuffed by police, who deny any such escalation in tensions between rival gangs.
- A home on Parkcrest Drive near Holt Street is hit by three bullets on April 24. No injuries are reported, but police describe the incident as being related to the city’s drug trade and organized crime. The investigation into the incident leads to the arrest of three alleged Wolf Pack gangsters.
- Reversing course from their statement in March, police announce on May 31 the arrival of a violent new gang attempting to establish itself in Kamloops’ drug trade. RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the Wolf Pack — a coalition of gangsters from the Lower Mainland — is known to use violence as a business tactic. Police have, in fact, been investigating the Wolf Pack’s actions in the Tournament Capital for more than six months when the announcement is made.
- On June 2, police arrest three members of the Wolf Pack, including Bruce Davis, who is described in court as the leader of the gang’s local faction. RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller holds a press conference, declaring the gang “dismantled” while displaying cash, firearms and drugs seized in a raid.
- A 29-year-old man is arrested following a June 25 shooting outside a condo complex near Thompson Rivers University. Prosecutors later allege Derek Muirhead was attempting to beat up an acquaintance when the gun went off. Charges against Muirhead are later stayed.
- A specialized Lower Mainland police unit focussing on gangs descends on Kamloops on Aug. 13 for a weekend in what local Mounties call “a proactive measure.” The Uniform Gang Enforcement Team makes eight arrests and checks 130 vehicles and 23 residences.
- Police pull over a vehicle near Merritt on Dec. 1 and uncover a large quantity of cash. Their investigation leads to significant raids in January, March and August — all targeting alleged Red Scorpions gangsters.
- On Jan. 13, heavily armed Kamloops Mounties descend on a North Kamloops gym owned by Konaam Shirzad, one of the original founders of the Red Scorpions — the gang behind the notorious 2007 Surrey Six slayings. Shirzad is not arrested and never faces charges in connection with the raid.
- Police raid a home on Irongate Place in Sun Rivers and seize fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin, cocaine and meth on March 30. Erwin Dagle, an alleged Red Scorpions gangster, is later charged in connection to the raid.
- On Aug. 24, police raid a room at the Hospitality Inn on Columbia Street, seizing carfentanil, heroin, meth and cocaine. Erwin Dagle is again charged in connection to the raid.
- Konaam Shirzad, 34, is shot dead outside his Guerin Creek home on Sept. 21. Another man is shot in the ankle. Police appeal to the public for surveillance video that might show the suspects.
- At a Nov. 7 press conference, police announce that Konaam Shirzad’s death has left a power vacuum at the top of Kamloops’ drug trade. RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller, then the city’s top cop, says Shirzad’s slaying led to “an uptick in violence.” Less than a month later, city RCMP cite the gang conflict in asking the municipal officials to increase its ranks by nine officers. City council approves the request unanimously.
- A Dec. 29 shooting described by police as connected to the drug trade sends one man to hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg. The incident takes place in an apartment at 110 Columbia St. Brandon Fiddick, 25, is arrested and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm.
- On Jan. 18, police respond to a home on Badger Drive for a report of a home invasion. There, police allegedly find weapons. A search warrant is executed the following day and allegedly turns up firearms and explosives. The house is being rented by Cameron Cole, 35, who is later charged with a raft of weapons offences.
- A man receives extensive injuries following a June 9 attack on a property on Glenview Avenue in Brocklehurst believed to be linked to the drug trade. Two men, Austin Martin and Alexander Kaulback, are arrested and charged with aggravated assault, robbery and uttering threats.
- A brazen June 11 drive-by shooting in broad daylight at a busy Sahali intersection is immediately described by police as being linked to organized crime. Shots are fired from one vehicle at another at the intersection of McGill Road and Summit Drive at about 1:30 p.m., sparking an intense city-wide manhunt. A 56-year-old man injured in the shooting undergoes surgery but no arrests are made. Police later link the incident to another shooting hours earlier.
- A man is stabbed multiple times in a July 12 attack in Pioneer Park — an incident police describe as being targeted and related to the drug trade. Police were called after the injured man showed up at hospital. No arrests are made.
- On July 13, newly minted Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky identifies organized crime as one of his top priorities in his introductory press conference. “We will continue to work to shut down and disrupt any emerging or established organized crime trying to move into our area,” he says.
- Police become aware of a “particularly savage” Aug. 21 assault at a home on Royal Avenue believed to be linked to the drug trade. Ricky William Dennis, 32, is arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Two other men, Shane Cameron and Jeremy Bellows, are charged with aggravated assault, break and enter and forcible confinement.
- Troy Gold is reported missing on Oct. 3. Within a week, police announce they believe the 35-year-old is the victim of a homicide and say his slaying is related to the city’s drug trade. Gold’s remains are found days later in the Lac du Bois area. Police have said they have identified suspects and the investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have been made.
- A Crown prosecutor tells a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Dec. 17 that police have “viable suspects” in the Sept. 21, 2016, murder of Konaam Shirzad, but not enough evidence to secure charges. Neil Wiberg is successful in asking a judge to allow extra time for police to hold onto evidence connected to Shirzad’s slaying.
- Two people are shot to death outside Kamloops hotels on Jan. 23, slayings identified by police as being related to the ongoing conflict involving the city’s drug trade. Cody Mathieu is killed outside a motel in Valleyview and, hours later, Rex Gill is shot to death outside a hotel in Aberdeen. Police have said Mathieu was connected to the city’s drug trade. Investigators say Gill had no known ties to organized crime and police are “exploring the possibility that this might have been a case of mistaken identity.”
- B.C.’s Uniform Gang Enforcement Team descends on the city on Jan. 26 following the hotel murders. The gang unit stops 78 vehicles and checks more than 130 people believed to be linked to the Kamloops drug trade. Seized are brass knuckles, knives, hatchets, firearm magazines, a holster and $40,000 in cash.
- Multiple arrests are made following a series of incidents described by police as robberies and a kidnapping that began in Kamloops on Feb. 13 and included events in Kelowna. The incident is described as being connected to the ongoing conflict involving the Kamloops drug trade.
- Two people are shot at a residence in Brocklehurst on Feb. 15. One of them, Jason Glover, dies from his injuries. The second victim is hospitalized with gunshot wounds to her face. Police say the incident is linked to the ongoing conflict over the city’s drug trade. Gordie Braaten, 35, and Hugh McIntosh, 51, are each in custody facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder.