Gang­ster Clay Roueche says rights were breached and sues

The Province - - News - BY KEITH FRASER STAFF RE­PORTER

UN gang leader Clay Roueche is su­ing Cana­dian authorities for al­legedly breach­ing his rights by pro­vid­ing U.S. authorities with in­for­ma­tion from his pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, re­sult­ing in his ar­rest and im­pris­on­ment.

Roueche, who ear­lier this week lost his ap­peal of a 30-year U.S. jail term for drug traf­fick­ing, was in­dicted in the U.S. in Oc­to­ber 2007 and a war­rant was is­sued for his ar­rest.

Ac­cord­ing to a civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, mem­bers of the U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment then ad­vised Cana­dian law en­force­ment of­fi­cials of the out­stand­ing war­rant.

Be­tween 2007 and 2008, Cana­dian of­fi­cials com­mu­ni­cated with U. S. of­fi­cials on ways to fa­cil­i­tate Roueche’s ar­rest with­out hav­ing to rely on ex­tra­di­tion pro­ceed­ings, says the claim.

In May 2008, Roueche boarded a plane from Van­cou­ver to Mex­ico, with Cana­dian of­fi­cials “un­law­fully” re­quest­ing that Mex­i­can authorities ar­rest Roueche and put him on a plane that would land in the U.S., it says. When Roueche ar­rived in Mex­ico, he was de­tained, de­nied en­try into the coun­try and or­dered to board a plane for Van­cou­ver, with a stop in Fort Worth, Texas.

When he ar­rived in Fort Worth, he was ar­rested by U.S. of­fi­cials.

Af­ter his ar­rest, Cana­dian of­fi­cials ex­e­cuted a search war­rant on his res­i­dence in Co­quit­lam, con­trary to the Pri­vacy Act, says the law­suit.

In ad­di­tion, Roueche is claim­ing that authorities un­law­fully dis­closed in­ter­cepts of his com­mu­ni­ca­tions to Cana­dian me­dia, know­ing that such dis­clo­sure would cause him in­jury.

Roueche says he learned of the al­leged rights vi­o­la­tions when an af­fi­davit was filed in U.S. court in Wash­ing­ton state in Oc­to­ber 2009.

On Dec. 16, 2009, he was sen­tenced to 30 years in jail for his in­volve­ment in a cross-bor­der drug­traf­fick­ing ring.

Martin Peters, a l awyer for Roueche, said that, had there been an ex­tra­di­tion process, there would have been no com­plaints about lack of due process.

“The tricks that were played here per­mit­ted the Amer­i­can authorities to skirt around all of that. It was those tricks that the Cana­dian authorities were di­rectly in­volved in,” Peters said.

Peters ad­mit­ted that not ev­ery­one who ap­pears in B.C. Supreme Court is a sym­pa­thetic fig­ure.

“I’m not say­ing he’s a boy scout, but I’m say­ing his charter rights de­serve to be up­held,” he said of his client.

Named as de­fen­dants are the B.C. at­tor­ney-gen­eral’s min­istry, be­ing al­legedly vi­car­i­ously li­able for the acts of the Or­ga­nized Crime Agen- cy of B.C., the RCMP and the B.C. In­te­grated Gang Task Force.

Also named are the Van­cou­ver and Ab­bots­ford po­lice de­part­ments.

Roueche is seek­ing a dec­la­ra­tion that his rights to en­ter and re­main in Canada, his right to lib­erty and se­cu­rity of the per­son and his right to not be ar­bi­trar­ily de­tained have been in­fringed.

He’s ask­ing for gen­eral, spe­cial, ag­gra­vated, ex­em­plary and/or puni­tive dam­ages.

The at­tor­ney-gen­eral’s min­istry had no im­me­di­ate com­ment. No state­ments of de­fence have been filed. A civil claim con­tains al­le­ga­tions that have not been proven in court. kfraser@the­p­rovince.com

twit­ter.com/kei­thrfraser

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