Wit­ness who ‘went le­git’ feared new life was over, court hears

B felt like an ‘easy tar­get’ for cops

The Province - - NEWS - KIM BOLAN kbolan@post­media.com vancouversun.com/tag/real-scoop twit­ter.com/kbolan

A for­mer United Na­tions gang­ster who turned away from his crim­i­nal past years ago agreed to co-op­er­ate with po­lice in 2016 be­cause he feared go­ing to prison for life.

The man, who can only be iden­ti­fied as B due to a pub­li­ca­tion ban, be­gan his tes­ti­mony at the Cory Vallee mur­der trial in B.C. Supreme Court Thurs­day.

He is the third for­mer mem­ber of the no­to­ri­ous gang to turn Crown wit­ness against Vallee, who’s charged with con­spir­acy to kill the Ba­con broth­ers over sev­eral months in 2008 and 2009, as well as the first-de­gree mur­der of their pal Kevin Le­Clair in Fe­bru­ary 2009.

B said af­ter leav­ing the UN sev­eral years ago and work­ing a le­git­i­mate job, he was ar­rested in 2016 in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of Jonathan Bar­ber on May 9, 2008, and the fa­tal shoot­ing of Le­Clair on Feb. 6, 2009.

He told Jus­tice Jan­ice Dil­lon that the RCMP did a pre­sen­ta­tion about their ev­i­dence in the cases while he was briefly in their cus­tody.

While he felt the case was weak and he was later re­leased from jail with­out be­ing charged, he be­gan ex­plor­ing their sug­ges­tion that he co-op­er­ate against his for­mer gang mates.

He said that he feared that if he didn’t co-op­er­ate, the po­lice would con­tinue try­ing to flip oth­ers who might im­pli­cate him.

And B tes­ti­fied that just by re­leas­ing him with­out charges, po­lice were “ba­si­cally in­sin­u­at­ing I was pos­si­bly mak­ing a deal,” putting him in po­ten­tial dan­ger from oth­ers in the UN.

He said he un­der­stood po­lice tac­tics be­cause of “pre­vi­ous con­ver­sa­tions I had with other mem­bers of our or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“(Po­lice) would try to get peo­ple to flip by say­ing get on the train be­fore the train leaves the sta­tion,” B said. “I was wor­ried. I was wor­ried the po­lice would ma­nip­u­late ev­ery­body to turn on each other.”

B noted that he was picked up by po­lice in Jan­uary 2016, around the same time as for­mer UN mem­ber-turned-Crown wit­ness C and Troy Tran and Billy Ly — two other UN gang­sters who were later charged with con­spir­acy to kill the Ba­cons.

“I thought it was a strate­gic game by the po­lice try­ing to ma­nip­u­late all the play­ers. My gen­eral sense is they pro­filed us and ba­si­cally they saw me — that I went le­git and I was re­moved from the gang and I would be an easy tar­get against oth­ers,” B tes­ti­fied.

B is ex­pected to tes­tify that he was nearby dur­ing the Le­Clair mur­der, but had no di­rect in­volve­ment.

Even af­ter he split from the gang and started a new life, B said he was al­ways con­cerned he might be ar­rested one day.

“Ba­si­cally from the time of the mur­ders un­til the time I was ar­rested and af­ter, there wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that I wasn’t wor­ried about the po­lice com­ing,” he said.

“I would think about sim­ple things like just the con­ve­nience of life — what a beau­ti­ful sunny day it is when I am on my way to work, how much I like the com­fort of my bed.”

He also said that he knew once he agreed to co-op­er­ate, he could be tar­geted with vi­o­lence or death by the UN, which he de­scribed as a “dead-end life­style.”

“Once I be­came le­git­i­mate, I re­ally en­joyed it, I didn’t have to look over my shoul­der,” he tes­ti­fied.

The trial con­tin­ues.

“(Po­lice) would try to get peo­ple to flip by say­ing get on the train be­fore the train leaves the sta­tion. I was wor­ried. I was wor­ried the po­lice would ma­nip­u­late ev­ery­body to turn on each other.” — Crown wit­ness B

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B.C. Supreme Court heard from a third ex-UN gang mem­ber, who be­gan his tes­ti­mony Thurs­day in the Cory Vallee, above, mur­der trial.

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