An image shared by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit showing the Brothers Keepers network. Red nodes represent gang members and black nodes represent non-gang-member associates. (CFSEU-B.C. image)

Police task force thwarts Brothers Keepers gang’s expansion into Nanaimo

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit disrupts spread of drug trafficking network

A two-year operation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. has disrupted a gang drug trafficking network’s expansion into Nanaimo.

According to a CFSEU-B.C. press release issued Tuesday, July 21, the Brothers Keepers task force helped co-ordinate investigations in jurisdictions across B.C. targeting the Brothers Keepers and its drug trafficking networks that allegedly included synthetic opioid distribution and violent gang activities.

RELATED: Gangs producing drugs to get around border closures: Vancouver police

According to police, the Brothers Keepers gang is made up of about a dozen core members who have criminal affiliations, networks and cells of various sizes. In all, more than 190 gang members and non-gang members formed a network with more than 920 connections across the province. Since 2017 the organization has been in conflict with rival gangs such as the Red Scorpions, Wolfpack, United Nations, Hells Angels and other groups and individuals that resulted in violence across the province, the release said.

The bigger the organization became as it expanded across B.C. and into Alberta and Ontario, the better its potential to recruit and expand its operations, which prompted the formation of the task force in early 2018 to monitor and co-ordinate police investigation efforts to target and disrupt its network and activities.

“Criminal groups and gangs like the Brothers Keepers continue to try and expand their illicit activities throughout the province and beyond B.C.’s borders. While the combined efforts thus far have resulted in the Brothers Keepers being significantly disrupted, we remain determined to continue our targeting of their, and other criminal networks’, illegal activities,” said assistant commissioner Michael LeSage, CFSEU-B.C.’s chief officer, in the press release.

Since its formation, the task force conducted 259 interdictions in 21 B.C. jurisdictions, ranging from motor vehicle act offences to advanced organized crime projects that resulted in the seizures of more than 30 kilograms of suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, possibly preventing “tens of millions of lethal doses,” the press release noted.

Analysis of intelligence gathered since the task force was created indicates there has been a 38.5-per cent decrease in combined gang-related homicides and attempted homicides from January 2017 to December 2018 and police are continuing to examine how that decline might be attributed to efforts to reduce gang-related harm and targeting the Brothers Keepers.

RELATED: B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The press release says the task force’s efforts were successful in disrupting Brothers Keepers “intended expansion into the Nanaimo region.”

“Over the course of the past two years, numerous RCMP jurisdictions and municipal police agencies have been in collaboration with, and supported by, CFSEU-B.C.,” LeSage said. “A co-ordinated, integrated, and strategic approach to disrupting the potentially tragic and devastating impacts of their crimes, with deadly drugs like fentanyl, is critical to our collective efforts of keeping our communities safe.”

The Brothers Keepers task force will continue to conduct and assist other agencies with co-ordinating intelligence and investigations. Several investigations by CFSEU-B.C. and its partner agencies are at various stages and information about charges and other specifics of those investigations will be made public at the appropriate time, the release noted.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crime

Just Posted

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

NDP solution to homelessness is to ‘warehouse’ people: BC Liberal leader

Andrew Wilkinson made a campaign stop in Campbell River and was asked about homelessness

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Most Read