Eight people – including two men from Surrey – that police say have violently preyed on the vulnerable have been charged with dozens of offenses as part of two Vancouver Police operations.
Lemar McCann, 28, and Ellwood Bradbury, 20, both from Surrey, were arrested this week as part of Project Tyrant and Project Rescue, part of a police-community initiative known as Sister Watch.
For some time, women on the Downtown Eastside have complained they are being subjected to violence by drug dealers.
Insp. Mike Porteous, of the Vancouver Police Department’s Major Crimes Section, said the investigations uncovered a sophisticated criminal organization tied into organized crime in B.C. and abroad that was operating a lucrative drug trafficking business in the Downtown Eastside.
“For the first time in the history of the VPD, criminal organization charges have been laid,” Porteous said. “This is very rare in the province of British Columbia.”
McCann and Bradbury are being charged with conspiracy to traffick in a controlled substance and instructing commission of an offence for a criminal organization.
Also charged are Vancouver’s Petros Soiles, 36, Anthony Staniforth, 46, and Pablo (Carlos) Diaz-Alvarado, 27; Burnaby’s Ngoc Le, 46, and Zhen Liu, 40; and Nolan Swallow, 29, of New Westminster.
Further charges are expected in the coming weeks.