Almost 30 individuals have been convicted in a major crackdown on gang violence in Metro Vancouver.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced today (July 9) that a taskforce involving police agencies from across Metro Vancouver has led to the convictions of numerous gang members.
VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin stated in a news release that the VPD launched Taskforce Tourniquet in 2017 to target escalating gang violence. The taskforce assembled officers from Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC), the RCMP, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, and local municipal police departments.
“Today, as the final guilty plea related to this taskforce is entered, we can now report to the public the cumulative and final results,” Visintin explained. “The men convicted as a result of Taskforce Tourniquet were significant players in the gang conflict between March 2017 and August 2018. Their incarcerations and convictions led to a period of decreased shootings and murders between 2018 and 2020.”
The taskforce launched several projects that resulted in the convictions of 27 individuals, which included participation in criminal organizations, murder conspiracy, firearms trafficking, and drug trafficking.
The following individuals have been convicted in projects by Taskforce Tourniquet over the past three-and-a-half years:
* three offenders, who are adults now, were young offenders at the time of the charge
In addition, the projects entailed the seizures of:
- more than 170 firearms;
- over 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of fentanyl;
- 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine;
- over $2 million worth of cash, jewelry, and high-end vehicles.
In April and May of this year, Metro Vancouver has experienced a flurry of gang-related targeted shootings that have taken place in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Delta, Surrey, and the Vancouver International Airport. Some involved particularly brazen incidents occurring in busy public spaces during the daytime, and many of them resulted in fatalities.
The ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict is believed to have led to shootings in other cities, including in Nanaimo and Calgary.
Anyone seeking to leave gang life can access resources available through the CFSEU End Gang Life program, and can contact the CFSEU Gang Exiting and Intervention helpline at 604-897-6023.
Surrey RCMP have been investigating two recent shootings this past week that have been linked to gang activity.
Around 9:05 p.m. on July 5, officers responded to a report about shots being fired into a home and vehicle in the 15600 block of 83rd Avenue in Surrey.
While police were en route to the location, officers saw a dark-coloured Chrysler fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed.
That vehicle was later found on fire near 194th Street and 16th Avenue in Surrey.
Surrey RCMP stated that the targeted occupants of the home are known to police and have ties to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.
No one was injured in the shootings or the high-speed operation of the vehicle.
A few days later, hospital staff in Surrey notified police around 2:30 p.m. on July 8 about a 23-year-old man who was dropped off at the hospital with a gunshot wound on his leg.
The victim is known to police.
Investigators, who have been working to confirm the location of the shooting, believe it was a targeted shooting linked to gangs.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Surrey RCMP or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers.