Editor's note: A weapon described in this story was mis-identified by Delta police. They have corrected the information and the story has been corrected.
Delta police have taken down a significant drug line operation in South Delta.
On Tuesday morning, DPD announced that they had secured 94 charges – the majority against Red Scorpion gang members.
The seven individuals charged include: Kyle Steven Latimer, a Red Scorpion member, age 27 of Vancouver and Richmond – 19 charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, firearms offences and breach of conditions; Khaadim Kwame Coddett, a Red Scorpion member, age 26 of Richmond – 19 charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, firearms offences and breach of conditions; Billie Onare Kim, a Red Scorpion associate, age 33 of Burnaby – 14 charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and firearms offences; Jacob Angelo Pereira, a Red Scorpion member, age 25 of Richmond – 14 charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and firearms offences; Anduele Jonathon Pikeintio, a Red Scorpion member, age 22 of Richmond – 14 charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking; James Albert Souliere, age 27 of Richmond – 10 charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and Darryl Rick Whitson, age 27 of Richmond – four charges of trafficking in a controlled substance.
The charges were sworn in Richmond provincial court.
According to DPD, Latimer, Coddett and Pereira are in custody, while arrest warrants are out for Pikeintio, Souliere, Whitson and Kim.
“These arrests and charges will have a significant impact on gangs operating in the Metro Vancouver area,” said Delta police Chief Neil Dubord. “Yes, gangsters and their associates may reap some short-term profits, but we want the public, and those who may be considering getting involved in gangs, to know that the end is inevitable. Whether it’s by violence through a rival gang, or through the justice system, you will be held accountable for your criminal activity.”
The DPD drug section initiated Project Green Planet in March 2017 after police were alerted to the presence of a drug line of the same name. Operated as a dial-a-dope line based in Richmond, the drug line supplied South Delta and Vancouver.
The project targeted many of the same individuals named in a major press conference on a multi-agency gang investigation last week in Vancouver (Project Territory), however, Project Green Planet was a separate investigation, and DPD did communicate with members of the VPD-led task force.
DPD officers began their project with street level drug purchases, then gradually investigators identified the line managers and suppliers to be Red Scorpion gang members and associates.
“As we’ve conveyed to the community in the past, we are primarily interested in targeting the drug traffickers and not the drug users,” said S/Sgt. Heath Newton with DPD’s investigations bureau. “If we can break the illicit drug trade supply lines, even if it’s only temporarily, we can save lives and reduce connected property crime stemming from drug addiction.”
As police gathered evidence, search warrants were executed in fall 2017 at a variety of locations in Richmond and Burnaby where drug suppliers and line managers were located. Police seized $50,000 to $100,000 worth of street level drugs, including fentanyl, cocaine and heroin. Also seized were: two semi automatic rifles, two pistols, two bullet proof vests, axe/machete and various masks, disguises and items suitable to conduct violent acts.
Additionally, police seized proceeds of crime including: $52,000 in cash, $30,000 in jewelry and four luxury vehicles.
DPD also seized the master phone that controlled the dial-dope operations for South Delta and Richmond. The phone number was well distributed to a customer base and call forwarded to multiple street level dealers, so the removal of the number shut down the line.