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Some gangsters involved in Lower Mainland conflict have fled B.C.

Posted in Canada, Featured

Published on August 25, 2021 with No Comments

On Sunday, Min Zin was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., hotel room.

On May 18, 21-year-old Min Zin of the Brothers Keepers gang was featured on a police poster warning the public that he was one of 11 men who could be targeted in the continuing Lower Mainland conflict.

On Sunday, Zin was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in a Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., hotel room.

He was one of a number of B.C. gangsters who, authorities say, have fled B.C. in recent months, either because they didn’t like the extra police attention or because they knew they had targets on their backs.

Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said some of the gangsters who have left have become criminally active in other provinces, while others are lying low. The result has been less gang violence here than in the first half of 2021.

“The co-ordinated collaborative approach by police was effective and remains effective,” Houghton said.

Those involved in gang life “don’t like all of the attention, which I think is understandable.”

“Certainly, the more attention that you pay them, the more disruptive, suppressive and uncomfortable it makes their lives and ability to do whatever it is they’re trying to do. That also has the effect of causing them to disperse,” he said.

But, he said, they have also “run for the hills” because they know that they could be targeted by rivals. Some have moved to other places in B.C., while others are “somewhere else in Canada or internationally,” he said.

“When certain individuals are removed from the landscape through various ways — either through going to jail, leaving or becoming deceased or hospitalized — that also cools thing down a little bit,” Houghton said.

“If one individual is the cause of significant conflict or beef and that individual, however it is, is removed, then things cool down.”

Most of those who have left have links to the Brothers Keepers. Several BK members and associates were killed or wounded in very public shootings earlier this year. Their absence means others, including UN gangsters, have moved in to take over lucrative drug lines.

Houghton said that while the UN hasn’t been as high-profile as other warring gangs in recent years, the group that formed in the Fraser Valley in the mid-1990s is still around despite its founder,  Clay Roueche, being incarcerated in the U.S. since 2008.

“They’ve never been defunct. There may be times where their name wanes a little bit. But they’ve always been around in different forms and numbers and strengths,” he said. “People are very naïve to think that these groups simply just go away. They often don’t, and they wait for opportunity to reassert themselves. They do things behind the scenes and under the radar, looking for opportunities, forging alliances, whatever it takes … they’re our version of cockroaches who have survived millennia by adapting.”

But he also said that the B.C. gang landscape is more complex than it once was, with many more groups active and more fluidity within them.

“The ebb and flow and the reconfiguring is much more common now than it was 15 or 20 years ago. And that is one of the contributors to the spikes or increases in violence that we’ve seen,” he said.

Things used to be “a little bit more black and white. You had two sides. Things were a little bit clearer. But now you’ve got multiple sides, people flip-flopping, people leaving and coming back. Add in the fact that you’ve got people from back then now coming out of incarceration, inserting themselves back into the scene, things are much more complicated.”

Asked about Zin’s death, Lincoln Louttit, manager of corporate communications for Sault Ste. Marie police, wouldn’t comment specifically. He said officers were called to the 400-block of Pim Street on Aug. 22 for a “sudden death,” and are now assisting the local coroner’s office.

“At this time, we are not releasing details of the deceased person,” he said in an emailed response.


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