Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people with ties to the notorious Red Scorpion gang after busting a dial-a-dope operation in South Delta.
The charges came as a result of a DPD drug section operation dubbed “Project Green Planet.” The investigation was launched in March 2017 after police were alerted to a dial-a-dope line of the same name based in Richmond that supplied South Delta and Vancouver.
“As we’ve conveyed to the community in the past, we are primarily interested in targeting the drug traffickers and not the drug users. 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,” DPD Staff Sgt. Heath Newton said in a press release.
Delta police began their project with street level drug purchases and investigators gradually identified the line managers and suppliers to be Red Scorpion gang members and associates.
In fall 2017, police executed search warrants at various 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, as well as two semi-automatic rifles, two pistols, two bullet proof vests, an axe/machete, various masks and disguises, and other 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.
Delta Police also seized the master phone that controlled the dial-dope operations for South Delta and Richmond. According to the press release, the phone number was well distributed among customers and forwarded to multiple street-level dealers, so the removal of the number shut down the line.
Seven individuals are now facing a total of 94 charges.
Kyle Steven Latimer, 27, of Vancouver and Richmond, is facing 19 charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, firearms offences and breach of conditions. Delta Police identified Latimer as a Red Scorpion member.
Khaadim Kwame Coddett, 26, of Richmond is facing 19 charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, firearms offences and breach of conditions. Delta Police identified Coddett as a Red Scorpion member.
Billie Onare Kim, 33, of Burnaby is facing 14 charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, and firearms offences. Delta Police identified Kim as a Red Scorpion associate.
Jacob Angelo Pereira, 25, of Richmond is facing 14 charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, and firearms offences. Delta Police identified Pereira as a Red Scorpion member.
Anduele Jonathon Pikeintio, 22, of Richmond is facing 14 charges, including trafficking in a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. Delta Police identified Pikeintio as a Red Scorpion member.
James Albert Souliere, 27, of Richmond is facing 10 charges of trafficking in a controlled substance.
Darryl Rick Whitson, 27, of Richmond is facing four charges of trafficking in a controlled substance.
“These arrests and charges will have a significant impact on gangs operating in the Metro Vancouver area,” DPD Chief Constable Neil Dubord said in a press release. “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.”
According to a DPD press release, the operation targeted many of the same individuals named last week as part of a massive multi-agency gang investigation in Vancouver dubbed Project Territory.
The 17-month investigation also began in March 2017 and targeted the Kang and Latimer group, resulting in 92 criminal charges against 14 people and the seizure of 93 firearms, one pressure cooker improvised explosive device, 59 prohibited devices, more than 9.5 kilograms of fentanyl, close to 40 kilograms of other illicit drugs, $833,000 in cash, $800,000 worth of jewelry and $350,000 worth of collector cars.
— with files from Ashley Wadhwani.