A sudden death investigation which has been confirmed by the Sault Police Service to be underway in the 400 block of Pim street appears as if it may result in more than a suspected overdose.
According to reports out of British Columbia, Min-Zin, 21, of the Brothers Keepers gang was found dead of a suspected overdose in a Sault Ste. Marie motel this past Sunday.
Zin was featured in a poster put out by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia back in May. The poster was meant to inform the public of 11 individuals who could be targeted in the ongoing conflict in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
It is suspected Zin left BC because he either knew he had a target on his back or may have not cared for the extra police attention he was receiving.
SaultOnline reached out to Public Relations Officer, Staff Sergeant Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia, for more information on BC gang members who pop up in other parts of Canada, including here in Sault Ste. Marie.
He says BC Gangs are different in that they frequently move all over the country and internationally.
“They, and their groups, have presence and tentacles everywhere in Canada, whether it’s the territories or all of the provinces. You know, we’ve seen names and individuals pop up in different investigations whether it’s the OPP, the Sûreté, Winnipeg police, or you know all these sorts of places,” said Houghton. “Our gang members are very mobile and they have a significant amount of flexibility and I would say, pull in the criminal landscape in Canada.”
These gangs move guns and drugs, including fentanyl, heroin and pretty much anything across the country according to Houghton.
“Many of them, just like we do, have the ability to sit on a beach in Thailand and do their business on a smartphone, or sit in a hotel in Sault Ste. Marie hypothetically and leverage technology, just like all of us do nowadays,” said Houghton. “They can be anywhere in the world, advancing their criminal enterprises, which are sort of the foundations of Western British Columbia. They are very expansion savvy.”
Houghton believes in the case over the weekend, gang members did’t realize just how long a drive it is across Northern Ontario. With Sault Ste. Marie being a central point along the Trans Canada Highway, they stop here while passing through.
When asked what kind of warning he would have for individuals in Sault Ste. Marie about the gang activity coming from his province, Houghton replied:
“Gang and organized crime issues are not just big city problems in British Columbia and in Canada anymore, and our gang members here in British Columbia relocate and do business all across the country,” said Houghton. “Whether it’s Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Sault Ste. Marie, St. John’s, they’re everywhere. For them, it’s about expanding their criminal enterprises, making as many connections and alliances as they can in the interest of self preservation. Our gang members impact the gang landscape all across the country, unfortunately.”
SaultOnline has reached out to Sault Ste. Marie Police for comment on the gang activity in our city. We will provide their response in a separate story when they become available.
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