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Alleged Wolfpack drug traffickers operating in Downtown Eastside charged

As part of their investigation, police seized firearms, nearly 20 kilograms of fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine, and $160,000 in cash.
cfseudrugbusttwo
From left, clockwise: Diego Saed, Roger Bardales Medina and Joseph Lowley. Also pictured: some of the guns seized, plus a bag of fentanyl.

Two brothers were released on $50,000 bail sureties each in a drug trafficking and conspiracy case with more than a dozen other accused men.

Howjeen Saed, 27, and Hemen Hewa Saed, 30, appeared in Vancouver provincial court Nov. 28 and were released on bail. They were given no-contact orders for anyone else charged except each other and a girlfriend.

Court documents filed Nov. 23 in Surrey by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) alleged Howjeen Saed, from Jan. 8 to May 31, 2021, was part of a group that instructed others to traffic in carfentanil, fentanyl, methamphetamine and/or cocaine in Vancouver.

They and others are allegedly associated with the Wolfpack criminal gang and were allegedly involved in the drug trade in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, CFSEU-BC said.

An investigation into the situation began in July 2020.

As a result, a number of suspects were identified. Between October 2020 and May 2021, multiple search warrants were executed on residences at various Vancouver locations.

Seized during the investigation were seven prohibited and restricted firearms with over 1,000 rounds of ammunition; 10 kilograms of fentanyl; three kilograms of cocaine; six kilograms of methamphetamine; 72 kilograms of cutting agents, including phenacetin and caffeine; $160,000 cash; and three vehicles.

“This lengthy and complex investigation resulted in significant seizures of potentially deadly drugs and serious charges against those who take advantage of the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Assistant Commissioner Manny Mann, CFSEU-BC chief officer.

“Our mandate and ability to investigate anywhere across the province allows us to target gang members and groups who impact public safety in multiple communities," Mann said. "The Wolfpack has been at the centre of violence and drug trafficking for over two decades, and we will continue to aggressively pursue them.”

The charges

The group involved, documents said, included Anees Mohammed, Charles Pronteau, Devinder Dhillon, Jose Joseph, Jesse Spencer, Simbrashe Kamzimbi, Jaden Sangha, Joseph Lowley (aged 39), Hemen Saed, Diego Saed, Roger Bardales Medina (aged 30), Vinod Aruldevarajan (aged 27), Keemiwan Onederfull, Acil Amrani and others.

A second count said Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed (aged 23), Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed, between Dec. 9, 2020 and May 31, 2021, allegedly trafficked in carfentanil, fentanyl, methamphetamine or cocaine in Vancouver.

The count alleged they did so for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with Howjeen Saed, Mohammed, Pronteau, Dhillon, Jose Joseph, Spencer, Kamzimbi, Sangha, Lowley, Hemen Saed, Diego Saed, Bardales Medina, Aruldevarajan, Onederfull, Amrani and others.

Count three alleges Bardales Medina, Aruldevarajan, Diego Maradona Saed, Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed, from Dec. 9, 2020 to May 31, 2021, conspired with Mohammed, Pronteau, Dhillon, Joseph, Spencer, Kamzimbi, Sangha, Lowley, Onederfull, Amrani and others to conspire to traffic in the drugs.

Count four alleges Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed, Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed unlawfully trafficked in drugs in Vancouver between Dec. 9, 2020 and May 31, 2021.

Count five alleges Diego Maradona Saed, Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed, between March 19 and May 31, 2021, possessed fentanyl, methamphetamine or cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Count six alleges Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed and Howjeen Saed, between April 7 and May 31, 2021, possessed carfentanil and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking.

Count seven alleges Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed and Howjeen Saed possessed a loaded, prohibited firearm — a .223 calibre semi-automatic rifle without authorization or licence and registration certificate.

Count eight alleges Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed and Howjeen Saed possessed an oversized firearms magazine without a licence.

Count nine alleges Aruldevarajan, Bardales Medina, Diego Maradona Saed, Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed, between May 2 and May 21, 2021, possessed fentanyl, methamphetamine or cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Finally, count 10 alleges Bardales Medina, Hemen Hewa Saed and Howjeen Saed, between Dec. 9 and Dec. 21, 2020, possessed carfentanil, fentanyl, methamphetamine or cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

CFSEU said Bardales Medina turned himself in Dec. 1 and Lowley turned himself in Dec. 2.

Diego Saed has not been located and is currently wanted on a warrant in relation to his charges.

Opioid crisis

Some 1,534 British Columbians have died from a drug overdose in the first nine months of 2021, says the BC Coroners Service.

That’s a record number of deaths for the first nine months of a year and a 24 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2020.

recent report, released Nov. 9, shows 333 lives were lost to suspected illicit drug toxicity in August and September alone. That's about 5.5 deaths per day.

Both Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson and chief coroner Lisa Lapointe called the deaths heartbreaking. Lapointe called for further, urgent action to save lives.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

twitter.com/jhainswo

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