Thursday, June 26, 2008

The UN Gang - Vancouver's graveyard dawgs

Is the UN Gang out of business? Unlikely, but at least its leader is buried in a holding cell down in Seattle. As widely reported by Vancouver media, Clayton "Clay" Roueche was scooped up in a slick three way operation mounted by U.S., Mexican and Canadian law enforcement. Roueche is fond of foreign travel and his ability to organize gang R&R activities offshore. He tripped up on a recent junket to Cancun Mexico, where he was to attend a wedding. The attendees included twenty UN Gang members, their wives and girlfriends. His mistake was in thinking there was safety in overflying the United States. Millions of dollars worth of close surveillance and wiretapping paid off, and he was coolly diverted into U.S. custody.

A bonanza of personal material including bank records and private photographs of gang activities were seized when police raided his house in Coquitlam, B.C. It's a tantalizing preview of what was in Clay Roueche's personal scrapbook. A copy set of the Intelligence booty was provided to the Americans and a small sample was offered by federal prosecutors in Seattle at Roueche's arraignment on June 9, 2008.

Several events led to police capture of Roueche. One key development was arrest of Jong Ca John Lee, who is believed to have been the armourer to the UN Gang. Lee's highrise Vancouver apartment was stormed by Vancouver police on June 9, 2007. (Local TV broadcast a police display of automatic weapons and drugs seized. It included a German MG42 belt-fed machine gun). Lee had no previous criminal record but pleaded guilty in September 2007 to 10 counts, including possession of 3.5 kilograms of ecstasy (estimated value $400,000) 900 grams of marijuana, an arsenal and three stolen Canadian passports. He is now in prison.

Criminal yearbook photo - seventy members of the UN Gang formed ranks for a recent photo. Note some wearing sweatshirts or T's with their "UN" logo. The boss, Clayton Roueche, is currently in U.S. custody.

Clayton Roueche, sporting a custom embroidered hoodie, makes his way to the graveside to burn joss for a fallen UN soldier.

Roueche, born and raised in Chilliwack and Abottsford, B.C., is a devotee of Asian martial arts and enjoys all the trappings, including gaudy insignia and Buddhist ceremonial.

This grave of a UN Gang member boldly proclaims him to be a "Warrior of the United Nations". The stone and burial were paid for by gang leader Clayton Roueche.

Another key factor was the fallout from the Apt 1505 murders in Surrey B.C. Public outrage over the fact that two of the six men executed were innocent bystanders, led to an intensified investigation. Police task forces received rare cooperation from gang associates who had previously maintained steadfast loyalty to Roueche, and were thus able to mount the tri-nation operation which culminated in his arrest. It remains to be seen if Roueche's lieutenants will successfully hold the distribution territory in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver suburbs which their boss assembled hit by hit.

At the pre-trail hearing in Seattle Roueche's lawyer offered a raft of testimonials including a statement from his family which claims he is a dutiuful father of three girls. A Buddhist temple in Langley, B.C. (a registered charity) provided a reference letter written by its President, Savath Homsab, which claims Roueche "regularly volunteered in fund-raising and doing all variety works to build up our temple." Roueche's father, Rupert, also provided a letter of support. The UN Gang leader is said to be his "only son," a good boy who in 1993 graduated from Sardis Secondary School in Chilliwack. Roueche put his son Clayton in Tae Kwan Do classes at age 12, with no thought of him using that discipline for criminal purposes.

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