Vancouver Police have arrested three alleged gang members and “disrupted a murder conspiracy,” as part of what they said is the VPD’s ongoing efforts to stem the tide of gang violence in the Downtown Eastside.
The arrests came about this past week after the VPD launched Project Thunder last month, which began after police after learned of a plot to target a known Downtown Eastside drug trafficker by rival gang members.
Police said the alleged conspiracy involved members of the Redd Alert and Independent Soldiers – organized crime groups that are active in drugs, weapons, and violence in the Downtown Eastside.
Brian Kiraly-Miller, 26, of Vancouver, and Stefan Janic, 25, of New Westminster, were arrested Saturday night in Burnaby by the VPD’s Emergency Response Team.
A third suspect, 26-year-old Cameron Oppenheim, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Vancouver.
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“This is a major break in the VPD’s ongoing efforts to reduce gang violence and protect vulnerable people who live in the Downtown Eastside,” said VPD Sgt. Sergeant Steve Addison.
“We will continue to target those who prey on the vulnerable and incite violence in the community.”
Miller and Janic were charged Sunday with conspiracy to commit murder. Oppenheim appeared in court Wednesday and was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He is also under investigation for his alleged role in a home invasion on October 3, in Vancouver’s West End.
“These three arrests have made the Downtown Eastside a safer place, and should serve as a warning to others intent on committing violence in our city,” said Addison.
However, police are “still concerned about the proliferation of gun violence and brazen public shootings that have occurred in the Downtown Eastside,” he added.
“We will continue to focus our efforts on disrupting criminals that perpetuate violence in the neighbourhood.”