Vancouver Police have arrested three alleged gang members and disrupted a murder conspiracy, as part of the VPD’s ongoing efforts to stem the tide of gang violence in the Downtown Eastside.
The VPD’s Organized Crime Section launched Project Thunder last month, after learning of a plot to target a known Downtown Eastside drug trafficker by rival gang members. 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.
“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,” says Sergeant Steve Addison, VPD. “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.
Vancouver Police, this summer, repeatedly raised concerns about escalating violence around Oppenheimer Park and in the Downtown Eastside. Extra officers were deployed throughout the neighbourhood, and a number of investigations were launched to target organized crime groups.
“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,” Sergeant Addison says. “We are still concerned about the proliferation of gun violence and brazen public shootings that have occurred in the Downtown Eastside. We will continue to focus our efforts on disrupting criminals that perpetuate violence in the neighbourhood.”
Anyone with information that can help VPD make the community safer is encouraged to call police or make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.