Those honoured at the Southeast District RCMP annual awards ceremony gathered for a group picture on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

RCMP officers recognized for taking down Hells Angels, fighting B.C. wildfire

Officers were recognized for fighting the 2017 Ashcroft fire and dismantling a Hells Angels ring

From fighting wildfires to dismantling a Angel crime ring, a group of RCMP police officers were recognized by the Southeast District RCMP during their annual awards ceremony on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna.

Chief superintendent Brad Hugali said he couldn’t be more proud to bearwitness to the accomplishments of so many police officers, employees of the RCMP and partners with the BC Conservation Service.

Most notably, the ceremony recognized the efforts of members of the RCMP and BC Conservation Service that risked their lives to combat the Elephant Hill wildfire near Ashcroft in July 2017.

At its height, the Elephant Hill wildfire grew to 52,600 hectares in size and was the biggest fire burning in B.C. at the time.

Homes in Ashcroft and Loon Lake were destroyed by the wildfire that was classified as “out of control.”

“A perfect example to show the dedication to duty is demonstrated by Const. Nicholas Theoret who was the acting commander of Ashcroft during that day,” said Hugali.

“He watched his house burn, but he remained on duty to help other people in the community be safe and no lives were lost.”

Sergeant Brandon Buliziuk, who had no experience fighting wildfires, recalled the start of the wildfire near Ashcroft on that fateful day.

“I remember cresting the hill to drop into Cache Creek and that was when you could see fire on every side of the community,” she said.

“It hit right then that this isn’t minor, this is going to be crazy and it’s time to get to work.”

There was also special recognition to members of the Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) group who were involved in Project E-Predicate.

Project E-Predicate was an investigation that spanned over two-years across international borders in an effort to charge two senior Angels members and six others across B.C. for drug trafficking.

READ MORE: Insights into Kelowna’s Hells Angels Clubhouse deemed inadmissible

READ MORE: Hells Angels, strippers partied at B.C. community centre

Four of those eight, including David Gillies, the vice-president of the Angels Kelowna chapter, was also charged with conspiring to import 500 kilograms worth of cocaine.

”What’s so significant about E-Predicate is that it started out as a small group of police officers having a goal and ended up apprehending and convicting a large number of people that included individuals that were linked to the Hell’s Angels,” said Chief Hugali.

“To me, that is a significant disruption into organized crime that took place and began right here in Kelowna.”

Several police officers were also recongized for their long-term service with the police force.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McDougall-Percillier gets top Rugby Canada honour

“I’m really stoked about getting this award”

Business notes: WINGS set to close on Aug. 29

A few of the things going on in Cowichan’s business community

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read