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.

Just Posted

South Okanagan man honoured with lifetime achievement award

The late Nick Bevanda to receive a lifetime achievement award for his architecture work

South Okanagan dangerous offender guilty plea struck down

Trial delayed again because Ronald Teneycke failed to elect his choice of trial

Do you have a craving for butter chicken? If so, you’re not alone in Penticton

According to SkipTheDishes, butter chicken is the most popular item in Penticton so far this year

South Okanagan-West Kootenay candidates talk climate change and environment at recent forum

Forum on Tuesday grilled candidates about plan to bring about low carbon emission economy

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Park shelter proposed in honour of Salmon Arm volunteer Rob Nash

City council supports plan while family and friends to cover cost of building, materials

Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read