Sunday, February 11, 2007
Organized crime in B.C.? Ha ha. Maybe not so laughable after all.
Soon after police raided the B.C. Legislature, the whole front page of Vancouver Sun was made up of 27 big questions, one of which was: "What, if anything, is the link between drugs, organized or commercial crime, to staff in the B.C. legislature? To the federal Liberal party?" [See my archives of 25/05/06 for all 27 questions].
Fast forward 3 years to The Globe and Mail article in which Gary Mason virtually laughed at the idea of organized crime in Victoria. Yes, ha ha. Very funny. And yet, people do wonder about that huge amount of cash from marijuana sales -- 1/4 of the B.C. economy -- where does all that money go?
Today's comment is an excerpt from Vancouver Province for 11 Feb. 07 an article titled "Police track B.C. pot expertise south of the border". - BC Mary.
... A study released by the Fraser Institute in 2006 pegged the retail value of marijuana grown in B.C. at $7 billion and estimated there are at least 17,500 grow-ops in the province.
Adam Otte, a DEA special agent, noted in Seattle District Court documents that the seven Vietnamese-American suspects arrested in Washington were seen at multiple grow-ops.
"I believe they were an organized crime group of marijuana growers who helped tend their associate's grows," Otte stated.
"It comes down to the business of huge profits," said Darryl Plecas, University College of the Fraser Valley criminology professor and author of the 2002 study Marihuana Operations in British Columbia.
"What's happening there (in Washington State) is characteristic of organized crime in general. They go wherever there's an opportunity," Plecas said.
Nor should it be surprising, says Julian Sher, award-winning author of The Road to Hell: How Biker Gangs Conquered Canada.
Sher points to an example of intelligence sharing in his book, where he documents how a Hells Angel acquired a recipe for the drug speed in a California jail, then promptly exported that recipe to colleagues in Australia for production.
"Technology, like drugs and money, flows very quickly in the organized crime world," said Sher. "It stands to reason that B.C., where the grow-ops are the biggest cash crop, that technology flows east and south."
Also "Oppal says there are 52 organized criminal groups operating in B.C." [Ref. Archives of this blog dated 5/15/2006]
The 28th question should be: what effect does $7 Billion a year in free-floating cash have upon the world we live in? Does it really have no effect whatever? If bushels of cash are available to people willing to flaunt the law (i.e., crooks), doesn't that cause changes? And no, this question isn't about marijuana itself; it's about a product which is bought and sold outside normal controls, providing a huge cash dispensary to citizens willing to compromise their reputations. How safe is that?
- BC Mary
I am surprised that you did not post anything on the CTV story last night about CN Rail. David Chudnovsky sent me an email to alert me to the story.
Check out the story on
I was aware of the CN strike issue earlier in the day but got involved in another important bit of B.C. history ... good thing you were on the job!
Blessed are the journalists when they really do their job, eh? Many thanks to CTV and W-5.
Sad part is these same individuals were caught smuggling $250 million worth of cocaine in February 2001. And yes you guessed it, in that case nobody was ever charged with anything.
I guess its sexier for the boys on horseback to arrest people who use marijuana for medical reasons and of course kick in the doors of the legislature where one of the aides had a rental house being used as a grow op. Good thing we have such intelligent police officers in the rcmp. Let the big fish get away but lets go after the homeless and others.
Just guessing, but I think you're advancing the idea that the RCMP is bad and that I ought to do something about that? Heh heh. Good one, Anon.
I ask you to check again, the mandate clearly printed at the top of this blog. It asks two questions of public interest ... and it says "Let's share what we know." Yes, that's it. No witch-hunts here. No judging the guilt or innocence of the accused. And no aspersions thrown. We're trying to find any facts available, we're sharing what we find.
Yes, I knew about the two interdictions involving Stirling and about their inexplicable release, but that has (so far as I know) no connection to The Legislature Raids. OK?
You seem to be talking about the 2nd big arrest, within the past year, which followed much the same pattern as the first arrest as desdribed in Julian Sher & William Marsden's book, "The Road to Hell, How the Biker Gang are Conquering Canada, pages 316-319. I recommend this book to you.
There was anguish within the police force when they were thwarted by what I'd call a misake in judgment by someone at Inspector level, in the bust involving $330 million in cocaine. But the cocaine was destroyed and the boat confiscated, although Stirling had to be released. Not such a shabby performance, but excruciating for The Horsemen as you call them, when they weren't successful in bringing in the Mr Bigs involved higher up.
To call the entire force corrupt, and preferring to "go after the homeless" instead ... that's not only cruel, it's also a stupid thing to say.
I know you're concerned about the B.C. Rail case. We all are. But you risk throwing sand in the gears by pre-judging this case, and witch-hunting.
I'm not a bit impressed, either, by anyone who would rather see the whole 37,000 RCMP go down in flames if it means proving that they were at fault, not Basi, Virk, or Basi. That's not justice. And the B.C. public deserves both their police force and justice.
So let's wait another 6 weeks for the evidence to start emerging, under oath.
Your 2nd comment did come in, but where did it land up? Maybe it will appear later.
You mentioned the Glen Clark back porch. I think we've been through that before but I'll say it one more time.
The entire 37,000-member RCMP was not -- not -- involved in the premier's back porch. Only one: Peter Montague, was involved in questionable, self-serving activities.
I don't have a magic wand, you know. But if I did, you'd be surprised what I'd do with it.
You're running close to the edge of tolerance. I've developed this web-site as a public service. I'm pleased to do so, because I think the public deserves to know what has happened to its legislature, its railway, and much, much more.
That means I'm free to tell you to take a flying leap off the nearest ferry, if you can't be civil when you come as a guest onto this web-site.
All comments come to first to my personal e.mail for approval. Rarely do I delete, but it's occasionally done for a good reason. Your 2nd comment today hasn't shown up here on this site after it was approved. I did mention this (above), and then answered your questions as I remembered them. That's going beyond the call of duty, but you call this "censoring".
You say that I am trying to change the facts ... that I have a "farcical notion" and am engaged in "wishful thinking". Nice. Really, really collegial.
So here's the deal: if your next comment is civil, positive, and informative, fine. But if it more of the ugly stuff like the above, you are toast.
There's no earthly reason why I should have to put up with your abuse.
You make sweeping generalizations and call them "fact and fact alone" whereas my statement regarding Montague is "simply untrue and baseless".
A conversation with you, I'm sorry to say, is a waste of time. You boast of knowing so much, and yet you've told us nothing. You're still edging toward the toaster.
What troubles me most is when anybody (in this case, you) target a segment of our familiar society and begin to sow public doubt and distrust against them. Don't you recognize this as a form of civil war? Or of social suicide? Or, in simplistic terms: hate?
Good God, man, I learned to seriously doubt and question authority when I was 7 years old. This doesn't entitle me to figuratively machine-gun every RCMP officer in Canada. This healthy question ing is simply the first step in analysis.
Do you know about Robin Mathews who led a group in actual, serious actions to open up the Glen Clark issue?
Look it up. Names, dates, times, actions, all specific. Maybe you can join in and help.
And did you observe the swift attacks on Glen Clark last month when he, having firsthand knowledge, made a public call for the release of the BC Ferries Safety Report? The actual villains were the same old powers still at work ... right there for all to see. Even you.
So don't try to bluff you way through these treacherous waters. These matters are far too serious for simplistic name-calling and mind-games.
Play it straight or push off, Anon.
I found this at the time and am now being reminded, really absurd. Have you ever heard of hauling coals to my grandma's hometown, Newcastle (the one in the UK)? People importing tons of (I read or heard somewhere - low quality) herbs into BC may be mentally not up to standing trial. It's one of those news items right up there with the cocaine on Paul Martin's ship's hull.
Anyway Mary, I admire your restraint as you are dealing with Mr (I'm scared to speak with attribution) Anonymous that knows all above. Maybe his mommy just never taught him any manners and he really doesn't mean to come across as an orifice that will remain un-named. So often you have to make clear what your blog is for and about, and you really do it well. Maybe you should have a permanent explanation under your c.v. on the front page or something.
I've been making a light weight posting at the house from time to time, as I anxiously await the real (hopefully) action to begin. Today I may ponder why Mike "defintely not Mensa material" DeJong is afraid of being in the house after dark.
Your visit is even more welcome than usual. I really do hate this stuff ... you would've found a much more elegant way to press home the point of your argument.
The hauling of low-grade marijuana northward surely struck me as the mark of ijits, too, but as you can see, I was verily steamed at the attempt to scythe 37,000 souls in one swell foop.
That Gary Mason article in The Globe in December was trying hard to lay all the blame on all the cops, too. All of them. Sheesh. Don't get me started again ...
And so -- a week from Monday -- all the lawyers for Basi, Virk, and Basi go back into Supreme Court in Vancouver. Any bets that this will result in the big OK to confirm the trial of the century? Do you think it'll still begin on 2nd April?
I think that even if it's delayed, it won't be delayed for long. Like, maybe until Monday, 30 April at the latest.
Grow houses, are all over the place. Pat Carney ,senator, used to refer sales of the stuff being the largest growth industry in BC, She mentioned that the stuff they grow underground is not fit for those who legally can buy the stuff. I sort of doubt the senator uses the stuff. If the stuff became legal, the police could spend more time doing other things. I await the court case as well as all of you.
I think what was done to Glen Clark by the Soup Nazi and his Criminal Conspiracy to deliver BC to the Corporate elite, mostly American, was atrocious. While there was obviously some RCMP involvement, especially Montague, as Mary suggests, there was also complicity by at least part of the Judiciary (signing warrants on the golf course in California, eh?)and the sordid bunch that passes for Media in our province.
Regarding the "seizure of $6.5 million dollars in illicit drugs coming into BC?" I was only commenting on the stupidity of the conspirators in importing that much (or any amount) of what in British Columbia would be considered low quality or compost. I wasn't criticizing the horsemen at all, and feel that those like Mason who suggest a force gone wild are PR stooges for the true criminals at worst or stupid at best. Not that the force doesn't screw it up often enough as in the Arar case, the other Muslims now getting an inquiry, the bogus Income Trust investigation during the last Federal election, the young handcuffed man shot in self defense in the back of the head in a room full of cops in Houston and whatever happened at the Rosko farm. It's obvious that there are problems to be solved and more people than the recently resigned King Mountie need to be held accountable and definitely not promoted, perhaps removed.
As to "how you explain the Arar affair?" other than saying the US is sticking its nose in too much of Canada's business and now with Harper in charge it's only getting worse. He wants to be president of Canada, or maybe preferaby the Governor of an American state called Canada. I have nothing but regret over what happened to Mehar Arar, but I also have nothing but great respect for him and his wonderful wife for the dignity and steadfastness with which they responded to the injustices and indignities to which they were subjected. I am proud that they found a home in my province and wish them nothing but the best.
Maybe you should re-read someone's comments before you get too carried away with what you think a person is saying. If you read some stuff at the House of Infamy (link above) you will see that my blog is kind of a companion or ally of Mary's - I guess I may just add a little more snark and sarcasm, which I've learned goes right over the heads of some folks. Hope this clears up your obvious mis-understanding of my previous comment.
Remember, the people most opposed to legalization (other than Harper and his trained fundie seals) are those in the business like bikers, gangs and gangsters and those in the "business" of interdiction!
So wouldn't it make sense of Carney did use the herb to alleviate the pain? I've known a person suffering from Sclerodoma who finds relief from the intense pain after one smoke of this benign herb, which can be legally obtained for medical purposes.
The stupidity of criminalizing marijuana actually benefits the criminals and black marketeers with $7 billion in free-flowing cash rippling through British Columbia annually, directly into Organized Crime, untaxed and unregulated.
We could declare beer or peanuts illegal and swamp the underworld with tax-free, unregulated, secret bushels of cash, too -- and create plenty more "crime". We've even been there, done that, with Prohibition during the Twenties, making a few families tremendously wealthy. But it did nothing to curb the use of that more dangerous drug: alcohol.
It would be simple to de-criminalize marijuana, as it was in early times. But no. Organized Crime appears to have something to say about our legislation ... isn't that how you read the situation?