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

Prince Rupert swimmers come out champions in regional swim meet

Handful of swimmers qualify for provincials

MVP of the Week: Hockey and McArthur are like a pair of old chums

Gary McArthur founded a league for those who aren’t quite ready to hang up their skates

UPDATE: Missing Prince Rupert boy found an hour after community widely shares news story

Brayden Quick was given up by his friends after community rallies and shares story

Back on track: Rampage cruise past Hazelton

Kory Movold hat trick, strong goaltending from Devon Gerrits aid Rampage in scrappy affair

Heart of Our City: Even kids can be a part of something big

Aisa Smithanik makes sure to include her family, and students, in her volunteer work

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read