Teaming up against organized crime

Teaming up against organized crime

Abbotsford was once groundzero for gang warfare that raged across the Lower Mainland. Police initiatives, including the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit CFSEU, and the Abbotsford Police Department Gang Suppression Unit, have turned the tide. This is a CFSEU and Abbotsford News special report.

Gang violence and murders escalated in the Lower Mainland in 200809, fueled by rival gangs battle for dominance in the competitive drug trade.

Leading this bloody war on one side was the Red Scorpions gang headed by Abbotsfords notorious Bacon brothers Jamie, Jarrod and Jonathan while on the other was the United Nations Gang.

Abbotsford recorded eight homicides in 2008 and 11 in 2009 most gangrelated leading to the city being dubbed the Murder Capital of Canada.

The violence sometimes spilled onto city streets as epitomized by the incident in January 2009 in which numerous shots were fired at Jamie Bacon in broad daylight while he was in his vehicle at the busy intersection of South Fraser Way and Sumas Way.

The Abbotsford Police Department responded to the violence by forming its gang suppression unit GSU in April 2010. The GSUs focus was the disruption and intervention of gang activity, working in consultation with other agencies such as the regional Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit CFSEUBC, which is the provinces antigang police unit.

CFSEUBC is an integrated joint forces operation that draws and develops highly specialized officers from federal, provincial and municipal agencies around the province, including Abbotsford.

Although the Red Scorpions collapsed with the imprisonment of two Bacon brothers, and the murder of the third, the CFSEU and other units continue to operate as other people fill the roles left by gangsters who have been jailed or killed.


The Abbotsford Police Departments gang suppression unit GSU was formed in April 2010 in response to the number of gangrelated murders and violent crimes in the city. When the unit formed, police said their top concern was public safety, as they aimed for a 20 per cent drop in violent gang crime and a 15 per cent reduction in listed gang associates. Those numbers have since been reached. The 14member teams role is to disrupt gang activity, keep tabs on known criminals and make arrests where necessary.

Police Chief Bob Rich has always said the goal is to make Abbotsford a miserable place for criminals to do business. His was the first department to identify the Duhres as a prominent crime group in the Lower Mainland. The GSU works in consultation with other agencies, including the CFSEUBC, to coordinate investigations.

CFSEUBC is made up of police officers from:Other partners include the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Organized Crime Agency of British ColumbiaOCABC, a fully independent and provinciallydesignated police agency.