196632
201720

BC  

Alleged B.C. gang member gets five years in prison for trafficking offences

Fentanyl dealer gets 5 years

A B.C. man who was a mid-level player in B.C.’s drug trade will spend the next five years in prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges.

Andrew Miguel Best, 22, was charged with trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The drugs involved included fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.

Best said nothing when asked by Judge Reginald Harris if he had anything to say before sentencing.

The court heard while the gang in which Best, an alleged member of the Brothers Keepers crime gang, was involved with operated out of Vancouver, he was responsible for supplying street-level dealers with drugs for sale in the dial-a-dope operation.

Harris was told the investigation made it clear Best was a mid-level participant on Vancouver Island, notable Campbell River, as he had access to significant quantities of cash and knew the location of the drug stash house.

After he was sentenced, Best was handcuffed by a deputy sheriff and led away.

Best appeared in court late last year with others arrested as a result of a three-year investigation by a dedicated Brothers Keepers Task Force of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).

The investigation resulted in significant seizures, police said, including more than 11 kilograms of drugs including cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl; a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 calibre pistol; laboratory equipment and precursor chemicals used in the production and processing of synthetic drugs; and more than $50,000.

Court documents show the alleged offences occurred in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Kelowna, Kamloops and Maple Ridge.

The Brothers Keepers

The Brothers Keepers Task Force of the CFSEU reports The Brothers Keepers first emerged in B.C.’s gang landscape in 2017 and were immediately in direct conflict with rival gangs such as the Red Scorpions, the Wolfpack, the Hells Angels, the United Nations, and numerous other individuals and groups.

“This conflict resulted in violence manifesting on streets and in communities across the province,” police said.

CFSEU says the Brothers Keepers comprises about a dozen core members and that each member has criminal affiliations, networks and cells of varying sizes.

While that may only be about a core dozen, the network of 194 people, highlights the reach the Brothers Keepers has, police said.

“As their network grows, as is the case with other gangs, it increases their potential to recruit and expand outside of the Lower Mainland and British Columbia, demonstrating why it is important for the group to be targeted by law enforcement in order to disrupt this growth and criminal expansion," police said.

The task force was launched in 2018 and gained vital intelligence about the group, their drug trafficking network and violent gang activity that has impacted numerous communities around British Columbia.

The investigation involved use of analytical tools, such as social network analysis to explore intelligence and information about the Brothers Keepers, its networks and connections. That data yielded information leading to individual investigations into gang members that police said posed a risk to public safety.

“One of these investigations gathered substantial evidence related to the inter-provincial drug trafficking network of an alleged executive member of the Brothers Keepers, including their aggressive expansion of drug distribution territory from the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island and the Kamloops area,” police said.



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