Gang member pleads guilty

A man police described as a “veteran” Independent Soldier gang member pleaded guilty to several drugs and weapons charges Monday, more than three years after his arrest.

Donahugh McWhirter, 46, was arrested with his girlfriend, 28-year-old Brittany Stinn, in Kelowna on Jan. 29, 2015.

At the time, police said the arrest was a year in the making, after the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. learned the Independent Soldiers were recruiting new members for a planned resurgence.

"An investigation began with the goal of both targeting this veteran IS member's alleged criminal activity, which was reported to include drug, violence and weapon-related offences, and disrupt the possible resurgence of the IS in the Okanagan," police said at the time.

On Monday, McWhirter pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and MDMA for the purpose of trafficking, along with unlawful possession of a shotgun and rifle while he was prohibited.

Police said at the time that three large boxes of clothing with the Independent Soldiers logo were found in a Lake Country house in connection with the arrest.

McWhirter will be back in court on May 28 for a three-day sentencing hearing. Stinn's matter is still before the courts, and she'll be back in court on May 28.

The pair have been out of custody on bail since their arrest.

Police have been dealing with members of the Independent Soldiers in the Okanagan back to 2006

Independent Soldier James Riach was in the same SUV as Jonathan Bacon when Bacon was shot and killed in Kelowna in August 2011.

In March 2017, a 26-year-old man with a large Independent Soldiers tattoo was found dead near Vernon.


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