HA & Vernon Warehouse

Vernon RCMP confirm that a warehouse, which is the focus of an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of two men, is owned by an associate of the Hells Angels.

Earlier this week, RCMP confirmed that a task force is looking into the murders of five people in the Vernon area in the past 18 months. All of the victims had links to the drug trade. Police are also seeking information from the public on the disappearance of two more men. RCMP believe one of them has been killed and doubt if the other man is still alive.

Police are searching a warehouse in Vernon's industrial area for clues linked to the disappearances and confirm the building is owned by a man with a link to biker gangs.

His name is Zenon Stepkowski.

"It is our information that he is an associate of the Calgary chapter of the Hells Angels, but he is not a full patch member," says Corporal Red Leibel. "We also have information that he is a former member of the Rebels motorcycle gang in Calgary."

Leibel also hints that one or more of the five confirmed murder victims might have links to the Hells Angels.

"It is possible that one or more of the victims may be the type of person to either wear or be in the possession of the support paraphernalia of that club." But Leibel adds that none of the victims were full patch members of the Hells Angels.

In 2003, police raided Stepkowski's Vernon warehouse and arrested a number of people for drugs.

Leibel says it's possible there's a power struggle going on for the drug trade in the Vernon area.

"That's precisely one of the avenues the task force is pursuing. We're looking into whether there are relationships between the homicides and disappearances and are the commonalities gang related? That is certainly one of the avenues we're pursuing."

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