Arrests made in a series of BC violent crimes have Alberta connections

A multi-jurisdictional investigation, led by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia, the Edmonton Police Service, and Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has resulted in the arrest of two violent and dangerous prolific offenders from Edmonton, who committed heinous crimes while in B.C.

In 2014, a number of murders, attempted murders, and violent home invasions, involving the torture and mutilation of victims, were committed in Edmonton and in several municipalities in the Lower Mainland. Investigators learned that these violent offences were being committed by individuals based out of Edmonton and that they deliberately came to B.C. for this purpose. The primary activities of this crime group appear to be involvement in murders, home invasions, robberies, kidnappings, extortions, and drug trafficking.

In the fall of 2014, the CFSEU-BC, Edmonton Police Service, and IHIT collaborated together on a joint forces operation to investigate the group that grew to include the IHIT after the murder of 23-year-old Theoren Poitras in Richmond. The violent and transient nature of this crime group posed great challenges to conventional investigative strategies and heightened the risk to public safety, and therefore a joint forces initiative was established.

On September 23, 2014 four unknown males forced entry into a basement suite located in the 7600 block of 146A Street, Surrey. The suspects were masked when they entered the residence and duct taped the victim. Upon hearing the commotion next door, two male neighbours went outside the residence where they encountered the suspects. An altercation ensued between the neighbours and the suspects, and one of the suspects fired three shots at the two neighbours. One of the shots hit one of the men in the jaw. The suspects fled and the victim was rushed to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

The investigation into this incident has now resulted in Peter Blake Edmonds, a 24-year-old Edmonton man, being charged with one count of the use of a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence.

In the early morning hours of October 2, 2014, Theoren Poitras was found face down in a pool of blood in the northwest corner of RC Talmey Elementary School, in the 9500 block Kilby Drive, Richmond after witnesses reported hearing shots fired.

Peter Edmonds was identified as someone who allegedly assisted with getting rid of evidence after the murder and he has also been charged with accessory after the fact in Poitras’ murder.

Evidence gathered also led to the arrest of the person who police believe killed Poitras.

The joint forces operation has also determined that Sean Jacob Lee Jennings was the alleged shooter. Jennings, a 27-year-old Edmonton man, who is currently in custody in Edmonton on a number of other charges being announced today in Edmonton, has also been charged with one count of first degree murder in the death of Theoren Poitras.

“As British Columbia’s integrated anti-gang police agency, it is essential that the CFSEU-BC collaborate with units like IHIT as well as our policing partners, in the RCMP, Edmonton Police Services, and Vancouver Police Department to not only ensure communities around the province are safe from gang- related violence,” says the CFSEU-BC’s Chief Officer, Chief Superintendent Kevin Hackett. “This most recent collaborative effort demonstrates the value and impact that can be made when we all work together to stop gang violence.”

Superintendent Dwayne McDonald, OIC, IHIT says, “The investigation into the murder of Theoren Poitras was an integrated effort involving a number of agencies. Our investigators were able to make a connection between the murder of Theoren Poitras and the alleged suspects, in part, because of the partnerships we share with other agencies such as CFSEU-BC and EPS.” McDonald says, “The murder of Theoren Poitras, who was connected to organized crime, is believed to have been targeted and represented a substantial risk to public safety.”

The Edmonton Police Service has been pleased to work collaboratively with its policing partners to address this dangerous, unpredictable group and the clear threat they posed to public safety in our communities. According to Acting Deputy Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, head of the EPS Criminal Investigation Division, “This complex joint-forces investigation has had a tremendous impact in the City of Edmonton. Offenders have been brought to account for a senseless murder in one of our entertainment districts, as well as a number of brutal home invasions involving levels of violence and intimidation so extreme that it is difficult for most to comprehend.”

“Today’s outcome is a testament to the fact that organized crime has no respect for community, city, or provincial boundaries,” says A/Commr. Dan Malo, RCMP Lower Mainland District Commander. “It also reinforces the importance of law enforcement agencies working together to target members of these organized crime groups who pose the highest risk to community safety. As challenging as these multi- jurisdictional incidents can be to investigate, our investigations will never be limited by geographical boundaries.”

CFSEU-BC in collaboration with IHIT, the Surrey RCMP, Vancouver Police Department, and the Edmonton Police Service effectively utilized the expertise and abilities of each agency to most efficiently target the gang activity and effectively disrupt and dismantle their ability to operate.

The CFSEU-BC, IHIT, RCMP, and Edmonton Police Service would like to thank the numerous support units from both provinces that contributed to and assisted on the investigation which included the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) and numerous Vancouver Police and RCMP units throughout the Lower Mainland.

For more information on the Edmonton Police charges and news release, please visit www.edmontonpolice.ca.

CFSEU-BC Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Lindsey Houghton

Desk: 778-290-3099
Mobile: 604-764-9085

Edmonton Police Service Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Steve Sharpe

Desk: 780-421-3564

IHIT Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Stephanie Ashton

Desk: 778-290-4363
Mobile: 604-369-2897

LMD RCMP Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Annie Linteau

Desk: 778-290-2889
Mobile: 604-910-6892

Vancouver Police Department Media Relations Officer: Sergeant Randy Fincham

Desk: 604-717- 3679

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