Those honoured at the Southeast District RCMP annual awards ceremony gathered for a group picture on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

RCMP officers recognized for taking down Hells Angels, fighting B.C. wildfire

Officers were recognized for fighting the 2017 Ashcroft fire and dismantling a Hells Angels ring

From fighting wildfires to dismantling a Angel crime ring, a group of RCMP police officers were recognized by the Southeast District RCMP during their annual awards ceremony on Thursday afternoon in Kelowna.

Chief superintendent Brad Hugali said he couldn’t be more proud to bearwitness to the accomplishments of so many police officers, employees of the RCMP and partners with the BC Conservation Service.

Most notably, the ceremony recognized the efforts of members of the RCMP and BC Conservation Service that risked their lives to combat the Elephant Hill wildfire near Ashcroft in July 2017.

At its height, the Elephant Hill wildfire grew to 52,600 hectares in size and was the biggest fire burning in B.C. at the time.

Homes in Ashcroft and Loon Lake were destroyed by the wildfire that was classified as “out of control.”

“A perfect example to show the dedication to duty is demonstrated by Const. Nicholas Theoret who was the acting commander of Ashcroft during that day,” said Hugali.

“He watched his house burn, but he remained on duty to help other people in the community be safe and no lives were lost.”

Sergeant Brandon Buliziuk, who had no experience fighting wildfires, recalled the start of the wildfire near Ashcroft on that fateful day.

“I remember cresting the hill to drop into Cache Creek and that was when you could see fire on every side of the community,” she said.

“It hit right then that this isn’t minor, this is going to be crazy and it’s time to get to work.”

There was also special recognition to members of the Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) group who were involved in Project E-Predicate.

Project E-Predicate was an investigation that spanned over two-years across international borders in an effort to charge two senior Angels members and six others across B.C. for drug trafficking.

READ MORE: Insights into Kelowna’s Hells Angels Clubhouse deemed inadmissible

READ MORE: Hells Angels, strippers partied at B.C. community centre

Four of those eight, including David Gillies, the vice-president of the Angels Kelowna chapter, was also charged with conspiring to import 500 kilograms worth of cocaine.

”What’s so significant about E-Predicate is that it started out as a small group of police officers having a goal and ended up apprehending and convicting a large number of people that included individuals that were linked to the Hell’s Angels,” said Chief Hugali.

“To me, that is a significant disruption into organized crime that took place and began right here in Kelowna.”

Several police officers were also recongized for their long-term service with the police force.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Mainstreams completing planting project along Mark Creek

The project is part of their initiative to educate the community about Kimberley’s watershed

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Green and NDP candidates talk strategic voting at Nelson public meeting

Wayne Stetski and Abra Brynne traded ideas but made no concessions for this election

Kimberley Riverside Campground will remain a campground, Mayor McCormick says

There will be terms to any sale of Bootleg Gap or Riverside

WATCH: Mobile glass blowing studio sets up shop in Kimberley

Mountain Grass Glass Gallery and The Glass House Experience team up to offer glass blowing workshops

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Most Read