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Ex-UN gangster takes the stand at Cory Vallee murder trial

Kim Bolan

Undated handout photo of Jamie Bacon and Kevin LeClair.

Undated handout photo of Jamie Bacon and Kevin LeClair.

The fourth United Nations member to turn on his gangster brothers has taken the stand at the murder trial of alleged hitman Cory Vallee.

The former gang member, who can only be identified as "A", testified this week about making up to $250,000 a month for managing workers involved in transporting B.C. marijuana across the U.S. border by helicopter.

So far, he has not testified specifically about Vallee, who the Crown alleges shot and killed Red Scorpion rival Kevin LeClair in February 2009. Vallee is also charged with conspiracy to kill the Bacon brothers and their associates over several months in 2008 and 2009.

The year-long trial has already heard from three other former UN members-turned-Crown witnesses, all of whom are protected by sweeping publication bans on their identities.

D was the first to testify last April, followed by C in May, then B, who started in May and returned to the stand in October.

Witness A told B.C. Supreme Court Janice Dillon that he ran drug lines in B.C., opened up three unsuccessful meth labs and brought cocaine into the country as part of bigger shipments UN members had flown in from California.

Asked by Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Rennie what he did with all the money he made, A chuckled and said: "Whatever I wanted."

He described co-owning a business with then-UN gang member James Coulter, where they sold high-end car accessories.

And he said he called on Coulter to provide muscle after some Chilliwack marijuana purchasers paid him with a bag of “fake money.”

“Then I went and met with James in Chilliwack and we went to this house. It was in the garage and we sat this kid down in the chair and we got him to call these guys,” he said of the people who ripped him off.

“He called his friends and while I was talking on the phone to them, James shot him” in the foot.

A said he later checked the “kid’s foot” and the bullet had gone through the webbing of his toes so he wasn’t injured.

Rennie asked the former gangster about the cross-border drug smuggling that led to several arrests in the U.S., including that of gang founder Clay Roueche.

Roueche was picked up in Texas in May 2008 and later pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering. He was sentenced to 30 years.

A said he worked for Roueche and Doug Vanalstine, driving lots of marijuana from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley.

“Eventually, someone would pick up the weed and take it to the mountains and give it to a helicopter to fly it to the States,” A said.

He explained how drug transporters had a small convoy with “blocker” cars in front of and behind the vehicle carrying the marijuana.

“Some blocker cars will be out front scouting for cops or whatever and the ones in the back will be there so if they get pulled over, they can crash into the cop car or make a distraction or whatever the case was to give the guy some time to get out of there,” A said.

He rose up the ranks to managing the people sent to the U.S. side to unload the marijuana from the helicopters. They were called “catchers.”

That’s when he starting making the big bucks — $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

“We would buy cocaine in L.A. and we had a pilot who would pick it up and fly it back to Canada,” A said.

A is expected to be on the stand for two weeks.

The trial is expected to conclude next month.

kbolan@postmedia.com

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