Borderline Drug Violence

LA Times Northwest correspondent Kim Murphy picks up today on the gangland violence in Vancouver B.C., perpetrated in part by now-convicted gang leader Clayton Roueche, who was profiled in a 2008 SW piece. (That's his United Nations gang monogrammed cocaine, left). Stumbling into a trap laid by U.S. officials, he was arrested in Texas on a Seattle drug-running warrant and, after pleading guilty here in April, faces up to 30 years when sentenced this September. Of course others have taken his place, and with the Mexican drug war choking off coke exports, the dwindling border-to-border drug flow has caused prices and killings to soar in B.C.

"Drug dealers are gunning down women (one in a car with her 4-year-old son in the back seat), high school students with no gang allegiances and, especially, one another, in broad daylight in and around the city that will host the 2010 Winter Olympics," writes Murphy. "It got so bad this spring that police erected concrete barriers outside the homes of two gangsters to slow down potential drive-by assassins." Police have tamed some of the fighting, but "In some ways," says an official, "we've lost this generation of gangsters, they're so immersed in the gang world. About the only thing we can do is incarcerate them."

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