The lawyer for an alleged high-ranking gang member already charged with eight weapons-related offences says he is mystified why his client is suddenly facing a new, unrelated weapons charge from more than two months ago.
Pat Fagan said the accused, 27 – who was released on bail on the charges stemming from an April 8 incident after a loaded handgun was found in the vehicle in which he was a passenger – was rearrested Thursday.
The accused was then charged with possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace, an offence that allegedly occurred on Feb. 26, the same day gang member John Pheng, 22, was fatally shot at a bar on 17th Avenue S.W.
Crown prosecutor Sue Kendall told Judge John Reilly the Crown will be proceeding by indictment, the more serious level of charges, against the accused.
Pheng’s shooting was one of more than a dozen incidents — and the most serious — across the city involving the use of firearms so far this year. No charges have been laid in connection with Pheng’s death.
“I expect police are beating the bushes trying to improve their position, vis a vis the Court of Queen’s Bench application by the Crown to revoke his existing bail,” Fagan said outside provincial court.
“About all I can tell you right now is that I received a call (Thursday) night from my client, telling me he was in custody. So I showed up and spoke to the matter.”
Fagan said the accused will remain in custody until he and the co-accused appear at their bail review next Thursday at Queen’s Bench.
He said he had no information, however, to suggest The Accused new charge has anything to do with Pheng’s slaying.
“I don’t know,” said Fagan. “I have not seen the disclosure. I can’t tell you one way or another.”
The accused was originally arrested along with two co-accused, both 21, after they were found in a silver 2000 Dodge Durango SUV with a loaded Glock handgun hidden in a secret compartment.
Police surrounded the vehicle at Stoney Trail and 16th Avenue N.W. on the evening of April 8.
All three were released the following day by a justice of the peace.
The accused was later arrested and charged with breaching his bail conditions for missing curfew, but released again last week by provincial court Judge Marlene Graham, despite opposition from Crown prosecutor Sue Kendall.