Joe Bruno on the Mob – James Riach Goes to Court to Get his Armored SUV Back – Leaves Empty Handed


It took James Riach four years to get his day in court, but it turned out to be a waste of time.

http://www.amazon.com/Mobsters-Gangs-Crooks-Creeps-ebook/dp/B0058J44QO/ref=zg_bs_11010_1

Riach, accompanied by his lawyer, showed up at B.C. Supreme Court in November in an attempt to get back his armored Chevy Suburban (which Riach estimated was worth more than $80,000) seized by police four years ago.

Riach could have used that armored car on August 13, when he was riding with Hells Angels Larry Amero and reputed Red Scorpion gangster Jonathan Bacon in front of the Delta Grande Hotel in Kelowna, BC. The day turned deadly when masked gunmen suddenly opened fire. When the shooting stopped, Bacon was dead and Amero was seriously injured. Miraculously, before police arrived, Riach walked away from the scene relatively unharmed.

Four years ago, The Director of Civil Forfeiture put in a claim on Riach’s vehicle, and was holding it in an un-named pound. The agency’s written claim said that Riach and Ricky Singh Mann, who was in the car with Riach on Dec. 9, 2007 when the car was seized, are in the ‘Independent Soldiers,’ which is a group centered in the Lower Mainland and is involved in the manufacture and sale of controlled substances.”

The claim also said, “Riach does not have any or in the alternative sufficient legitimate income to account for his possession of the Chev Suburban. Riach purchased, possessed and maintained the Chevy Suburban in order to provide for his personal protection during and arising out of his unlawful activities.”

Lawyer Dirk Ryneveld, who was in court representing the Director of Civil Forfeiture, described the Suburban as “tricked out with all kinds of modifications. And it is either an instrument of criminal activity or a proceed of illegal activity.”

Before the proceedings went any further, according to a published reports in the Vancouver Sun, “Riach and his lawyer agreed to an out-of-court settlement and the trial ended. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. But the SUV will not be returned to Riach.”

So what was the big deal about appearing in court to get back a vehicle, then walking out of court empty handed?

Maybe a cash settlement was reached with Riach in exchange for the armored car. Or maybe, considering the Director of Civil Forfeiture’s claims about Riach’s criminality, Riach and his lawyer figured it was best to concede ownership of the vehicle, then walk quietly out of court, before someone put handcuffs on Riach and charged him with criminal acts, if proven in court, could put Riach behind bars for a very long time.

Your guess is as good as mine. But my guess, considering an armored car can’t do you any good while you’re sitting in prison, the real explanation is probably connected to the latter.

The article below can be seen at:

 http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Notorious+gangster+attends+court+despite+multiple+death+threats/5786332/story.html

Notorious B.C. gangster attends court despite multiple death threats

By KIM BOLAN, VANCOUVER SUN November 30, 2011

METRO VANCOUVER – Despite threats to his life, gangster James Riach showed up at B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday to fight to get back an armored Chevy Suburban, which he estimated was worth more than $80,000, and was seized by police four years ago.

Riach, identified in court documents as a member of the Independent Soldiers gang, arrived at the Vancouver Law Courts alone and dressed in a grey suit.

Just four months ago, Riach survived a gangland hit in Kelowna that left Red Scorpion gangster Jonathan Bacon dead.

Riach was in a Porsche Cayenne with Bacon and Hells Angels Larry Amero in front of the Delta Grande hotel on Aug. 13 when masked gunmen opened fire. Bacon died shortly afterwards, Amero was seriously injured and Riach was struck but left the scene before police arrived.

No one has yet been charged in the attack.

Tuesday was Riach’s first public appearance since the shooting, triggering extra security at the courthouse.

Members of the Vancouver Police Gang Crime Unit patrolled the corridors and sheriffs set up a search gate and metal detector outside the courtroom where his civil trial challenging the Director of Civil Forfeiture was set to begin.

Riach declined to comment to a Vancouver Sun reporter about his bid to reclaim his armoured Chevy Suburban, which he estimated was worth more than $80,000.

Nor would he comment on what happened in Kelowna last August.

Lawyer Dirk Ryneveld, representing the government agency, described the Suburban as “tricked out with all kinds of modifications” and said it was “either an instrument of criminal activity or a proceed of illegal activity.”

He told Justice Laura Gerow that Riach leased the seized Suburban in November 2007 and then spent more than $50,000 armouring it.

On Dec. 9, 2007 Riach and associate Ricky Singh Mann were driving through East Vancouver when police started following them, pulling the pair over in the 400-block of Windermere. While checking the vehicle, the officers got a radio call about a witness who had seen a gun thrown from the SUV while police were in pursuit.

Both Riach and Mann were charged with several firearms counts connected to a loaded Glock police recovered from the witness. Riach and Mann went to trial in Vancouver Provincial Court in 2008. In January 2009 Judge Malcolm MacLean convicted Mann and acquitted Riach.

The Director of Civil Forfeiture’s statement of claim against Riach said that he and Mann are in the “Independent Soldiers, which the plaintiff says is a group centered in the Lower Mainland and is involved in the manufacture and sale of controlled substances.”

“Riach does not have any or in the alternative sufficient legitimate income to account for his possession of the Chev Suburban,” the claim said. “Riach purchased, possessed and maintained the Chev Suburban in order to provide for his personal protection during and arising out of his unlawful activities.”

And the claim said the modifications to the vehicle made it overweight and unsafe, something that Ryneveld stressed Tuesday. He also said that since the SUV was seized, new B.C. legislation restricts ownership of armoured vehicles.

Ryneveld asked Gerow to admit the earlier provincial court ruling to avoid calling the same witnesses in the civil trial, something that Riach’s lawyer Angela Rinaldis opposed.

Gerow ruled in favour of the Director of Civil Forfeiture Tuesday afternoon, paving the way for Ryneveld to call his first witness – police gang specialist Doug Spencer.

But before Spencer could testify about his knowledge of Riach’s criminal involvement, Riach and his lawyer agreed to an out-of-court settlement and the trial ended.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. But the SUV will not be returned to Riach.

kbolan@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Notorious+gangster+attends+court+despite+multiple+death+threats/5786332/story.html#ixzz1iVjyjHC7

http://www.josephbrunowriter.com/index.html

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