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Judge to accept sentencing submission after gang members’ guilty pleas

B.C.’s former minister of public safety and solicitor general John van Dongen stands near a photo of the UN Gang with leader Barzan Tilli-Choli highlighted during a news conference at RCMP headquarters in Vancouver on March 3, 2009.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

A B.C. Supreme Court judge says she will accept a joint submission that called for sentences between 11 and 14 years for five men who pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder the Bacon brothers and their gangland associates.

Madam Justice Janice Dillon told the court Wednesday she has decided to accept the submission from Crown and defence lawyers. She won't disclose her reasons until next week, however, when the men return to court to complete sentencing.

The men – Yong Sung John Lee, Dilun Heng, Barzan Tilli-Choli, Karwan Ahmet Saed, and Ion Kroitoru – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

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The Crown said Tuesday the men should receive sentences between 11 and 14 years for "terrorizing the public" and showing a "blind indifference to human life."

Prosecutor Ralph Keefer said the men – linked to the United Nations gang – showed "arrogance" by participating in what were essentially "human safaris."

The men were arrested in 2009, as the United Nations gang fought for turf with the Bacon Red Scorpions group, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Mr. Keefer said Mr. Kroitoru should receive a 13-year sentence because he played an active role in hiring a hit man to try to kill Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie Bacon, and has a substantial record of violence.

Mr. Keefer told the court Mr. Tilli-Choli should receive a sentence of 14 years due to his involvement in two incidents. The first was an unsuccessful plan to attack a limousine linked to a Bacon associate as it left a Lil Wayne concert. The second was a non-fatal shooting outside a bar.

Mr. Saed and Mr. Heng should receive 12-year sentences, and Mr. Lee 11 years, the prosecutor said. Mr. Kroitoru and Mr. Saed should receive additional years on a drug charge, Mr. Keefer said, but that time would be served concurrently.

All five men would receive double credit for the time they've already spent behind bars. They would serve another two years and eight months to almost five years behind bars, depending on the specific point at which the man was arrested.

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