VANCOUVER — United Nations gang hitman Cory Vallee was handed two life sentences Friday for conspiracy to kill rivals in the Red Scorpion gang, as well as the deadly shooting of Kevin LeClair in a Langley parking lot almost a decade ago.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon said it was necessary to send a strong message “that gang warfare on the streets of our communities will not be tolerated.”
“Vallee and other members of the UN gang engaged in an organized, highly sophisticated, technologically adept and well-armed manhunt for the Bacon brothers and their associates,” Dillon said.
“Vallee played a key role and was the only one paid full-time to hunt and kill in the conspiracy. His blameworthiness is high.”
Vallee was convicted in June of first-degree murder for LeClair’s slaying, which carries an automatic life sentence with no parole for at least 25 years.
He was also found guilty of conspiracy to kill Red Scorpion brothers Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie Bacon and their gang associates over several months in 2008 and 2009.
A sentencing hearing on the conspiracy count was held over several days in October and November, resulting in the second life sentence Friday.
Dillon said members of the public were terrified by several public shootings that were part of the conspiracy, including the Burnaby slaying of stereo installer Jonathan Barber on May 9, 2008, who was mistaken for one of the Bacons. His girlfriend Vicky King was seriously injured.
“Vallee had many opportunities to relinquish his role as a hitman, especially after the horror of the mistaken shooting of the innocents, Barber and King,” Dillon said.
“That he did not pull back is a chilling reminder of the capacity for violence in this man.”
She said that Vallee was paid by the UN for his work as a hitman, missing so many days at his regular job as a North Vancouver garbageman that he was fired in October 2008.
“He was hired by the leader of the gang solely to hunt, wreak havoc and to kill rival members.”
He opened fire on LeClair at a crowded Langley strip mall on the afternoon of Feb. 6, 2009.
“This killing was performed execution style in daylight in the parking lot of a busy shopping mall. He was the designated hitman or shooter on this mission and performed his role to the full with an automatic weapon,” Dillon said.
“These events were unbelievable, movie-like, to citizens not expecting to find themselves in a gang war zone.”
She said Vallee had no one speak up for him at his sentencing and has provided no explanation to the court about why he committed the crimes. He refused to participate in almost all inmate programming and he has continued to maintain close ties to UN gang members while in jail.
“He remained loyal to his criminal organization, requesting to have continued contact with known co-conspirators and other gang members. He did not accept responsibility for his actions and did not directly or through counsel express a scintilla of remorse,” Dillon said.
“In the face of the obvious dangerousness of this offender, his propensity to kill for money and the maintenance of contacts with the UN gang, this lack of information is troubling and suggests the need for a severe sentence, in the face of persistent potential danger to the public. There is no basis here for this court to conclude that Vallee will be any different in character if he is ultimately released from jail.”
She also ordered Vallee to have no contact with a long list of UN gang members and associates, including three men who pleaded guilty in May 2008 to murder and conspiracy to kill Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna in 2011.
Dillon said inmates connected to the UN gang have written coded letters to each other in jail and have improperly shared disclosure in their various criminal cases.
“Continuing communication between UN gang members or associates potentially perpetuates criminal activity within the UN gang culture of loyalty,” Dillon said. “Maintenance of the UN gang as a criminal organization through continued contact between members and associates is not to be fostered in the interest of public safety.”