Sunday, January 1, 2012

Vancouver mayor's foster son still sought by RCMP on gun, drug charges

RCMP investigators have been in touch with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson about the drugs and guns investigation of his former foster son Jinagh Navas-Rivas, who is wanted by police and is still at large.

However, a police spokesman would not say whether the mayor was informed of allegations that Navas-Rivas, 21, was involved in a dial-a-dope operation before a search warrant was executed earlier this month. Navas-Rivas and four others now face drug trafficking and guns charges following a six-month probe by the Richmond RCMP.

?We?re not commenting on that,? said Lower Mainland RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter Thiessen at a news conference Friday. Thiessen also refused to comment on Navas-Rivas? relationship with Robertson. ?That information is in the public domain ... but we?re not commenting on the family connections of any of these individuals.?

In a statement Thursday, Robertson said he had learned of the charges that day and urged his former foster son to surrender to the authorities.

?I am disappointed to hear that Jinagh is wanted by the Richmond RCMP and I urge him to turn himself in to the police immediately,? Robertson said in the statement. Robertson added Navas-Rivas has been on his own since June 2009. The mayor is on vacation in Hawaii with his wife Amy and their three other children.

Thiessen said the Vancouver police department was also involved in the investigation but wouldn?t elaborate on the details. ?They provided support to the investigation, which was led by Richmond,? he said.

The RCMP and VPD refused to comment when questioned about the potential security implications of the mayor?s former foster son being involved in serious crime.

Navas-Rivas is alleged to have illegally transferred a .22-calibre Ruger pistol on Nov. 18 ? the day before his former foster dad was re-elected mayor of Vancouver.

Over the course of the investigation, police seized 15 ounces of cocaine, one pound of marijuana, several vials of steroids and street-level amounts of MDMA.

Three handguns with ammunition have also been seized as part of the investigation that began in June.

Thiessen said no clear gang links have been established between any of the accused, but the investigation is continuing.

Three suspects, including Navas-Rivas, remain at large.

The RCMP arrested Leslie James Miller of Vancouver, 29, last week in connection with the investigation. He appeared in Richmond Provincial Court Wednesday and was remanded until Jan. 5.

Another accused, Willie Sing Cheung Truong, 23, also from Vancouver turned himself in to Vancouver police Thursday.

He appeared in Richmond Provincial Court on Friday and was released on conditions. His next court date is also set for Jan. 5.

Police are appealing to the public for tips to locate Vinh Hoang David Le, 25, Raymond Kwok Pui Ma, 47, and Navas-Rivas.

Thiessen also said investigators hope three more suspects will be charged in connection with the probe.

With a file from Mike Hager

? Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


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