Pubdate: Thu, 08 Nov 2007
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2007 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Glenn Kauth


The gang violence that has rocked Vancouver in recent weeks could be 
on its way to Edmonton, the head of the city police gang unit said yesterday.

"It's coming here if it's not already here," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Galvin.

The comments come as Vancouver police this week moved to set up a new 
task force in the wake of a succession of gang shootings in the city. 
The latest incident was Tuesday, when two men died in a hail of 
bullets on one of Vancouver's main thoroughfares. And on Saturday, 
Hong Chao Huang, a reputed leader of the notorious Circle Boys gang, 
was gunned down in front of his mansion.

According to Galvin, the violence stems from a decrease in the price 
of marijuana. As a result, gangs that trade in the drug have found 
themselves in financial distress as they struggle to pay off debts 
they took on when weed prices were higher.

It's when business goes sour that gang violence tends to peak as drug 
dealers turn on each other over unpaid debts, Galvin noted. He added 
that the gangs involved in the Vancouver shootings have links to 
Edmonton, meaning the violence could spread here. "A lot of our 
groups do business with people in B.C. and they'll be extended as 
well," he said.

But while Edmonton could see more shootings, Galvin said most 
incidents shouldn't touch the general public since they usually 
involve fights within or between gangs.

Galvin also said gang activity in Edmonton is on the rise as 
Alberta's booming economy fuels an increased demand for drugs.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman