HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Charges Against Victim Had Been Stayed
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Feb 2008
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


Just nine days before Pritpal Singh Virk was gunned down Saturday, a
series of drug charges laid against the Richmond teen had been stayed
by federal prosecutors, court records show.

Virk became Vancouver's fourth homicide victim of 2008 when he was
shot at close range about 11 p.m. Saturday in the 400-block of East
54th Ave.

The 19-year-old had been visiting friends on the street when he
decided to leave. Many in the quiet neighbourhood did not know there
had been a shooting until they heard the sirens of responding police

Several investigators remained on the scene throughout

Virk had been charged last spring after the high-profile drowning of
his friend when their rented vehicle plunged into the Nechako River
near Vanderhoof. They had just fled an RCMP road check.

Virk was pulled from the river and treated for hypothermia. But the
driver, 19-year-old Daljit Singh Sandhu, drowned. Police later found
170 marijuana plants in the recovered Ford Escape and both Virk and a
third man were charged.

But according to court documents, all the charges were stayed Jan. 24,

Friends say Virk was a confident, outgoing person whose mouth could
get him into trouble.

Police say the shooting appeared to be a targeted hit.

Meanwhile, a Port Coquitlam man has been identified as the victim of a
fatal stabbing in Pitt Meadows last week.

Justin Aaron Yusko, 28, was found wounded in a ditch about 7:45 p.m.
Jan. 29 by a passing motorist. He later died of his injuries.

RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team,
said Yusko was a regular drug user.

He had no criminal charges or convictions in B.C., according to a
court record search, though he had several speeding tickets in recent

"Based on information learned so far, investigators feel that this was
not random act," Carr said in a release.

In a separate incident, police in Abbotsford responded to a 911 call
late Friday about an assault in progress at a residence in the 31900
block of Hopedale Crescent.

They found a 23-year-old male suffering from several stab wounds. He
was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Abbotsford police Det. Daryll Pollock said Monday that a eight people
have now been charged.

"All of the individuals were known to each other. The victim of the
stabbing was not the intended target. The intended target was,
however, in the residence at the time," Pollock said.

He said the incident is not gang-related.

Those facing charges are Kamaldeep Singh Gill, 23; Rebecca Nikita
Russo, 19; Kyle Omar Pelletier, 18, and five young offenders who
cannot be identified. 
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