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Thursday, 20 November 2008

UN gang leader Clay Roueche has been held in segregation near Seattle since his arrest last May on international drug-trafficking charges


07:54 |

UN gang leader Clay Roueche has been held in segregation near Seattle since his arrest last May on international drug-trafficking charges. His lawyer wants a judge to allow the Fraser Valley native into the general prison population pending his trial in January.
Roueche starting buying his cocaine directly from South America after more than 200 kilos and $750,000 cash were seized in the U.S., according to court documents filed Wednesday.In one bugged telephone call, Roueche agreed to "test the water" of a new cocaine route by smuggling more than 50 kilos and said he had a "bunch in Venezuela I've already paid for," the documents say.But the U.S. Attorney says Roueche is far too dangerous and could retaliate against other inmates who are cooperating with the government in the criminal case."Because of Roueche's leadership position in the UN gang, his previous use of another inmate's phone, his gang's violent tendencies toward those who might testify against other gang members and the necessity to separate him from a number of cooperators and co-defendants in the general population, administrators at the Federal Detention Centre made the decision to house the defendant at the Special Housing Unit," says the U.S. Attorney's response to Roueche's motion for free-range status.A major issue is how Roueche behaved in jail when he was briefly held in Oklahoma last May before being sent to the SeaTac Federal Detention Centre, making several illegal calls or getting other inmates to do it for him, the U.S. Attorney said."Oklahoma prison officials realized that he was speaking in code on the phone so denied him phone privileges," the documents say. "At the SeaTac FDC, the defendant convinced another inmate to let him use that inmate's telephone call number."Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies have been following Roueche and his UN underlings since 2005 as part of a massive cross-border investigation, the documents say."Working together, the agencies have found evidence of nearly two dozen cocaine exporting trips from the U.S. into Canada and the seizure of three separate cocaine loads," the U.S. Attorney said, adding that 2,000 pounds of B.C. bud was also seized."Clay Roueche is the operational leader as well as the public face of the UN gang. ... Its operations, mostly importing and distributing marijuana, have spread east across Canada to Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal. Working in cells, the organization has become powerful and violent in Canada."The U.S. Attorney also cited information from the B.C. agency investigating the UN, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit."In 2007, after a series of shootings in Chilliwack, Roueche's vehicle was stopped and found to contain a sophisticated hidden compartment in the centre console of the passenger area. That centre console was full of handguns, including an illegal and loaded pistol, several clips from a Sig firearm and a photograph of rival gang members," the documents say.
"CFSEU has surveilled Roueche consistently for the past few years and found that he routinely has armed body guards. One associate ... was found to have a hidden compartment in his car with a loaded handgun and oversized magazines. This gun was registered to a law enforcement agency in the United States."
Roueche's application to get out of segregation has not yet been heard by a judge.The Canadian's lawyer argues that Roueche's ongoing segregation amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment.""He is housed in his cell 23 hours a day. The only time he is allowed out is for one hour each morning at 6 a.m. Other than that, my client is completely isolated, except for visitation by legal counsel or family, who reside in British Columbia, Ca


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