By Kim Bolan/Special to the Langley Advance
The contentious secret video-tapaed conversation between accused killer Cory Vallee and an undercover cop in 2014 has now been completely played in B.C. Supreme Court.
His lawyer is fighting its admission, while the Crown wants to use the video as part of its evidence in the murder trial.
Vallee is charged with the second degree murder of Kevin LeClair in Walnut Grove in 2009. Justice Janice Dillon hasn’t yet ruled on its admissibility.
Vallee said he couldn’t go to the beach in Puerto Vallarta because there were just too many Canadians who might recognize him.
And he always had to wear long sleeves and pants to hide his tattoos even in the most stifling Mexican heat.
United Nations gang member and accused killer Cory Vallee described how tough his life was on the run, in a secretly recorded conversation with an undercover cop in 2014.
“The way you have to live in order to not get caught — the things you have to do, the things you have to sacrifice in order to live like that… it is a lot of stress man. It is a lot of stress,” Vallee complained.
Crown prosecutor David Jardine wants to use the video in evidence at Vallee’s B.C. Supreme Court trial on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy.
But Vallee’s lawyer Tony Paisana has applied to have the conversations ruled inadmissible, arguing the undercover cops broke the rules by prompting certain responses from Vallee.
Justice Janice Dillon watched the tape for several hours this week as Vallee’s trial for allegedly slaying a Red Scorpion gang rival continued.
On it, Vallee complained about how he was always looking over his shoulder while hiding out in Guadalajara, Mexico, for three years before his 2014 arrest.
“If I lived near the beach, it would have been a little bit more normal. But if I lived near the beach, I would have to worry about seeing people from Canada,” Vallee told the undercover cop planted in his cell at the Richmond RCMP detachment. “There are always a lot of people from Vancouver who go to Mexico. All it takes is one person to say ‘hey that’s the guy from the front page of the newspaper before.’”
He kept his circle small, talking only to “normal people” and not those involved in criminality, Vallee said.
When he went out shopping or to a restaurant, he would try to go at different times of the day so as not to attract police attention.
“But you can only go at so many different times over three years.”
He was arrested on Aug. 14, 2014 at a mall in Guadalajara and flown back to Vancouver in the early morning hours of Aug. 17.
Two undercover officers posing as criminals arrested at the airport were transported with Vallee to the Richmond detachment. One was placed in a cell with him. The identities of both cops are protected by a publication ban.
Vallee said he had to be careful that no one he encountered could see his distinctive tattoos.
“Do you know how shitty it is to wear a jacket in 40-degree heat with a long sleeve shirt?”
Vallee said he had to be disciplined. He stayed away from nightclubs and strip joints.
And he changed his appearance — both physical and by dropping “flashy clothes” from his wardrobe.
“You have to lose all the weight and try to blend in and make it look like you’re a nerdy person.”
His luck ran out when he ran into a former criminal associate about six months after moving away and cutting off ties with the man. He thinks that person tipped off Mexican police after getting arrested for selling drugs.
Vallee is charged with conspiracy to kill the Bacon brothers for several months in 2008 and 2009, and with murdering Bacon associate Kevin LeClair on Feb. 6, 2009.
He also told the undercover cop, who pretended to be from Winnipeg, how bloody the Lower Mainland gang war was years earlier, before he fled.
“That was back when like there was a lot of violence,” he said. “It was when there was a big gang war up here.”
He said a lot of younger guys –“kids” – get caught up in gang life without realizing what can happen.
“You can’t hang out with bad people and not expect bad things to happen to you,” he said. “I think now being older, I am more aware of that.”
Kim Bolan is a Vancouver Sun reporter.
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