Special to the Langley Advance
Accused United Nations gang killer Cory Vallee raised his friendship with gang leader Clay Roueche in a secretly recorded conversation with an undercover cop, a Crown prosecutor said Wednesday.
Crown counsel David Jardine said the fact it was Vallee who introduced the topic of Roueche to his cop “cellmate” in August 2014 is proof the accused killer was speaking freely and was not manipulated by police.
Vallee’s lawyer Tony Paisana is trying to get the recordings thrown out of evidence at Vallee’s trial for the 2009 murder of Red Scorpion Kevin LeClair.
Paisana earlier told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon that undercover police improperly elicited comments from Vallee in violation of his Charter rights.
But Jardine argued that Vallee is the one volunteering information about being involved in “gang shit,” being a friend of Roueche’s and hiding out in Mexico because of his charges.
“He talks about Clay Roueche being his buddy at least four times,” Jardine said.
The first reference to Roueche came after Vallee asked the undercover cop if he had seen the movie Captain Phillips, Jardine said.
Vallee said that the Somali pirate upon which the Tom Hanks film is based is in the same U.S. prison as “my friend.”
Jardine said the recordings contain important evidence about Vallee’s “relationship or knowledge of and association to Clay Roueche.”
Roueche is an alleged co-conspirator in the same murder case as Vallee, but has not been charged because he is serving a 30-year U.S. sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering. When one of the undercover cops asked Vallee where he is from, Vallee said: “Read the paper tomorrow man … I’ll be front page.”
“This opening exchange between Mr. Vallee and the undercover police is illustrative of his desire to talk about what an important and notorious criminal he is,” Jardine said. Jardine said Vallee also offered voluntary comments about “fleeing Canada to go to Mexico through the United States, his lifestyle, what he does to avoid detection in Mexico, his knowledge of the offences with which he is charged in Canada and his knowledge of his co-accused or rather his co-conspirators.”
Vallee knew he was being recorded after his arrest and continued to make incriminating comments during his conversation with the police, Jardine said.
“Mr. Vallee’s awareness of being recorded negates any possibility of statements from him being actively elicited because he made the conscious choice to speak knowing they were being recorded,” Jardine said.
“He is exercising his freedom to choose to speak knowing the police are hearing it.”
Vallee is alleged to have gunned down LeClair in the parking lot of a Langley strip mall on Feb. 6, 2009, at the height of a gang war between the United Nations gang and Red Scorpions. He is also charged with conspiring to kill the Bacon brothers and their Scorpion associates over several months in 2008 and 2009.
– Kim Bolan is a reporter for the Vancouver Sun. Read more Sun stories HERE.