- 2015 Federal Election
Jesse West planned to profit from crime ring
Jesse Blue West was making plans to buy a new truck and take a Mexican vacation following his $32,000 payment for participating in a "big score" with a criminal organization.
What he didn't know until after his arrest in March 2007 was that the criminal organization was fake – part of a "Mr. Big" sting operated by undercover police officers.
The sting was conducted in late 2006 and early 2007 to determine what, if any, role West had played in the 2005 murder of 14-year-old Chelsey Acorn of Abbotsford.
West's trial for first-degree murder is currently underway in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack.
The lead investigator in the sting, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, testified last week that West was paid sums of $250 to $1,500 to perform small jobs for the "criminal organization."
These tasks included delivering bags of cash to designated people and agreeing to fake an alibi for a member of the crew who was in trouble with the law.
West, 61, was also exposed to large amounts of cash – in one instance, he was told the sum was $300,000 – during payments from supposed investors in the crime ring.
The undercover officer said West was led to believe, over several weeks, that he was an integral part of the organization and had a lucrative future.
"You are a loyal servant of the boss. You have exhibited honesty, loyalty and dependability," the officer told West during one discussion.
West was present when $32,000 was placed in a safety deposit box in his name. He was told he would receive the key to the funds once he completed his involvement in the "big score."
West made plans to purchase a new vehicle – a Chevy Avalanche truck – and talked about taking a vacation to Mexico or Tahiti.
"The impression was being left that if you belong to this group and make your way to the top, you spend time in Mexico staying in fancy resorts," said defence lawyer Brian Coleman during his cross examination of the undercover officer.
West eventually met with "Mr. Big" on March 10, 2007, the details of which are expected to be revealed in court this week. The officer testified that he prepped West for the meeting by saying that if the boss asks him any questions, he probably already knows the answers, and West should tell the truth.
It is alleged that West confessed to Acorn's murder during that meeting.
Acorn was reported missing in June 2005, and her remains were found in a shallow grave by hikers near the Carolin Mines exit off the Coquihalla Highway outside of Hope in April 2006.
It is believed she was murdered sometime in the fall of 2005.
West and his son, Dustin Moir, were both charged with first-degree murder – based largely on evidence from the Mr. Big investigation. Both went on trial in November 2009, but West's proceedings were severed from Moir's two months later. Moir was convicted in February 2010 and received a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
During those proceedings, it was revealed that Acorn had been choked to death and buried naked in a shallow grave. Her head had been crushed by a large rock.