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Guns seized at UN Gang wake

Anti-gang police seized two guns after crashing a wake for Abbotsford gangster Elliott (Taco) Castaneda who was recently assassinated in Mexico.

Just after 11 p.m. on Friday, Abbotsford Police and the Integrated Gang Task Force (IGTF) arrived at a restaurant in the 33000 block of South Fraser Way after learning about about a function attended by suspected UN Gang members and associates, said Const. Casey Vinet.

The police presence at the memorial is part of an ongoing strategy by the IGTF violence suppression team to target gang activity.

The team has been hitting bars and restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley frequented by gangsters after an upswing in gang violence in the last year.

Officers walking through the restaurant confirmed many gang members and associates were present, said Vinet. Up to 70 patrons were checked and several people were taken into custody after a search of the restaurant’s patio uncovered two loaded handguns.

Vinet said investigators believe the weapon’s owners laid them down when police arrived to avoid being caught with them.

Police were pleased with the results of the check.

“Many of attendees were already known to us, but we learned about a few new ones so it was very valuable in terms of the ongoing effort to suppress the violence that gang activity leads to,” said Vinet. “When you have this many individuals involved in a criminal lifestyle in one area we fully except someone will be armed so we are very pleased with the outcome.”

The public is concerned about the violence perpetrated by gangs, and police are committed to holding members responsible for their actions, said Vinet.

Castaneda was gunned down outside a taco stand in Guadalajara, Mexico, on July 12, along with another UN Gang member, Ahmet Kaawach.

Until recently, the 29-year-old Abbotsford Senior graduate was working as a real estate agent with Homelife Glenayre Realty.

The gathering broke up soon after police arrived.

Up to 200 people were reported to have attended the memorial.

The investigation into who was in the possession of the handguns is still underway, said Vinet.

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