A 2021 Kia Stinger owned by a man whom police in Abbotsford issued a public warning about last July is the subject of a civil forfeiture claim in B.C. Supreme Court.
The province’s Civil Forfeiture Office alleges that the vehicle, owned by Jason Himpfen, was purchased through the proceeds of crime and was used in unlawful activity.
The notice of civil claim was filed Feb. 8.
Himpfen, 45, has a long criminal history, including a 2018 acquittal of second-degree murder in the 2010 shooting death in Abbotsford of single mom Mandy Johnson of Langley. He was also acquitted in the same incident of the attempted murder of a man whose name is protected by a publication ban.
Johnston, 22, was fatally shot on July 28, 2010 while she was in a vehicle on Polar Avenue in Abbotsford. She had no criminal history and was not involved in the drug trade.
Himpfen had been at the scene with another man – gang leader Gavin Grewal, who was gunned down in North Vancouver in December 2017 – and the judge ruled that there was not enough evidence at trial to prove that Himpfen was the shooter.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) issued a public warning about Himpfen last July, saying he was involved in the Lower Mainland gang conflict and posed a “significant risk” to the community and anyone associated with him.
The civil forfeiture lawsuit involves an incident that occurred Oct. 12, 2021.
Court documents state that Langley RCMP responded to an attempted kidnapping at a convenience store.
The suspect had left the scene, but through video surveillance footage, police were able to identify the vehicle involved – a 2021 Kia Stinger.
The car was discovered to be in Abbotsford, where police tried to stop it at Interprovincial Highway near Campbell Road. As the driver sped away, the Air One police helicopter kept him in view.
The documents state that, as the helicopter followed, the driver sped, aggressively passed traffic and blew stop signs at No. 5, No. 4 and No. 3 roads, as well as on Keith Wilson Road and Lickman Road in Chilliwack.
The driver pulled over on Old Orchard Road, briefly got out of the car, got back in the car and drove away.
Officers who arrived at the scene found almost 341 grams of methamphetamine and more than 30 grams of ecstasy on the road, the documents indicate.
The vehicle was then located on Shewbury Drive in Chilliwack, and Himpfen – the registered owner of the car – was subsequently arrested and charged.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) seized the vehicle and $232 in cash that was inside.
The civil forfeiture lawsuit states that the car was used for Himpfen to engage in unlawful activities, including possession of drugs, fleeing from a police officer and dangerous driving.
The lawsuit also says that Himpfen, whose current address is listed in Alberta, did not have sufficient income and that some or all of the money used to purchase the Kia was from the proceeds of crime.
The allegations have not yet been proved in court.
The Civil Forfeiture Office goes after the proceeds of crime and then uses the money for programs that support safety and crime prevention.