A man who police have said is involved in the Townline Hill gang conflict in Abbotsford has pleaded guilty to drug charges connected to his three arrests this year.
Vishal Bajaj, 26, has pleaded guilty to three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. In total, he faced nine such charges – three from each of his arrests – but the six other counts, as well as a charge of breaching his bail conditions, are expected to be stayed at sentencing.
Bajaj has remained in custody since his third arrest and appeared in court briefly, via video conferencing, last Thursday morning, when the date for his sentencing hearing was scheduled for Jan. 8.
Bajaj was first charged in May of this year, when he and another man, Iqbal Kular, were stopped in a vehicle in the area of Upper Maclure Road and Mallard Street.
Cocaine, heroin and meth were allegedly found in the car, and the two men were each charged with three counts.
Kular’s next court appearance is slated for Dec. 14. It is not yet known if he is planning to plead guilty.
Bajaj was again arrested on Sept. 8 and charged with the same three counts after police executed a search warrant at a home in the 30700 block of Sandpiper Drive. Cocaine, heroin, and meth were again seized by police.
His third arrest occurred just eight days later, when he and another man, Kuldeep Gill, were arrested in the Safeway parking lot in the 27500 block of Fraser Highway – in Aldergrove, just west of the border with Abbotsford.
In the vehicle they had occupied, police allegedly found the same drugs as in the previous arrests. Bajaj and Gill were each charged with the three same offences as in the other incidents.
Bajaj was also charged with breach his conditions for allegedly not following a curfew of between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Gill’s next court appearance is on Jan. 8, but he has not pleaded guilty at this point.
Police previously said that Bajaj had been identified as an individual involved in the Townline Hill conflict, which involves two gangs of young men fighting over drug turf in west Abbotsford.
The conflict has resulted in several drive-by shootings and two deaths – the October 2014 fatal shooting of Harwin Baringh, 18, as he was in his vehicle on Sparrow Drive and the Sept. 2nd shooting of innocent victim Ping Shun Au, 74, who was struck by a stray bullet intended for someone in the home next to him on Promontory Court.