Kevin LeClair (right) was an associate of the Bacon brothers.

Guilty plea in 2009 gang murder of Abbotsford man

Red Scorpion Kevin LeClair was gunned down in Langley

A 38-year-old man arrested in Ontario for the 2009 murder of Kevin LeClair of Abbotsford at a Walnut Grove shopping mall has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.

Kreshnik Ismailaj was arrested in the summer of 2018, and today (Sept. 26) was in B.C. Supreme Court where he entered the guilty plea in the shooting death of LeClair, 26, in the Thunderbird Village shopping complex on Feb. 6, 2009.

“This guilty plea comes 10 years after the homicide of Mr. LeClair and speaks to the determination of IHIT investigators and dedication of our partners, CFSEU-BC and the B.C. Prosecution Service, to see an investigation through to the end no matter how long it may take,” said Supt. Dave Chauhan, Officer-in-Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. “These partnerships are key to ensuring a successful conclusion to events that impact the safety of our citizens throughout the Lower Mainland from our specialized units to our frontline officers.”

Kevin LeClair

Ismailaj was initially charged with one count of first-degree murder mid-2018 when apprehended in Ontario. The courts have yet to impose sentencing for his role in the murder of LeClair, an Abbotsford resident.

“Kreshnik Ismailaj, along with a number of his fellow gang members, are responsible for an unprecedented level of gang violence in the history of British Columbia. The hundreds of officers and support staff, from dozens of police agencies and units, working the associated investigations have remained determined and committed over the years to ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice,” said Supt. Paul Dadwal, CFSEU-BC Operations Officer. “With this latest conviction and sentencing, it should, yet again, send the message to individuals involved in organized crime-related violence that police will relentlessly pursue justice, regardless of how long it takes.”

Cory Vallee, a UN gang member, was convicted of first-degree murder last in the death of LeClair, a member of the Red Scorpions gang. He was sentenced to life in prison in late 2018.

Vallee, 34 at the time of LeClair’s murder, had been hired as an assassin by the UN Gang as part of the violent drug turf war that raged through 2008 and ’09 in the Lower Mainland.

The UN Gang had targeted Jonathan, Jamie, and Jarrod Bacon – the Bacon Brothers – and their allies and associates in the Red Scorpions Gang, including LeClair. The Bacons and LeClair lived in Abbotsford at the time of the murder plot.

Formerly a bus driver in Whistler and a garbage collector in North Vancouver, Vallee had become involved with the UN Gang by early 2008, stalking and gathering intelligence on the gang’s enemies, according to Justice Janice Dillon’s sentencing ruling.

He was eventually fired from his job with North Vancouver after repeatedly failing to show up for work, as his hunt for rival gangsters consumed more of his time.

On the day of LeClair’s killing, Vallee stalked his victim all day and lay in wait for him outside a restaurant in the shopping plaza.

“Vallee had lots of time to pull back from the plan to kill as he waited in the parking lot of the mall for Leclair to come out of the restaurant. That he did not pull back is a chilling reminder of the capacity for violence in this man,” wrote Dillon in her sentencing ruling.

After the killing, he fled to Mexico but was extradicted to Canada in 2014.

The judge sentenced him to a second, concurrent term of life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

There is a $100,000 reward for the arrest of another person wanted in connection with the murder, Conor D’Monte.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UFV offers mental-health screenings as part of Beyond the Blues

Activities at event from Jan. 27-31 include stress bingos and colouring

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

City plots plan to get more affordable housing built as rental crunch continues

Abbotsford’s rental vacancy rate was 1.3 per cent in 2019; New affordable housing strategy considered

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Most Read