Man involved in Townline Hill conflict faces drug charges

Vishal Bajaj was arrested on Tuesday night after police busted a home on Sandpiper Drive

Police were on Promontory Court last Thursday morning

Police were on Promontory Court last Thursday morning

A man who police have identified as being involved in the ongoing Townline Hill conflict in west Abbotsford is facing a series of drug charges.

Vishal Bajaj, 26, was arrested at a residence in the 30700 block of Sandpiper Drive at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday after the Abbotsford Police emergency response team, with the gang and drug unit, executed a search warrant.

Const. Ian MacDonald said officers seized cash, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from the home.

Bajaj has since been charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking (cocaine, heroin and meth).

He is also still before the courts for identical charges from May 13, when he was arrested in a vehicle in the area of Upper Maclure Road and Mallard Street.

A second man, Iqbal Kular, was also charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking in relation to that incident.

Bajaj is now under court-ordered conditions that require he adhere to a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. He is also prohibited from possessing weapons, alcohol, drugs and cellphones.

He is next scheduled to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on Oct. 8 on both sets of drug charges.

Police encourage anyone who sees Bajaj breaching his conditions to call them at 604-859-5225 or text abbypd (222973).

MacDonald said police had previously identified Bajaj as an individual involved in the Townline Hill conflict, which has involved two groups of young men, and he was specifically targeted by the gang and drug unit.

The conflict first began with dozens of incidents of mischief, assault, vandalism and assault but has escalated to include several shootings.

Last Wednesday, innocent victim Ping Shun Ao, 74, was killed when he was struck by a stray bullet intended for the next-door neighbours’ home on Promontory Court.

The area on Sandpiper Drive where Bajaj was arrested on Tuesday was also the scene of a shooting on Aug. 17, although MacDonald wouldn’t confirm whether the shots were fired at that particular residence.

In that incident, residents reported hearing shots, and police arrived to find several shell casings on the road. Officers soon discovered that a 23-year-old man had shown up in hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.

That shooting was just 11 days after another one that had occurred in the 30500 block of Sandpiper Drive. Nobody was injured in that incident, but a 2013 Volkswagen parked in a driveway had been struck by several bullets.

MacDonald said the violence on Sandpiper Drive prompted police to recently hold a meeting with about 60 residents.

He said many of them expressed concerns about troubling behaviour they had seen – such as groups of young men gathering and drug dealing – but they had not reported it, thinking that the incidents were minor and they would be bothering police.

MacDonald said the citizens were encouraged to report any and all such matters.