Kim Bolan (Vancouver Sun) – Twelve Crown witnesses are expected to testify next month at the trial of a former undercover RCMP drug cop alleged to have impersonated a member of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to get information about the Bacon brothers’ location from a police database.
Prosecutor Jennifer Lopes told a trial confirmation hearing in Surrey Provincial Court Wednesday that the case is set for two days beginning July 20.
The Vancouver Sun revealed two months ago that Rapinder (Rob) Sidhu, had quietly been charged after allegedly calling the RCMP’s Operations Communications Centre in July 2007, posing as a police officer and requesting the Surrey address where the Bacons were then residing.
At the time, rival gangsters had already targeted the notorious brothers for death. Jon Bacon had been shot in front of his family’s Abbotsford home in September 2006 and barely survived, after which the clan relocated to a Surrey house. Jamie was shot in Surrey in April 2007, but was not critically wounded.
After the breach, the RCMP had to disclose to the Bacon brothers that their address had been revealed. The leak is the reason the Bacon brothers first moved to Port Moody in the summer of 2007, renting a penthouse on the 22nd floor of a highrise at 295 Guildford Ave. — the same building where their parents later purchased a condo.
Police issued four public warnings over the last year because of serious death threats leveled against the Bacons and their Red Scorpion associates by the United Nations gang.
Over the last two months, Jamie Bacon and two gang-mates were charged in the Surrey Six murder and eight UN gangsters and associates have been charged with plotting to kill the Bacons.
Police earlier confirmed to the Sun that Sidhu has criminal associates in the Abbotsford area. But nothing has been revealed as to why he was allegedly seeking the location of the Bacons.
Lopes told Judge Peter Gulbranson Wednesday that all the witnesses have been notified and are either members of the RCMP or civilian employees of the force.
Neither Sidhu nor his lawyer Matt Nathanson were in court, but a representative from Nathanson’s firm appeared on their behalf.
Sidhu quit the RCMP in July 2003 after 11 years on the job. That same month, he pleaded guilty to inflicting fear of injury in a domestic case.
“He resigned during an internal investigation,” RCMP media officer, Sgt. Tim Shields, earlier told The Sun.
Since Sidhu left the RCMP, Shields said, he “has been known to associate with the criminal element.”
Because he had been an undercover operator, there was concern about other undercover officers and methods being compromised, Shields confirmed.
“Of course it was a major concern, given his role of an undercover operator at the time. It was a significant concern and we took steps to address issues that came up as a result of his resignation,” Shields said.
Shields also said that despite the allegation of a breach of the RCMP system, the data base is secure and the public should not be concerned.
“It is the protocol itself that resulted in this investigation and these charges,” Shields said, adding that as an ex-Mountie, Sidhu “would have had a real familiarity with the protocol.”
In September 2003, Sidhu was charged with a number of fraud counts in Abbotsford after an investigation by RCMP E Division headquarters in Vancouver.
The fraud allegations involved six counts of obtaining tens of thousands of dollars in credit under false pretences from the TD Canada Trust and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on several dates from 1999 to 2003.
On August 23, 2005, he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and received a 12-month conditional sentence concurrent on both counts.
As part of his sentence, Sidhu had to abide by a curfew and was ordered to pay $1,500 a month “until full restitution is paid in the amount of $33,412.37.”