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Irish national wanted for murder in Canada became beekeeper while on run in Puerto Rico

Conor Vincent D'Monte fled in 2011 from justice after facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder

Conor Vincent D'Monte, the alleged leader of the GUNS criminal gang based in British Columbia

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

An Irish national described as one of the most wanted criminals in Canada did not enjoy tax incentives while working as a beekeeper in Isla Verde in Puerto Rico, the governor of the island has said.

Conor Vincent D'Monte, the alleged leader of the GUNS criminal gang based in British Columbia, was captured last Friday in Isla Verde by the Violent Offenders Task Force of the US Marshals Service.

D'Monte who has been described as "of Irish origin" in local newspaper reports, changed his name to John Williams while he was a fugitive on the island.

He is believed to have led the British Columbia chapter of the criminal organisation ‘United Nations’ (UN), also known as the ‘United Nations Global Union’ (GUNS), in Canada from 2008 to 2009.

He fled in 2011 from justice in his home country after facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder one or more people with firearms.

Canadian authorities say the ‘The United Nations’ is named for the diverse ethnic origins of its members and includes Canadians of European, Asian, Eastern and Iranian origin.

The gang, which uses other names such as ‘Canada United’ or ‘Canadian United’, began operating in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, and in recent years had managed to expand throughout the rest of Canada.

The El Vocero De Puerto Rico newspaper reported that, according to the Sheriffs in Puerto Rico, D'Monte (44) was arrested last Friday during a traffic stop.

The Governor of the island Pedro Pierluisi has since denied reports in the local news media that the Canadian enjoyed tax incentives while a fugitive from justice.

“The information that comes to me is that he does not have a tax incentive decree,” Governor Pierluisi said.

“This person who has been arrested did not have any type of tax incentive decree. That is the information I have.”

It has been established that while hiding out in Puerto Rico, D'Monte collaborated with the non-profit entity Karma Honey Project, a beekeeping initiative that rescues bees.

It has also been revealed that on February 17, the project came to the garden of the governor’s mansion of La Fortaleza to relocate a beehive.

“Yes, there is a non-profit entity that supports beekeeping,” the governor explained.

“In Fortaleza we support agriculture, including beekeeping, and what happened here is that, quite some time ago, a swarm of our bees was detected and the initiative was taken to relocate it.

“And that non-profit entity and the person you mention among others collaborated among other people in these efforts”, he said.

According to previous reports in the El Vocero De Puerto Rico newspaper, D'Monte has been wanted for more than a decade, since a Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued on January 24, 2011 “for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of Canadian law”.

“The case dates back to May 2009, when D'Monte and other gang members were accused of conspiring to murder rival gang members, using pistols, rifles and automatic weapons,” it was reported.

D’Monte faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder one or more persons using a firearm.

In May 2009, according to the US Marshals Service, gang members, including D’Monte, conspired to murder rival gang members, including the notorious Bacon brothers and their associates.

The Bacon Brothers, Jonathan, Jarrod, and Jamie, a trio of gangsters from Abbotsford, British Columbia are suspected of multiple firearms and drug trafficking charges and have been implicated in a rash of homicides that took place in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver area.

Jonathan, the oldest brother, was murdered in Kelowna on August 14, 2011.

Canadian authorities allege that D'Monte was involved in the murder of Bacon brother associate, Kevin LeClair, a high-ranking member of the Red Scorpions gang who was gunned down outside a shopping mall on February 6, 2009.

"Conor D'Monte and his colleagues are responsible for a level of gang violence unprecedented in British Columbia history,” Commissioner Trent Rolfe said in a statement.

The Canadian Mounted Police issued bulletins to various global law enforcement agencies, including Interpol and the Marshals Service Violent Offenders Unit, who tracked down D’Monte in Puerto Rico, who was living on the island under a false identity.

Although he had lost weight, unique features including tattoos of a tiger and a dragon, a piercing in his left eyebrow and a double mole on his right cheek helped authorities confirm his identity.

It was reported that federal marshals "achieved the arrest of D'Monte in the Isla Verde area through a high-risk vehicular intervention”.

The operation was reportedly carried out by agents specially trained in arresting leaders of international and local criminal organisations.

The US Marshal in Puerto Rico, Wilmer Ocasio, thanked the agents who collaborated in the arrest.

“Today you see the end result and Conor Vincent D’Monte will finally face justice,” said Ocasio.

As we always mention and reaffirm in pointing out, the Federal Marshals Service continues to work together with our sister agencies of law and order, state and international, in the search for these violent fugitives.

“With this significant arrest, we continue to send the message to fugitives thinking of evading justice: the issue is not when or where we are going to catch you, it is a matter of time, we will catch you and bring you to justice.”

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