Mysterious plane crash killed 2 suspected hitmen linked to gangs in Alberta, B.C.

·5 min read
Both Duncan Bailey, left, and Gene Karl Lahrkamp were wanted on charges related to gang murder and attempted murder. The two men were killed in a mysterious plane crash last week.  (Duncan Bailey/Facebook, BOLO Top 25/CFSEU BC - image credit)
Both Duncan Bailey, left, and Gene Karl Lahrkamp were wanted on charges related to gang murder and attempted murder. The two men were killed in a mysterious plane crash last week. (Duncan Bailey/Facebook, BOLO Top 25/CFSEU BC - image credit)

One of the two fugitives killed in a mysterious plane crash in Ontario is a former Calgary gangster with a long criminal history, including crimes of "extensive violence," according to the Parole Board of Canada.

On Saturday, four men, including two pilots, died after a four-seat Piper PA 28-140 crashed in a forested area near Sioux Lookout, Ont.

Two of the men were wanted on gang murder charges, including Duncan Bailey, 37, who, court records show, has a long history of drug trafficking and organized crime-related offences in both Alberta and B.C.

He once served a 10-year sentence for kidnapping and aggravated assault convictions in Calgary.

At the time of his death, Bailey was awaiting trial for the attempted murder of Mir Hussain, who was shot in 2020 as he left a Vancouver pub while carrying a baby in a car seat.

The second man wanted on warrants was Gene Karl Lahrkamp, a suspected international hitman and former Canadian military member who was accused of executing a former high-level B.C. gangster in Thailand.

Until his death on Saturday, there was a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Lahrkamp, who was the No. 2 most wanted man in Canada.

CBC
CBC

Gang connections and rivals

It's not yet clear how or why Bailey and Lahrkamp ended up on the small, private plane together.

But the two did have connections with organized crime groups in B.C. that are affiliated with each other.

According to court documents, Bailey had ties to the Independent Soldiers, which is connected to the B.C. and Red Deer-based Red Scorpion gang.

Lahrkamp was charged with murdering Jimi Sandhu, who was once charged with killing a high-level member of the Red Scorpions.

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Facebook

Sandhu, who was killed in February, was connected to the United Nations (UN) gang, which is a staunch rival of the Red Scorpions.

The UN and Red Scorpions have been involved in a violent struggle for control of the B.C. Lower Mainland's illegal drug trade.

B.C.'s anti-gang unit is investigating the connections between the two men, which could help explain why they were on the same airplane.

$400K seized from Okotoks home

Hussain survived the 2020 attack but was fatally shot seven months later. No arrests have been made in that homicide.

In 2021, Bailey was accused of receiving nearly $400,000 — seized from a home in Okotoks — in payment for the attempt on Hussain's life. That money is now the subject of forfeiture proceedings in B.C.

Shane MacKichan
Shane MacKichan

Bailey was out on bail pending his conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder trial.

Last week, police issued warrants for Bailey's arrest, accusing him of breaching his release conditions on April 23 and 26.

Four days later, Bailey's body was found in the wreckage of the crash alongside Lahrkamp and the two pilots, whose connections to the B.C. gangsters are unknown.

Bailey sent to prison for kidnapping

Bailey has been in and out of jail his entire adult life, Parole Board of Canada documents show.

The parole board decision, issued in November 2016, revoked Bailey's release because, despite the stayed charges, his risk to the community was found to be too high.

"You have a criminal history that has shown extensive violence, including violence using weapons," wrote board member G. Gunn in his decision.

Those documents stem from a 10-year prison sentence (seven years and 10 months with credit for time served) handed to Bailey after a Calgary judge found him guilty of kidnapping and aggravated assault in 2010, a year after Bailey's conviction for drug trafficking.

In 2014, Bailey hit his statutory release date, meaning he had served two-thirds of his sentence and was given freedoms in the community under conditions to help with reintegration.

Bailey to board: 'I made a bad choice'

For a time, Bailey was doing well; he was abiding by curfew and had jobs cleaning and painting.

But two years later, Bailey was charged after police found a Glock handgun in the back seat of his vehicle.

Bailey was charged but the case was eventually dropped because of "search and seizure issues" with the investigation, according to the parole board document.

Hoping to get back out on release, Bailey told the board he'd "made a bad choice" and called himself "an idiot" but refused to explain the circumstances of the gun.

The board was concerned, not only with the weapon found in Bailey's car but with money he was spending.

Spending money from past crimes

One of the special conditions attached to Bailey's release involved providing financial disclosure to his parole supervisor.

The board expressed concerns over the legitimacy of Bailey's bank statements, finding that earnings from his employment as a cleaner and painter were deposited into a bank account but never touched.

"It was determined that you were regularly using funds that were, in fact, proceeds of crime from some of your current index offences."

Bailey, said the board, was of the view that it was fine to use the proceeds of crime.

He justified it, telling them, "I'm already serving a sentence for it."

But the board wasn't buying it.

"The manipulative behaviours are cause for concern and indicative of an increase in your risk to reoffend," wrote Gunn.

'Operation High Noon'

Before he was sent to prison for the kidnapping, Bailey was involved in what Calgary police described in 2009 as the largest cocaine seizure in Alberta's history.

In January 2008, the investigation, dubbed "Operation High Noon," began looking into a drug trafficking network between British Columbia and Alberta, which involved transporting large volumes of cocaine between the two provinces, said police.

Ultimately, police laid charges in 2008 and 2009 against 14 people after investigators seized 80 kilograms of cocaine worth about $8 million on the street plus more than $300,000 in cash.

Court records show Bailey pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and was handed a three-year prison term plus a 10-year firearms prohibition.

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