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Thursday, 17 May 2012

A high-ranking member of the Independent Soldiers gang was warned in prison by police earlier this year that he might be targeted for violence.

23:50 |

As a result, Donald Bryce Lyons was transferred from minimum-security Ferndale Institution to medium-security Mission prison. Lyons, 39, challenged the move to administrative segregation in the more secure facility, but a B.C. Supreme Court judge this week sided with prison officials, saying public safety was paramount and that the move was done lawfully. "Given the serious nature of the threat, the perimeter security concerns and the risk to other inmates, corrections officials and members of the public at a minimum-security facility, I am satisfied the transfer recommendation falls within the range of acceptable outcomes," Justice Bruce Butler said in written reasons released on Tuesday. The RCMP and Gang Task Force provided the Correctional Service of Canada with information about "an imminent threat to the safety of Mr. Lyons" on Jan. 12, 2012, Butler said. "According to the RCMP, the threat was serious and extended to those in Mr. Lyons' company, were he to be released. The RCMP considered the threat to be credible and advised the CSC to take immediate action," Butler said. Police visited Lyons at Mission Institution Jan. 26 "to explain the nature of the threat." Lyons told his case management team that he didn't believe he was in danger, but the team still upgraded his security classification to medium, saying the "current extreme threat to his safety presents significant barriers to his risk management within a mini-mum security facility." Butler quoted the warden's written decision to move Lyons based on his position in the Independent Soldiers, which the judge described as "a criminal organization." "Although he has vocalized his disaffiliation with this security threat group (STG), the extent of his involvement cannot be underestimated," the warden said. At the time of the Jan. 12 warning, police were on heightened alert because of a conflict between the Independent Soldiers, some Hells Angels and the Red Scorpions and rivals in the Dhak-Duhre group. Just five days later, Sandip Duhre was gunned down in the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. Correctional Service of Canada spokesman Jean-Paul Lorieau said Wednesday he couldn't talk about Lyons' case. Lyons is serving a total sentence of six years for convictions in both B.C. and Manitoba. He was arrested for cocaine trafficking in a 2007 under-cover sting out of Winnipeg that was targeting Hells Angels and their associates across Western Canada. He pleaded guilty and got six years. Police later searched Lyons' rental home and found 19 guns, two Tasers, several silencers and a grenade. Officers seized six handguns from hidden compartments inside his Escalade. He pleaded guilty to some of the gun charges and got handed a three-year concurrent term in a B.C. court.

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