If anyone was going to be denied bail, most non-legal experts might guess it would be cocaine-dealing gangster Clayton Eheler who, last time he was on bail, acquired a fraudulent passport issued with his photo and his cousin’s personal information.
But Eheler did indeed get released on bail by a provincial court judge in Surrey on Thursday (July 28).
Eheler, 39, is charged with commission of an offence for a criminal organization related to an alleged offence on May 1, 2021 in Chilliwack, Hope and Kamloops.
Also charged on the same file is Blair Robert Anders Smith, 59, of Merritt who is facing one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, and Tyler Damien Van Basten, 30, of Chilliwack who is also charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking as well as conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
Eheler was also convicted of drug trafficking from a 2014 incident and is now awaiting a new trial after a successful bid at the B.C. Court of Appeal. In that case, Eheler and Mathew Thiessen were caught processing nine kilograms of cocaine with cutting agents in a Chilliwack condo on Nov. 18, 2014.
They were convicted but the convictions were overturned on appeal due to a long delay in the sentencing judge releasing his written reasons for rejecting a charter application.
Van Basten is Eheler’s cousin.
On April 9, 2019, Eheler was out on bail and was issued the fraudulent passport in Van Basten’s name. Facial recognition software used by Global Affairs Canada led to the identification of Eheler as the man in the photo with the passport under Van Basten’s name.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) was made aware of the passport, and his Chilliwack Mountain home was raided on June 26, 2019, and he was arrested. He was also found with ammunition, prohibited weapons, a fake birth certificate, and a cocaine press.
Judge Richard Browning revoked his bail.
Fast forward to July 28, 2022, a bail hearing was held in Surrey facing the new charges related to gang activity and he was again given bail that covers both files, the 2014 case up for retrial and the new charge.
He was, however, put on some of the strictest bail conditions available. He is under house arrest for 24 hours a day at a specific address in Chilliwack.
He is under electronic monitoring and can only leave the residence with written permission from his bail supervisor, and only for employment or “compelling reasons” such as a medical emergency.
He must not have any visitors except a short list of named individuals.
Eheler is also not allowed to be within 100 metres of the U.S. border unless with written permission, and he is not allowed to be within two kilometres of any airport.
He is also not allowed to download any encrypted messaging apps, such as Signal.
He is next due in court in Chilliwack on Aug. 9.
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