Police suspect the Sept. 9 car explosion in Montrose — a village with around 1,000 people just east of Trail — that injured a 41-year old man is linked to organized crime and drug trafficking in the West Kootenay.
Moreover, investigators are consulting with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit as the inquiry is ongoing.
A coordinated investigation into the 8th Avenue blast was launched the following morning, Sept. 10, by the Trail and Greater District RCMP, Provincial General Investigation Section, Forensic Identification Unit, and E Division Explosive Device Unit.
In his latest media release, Sgt. Mike Wicentowich revealed the power of the blast.
“The investigation discovered that a piece of metal from the explosion traveled a significant distance from the scene and passed through the corner of a residence in the neighbourhood,” he said. “It missed the homeowner by a narrow margin.”
Police have also clarified that the victim was found near his vehicle after the explosion, not inside his vehicle as previously reported.
“He received life-saving medical intervention from members of the public in the area after the explosion,” Wicentowich noted. “The Montrose man is expected to recover from his grievous injuries sustained from the explosion.”
For anyone shaken by the ordeal, Wicentowich advises, “Trail and Greater District RCMP Victim Services is here to support the Montrose community during this turbulent time.”
Call 250.368.2184 for advice and assistance.
The Trail RCMP is still asking for witnesses to contact police if they saw any suspicious vehicles or people in the Montrose area, particularly between 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8 and 6:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 9. (The explosion is reported to have occurred at 6:39 a.m.)
Investigators are also interested in collecting any video surveillance footage in Montrose that may have captured images of suspicious vehicles and people responsible for the explosion.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Trail detachment at 250.364.2566.
Readers may be curious about the special enforcement unit that investigators are presently consulting with.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia is B.C’s “integrated anti-gang police agency.”
This British Columbia unit is the largest integrated police program in Canada, made up of members from every police department in B.C., including the RCMP, and is described as “the third largest police ‘force’” in the province with over 400 officers.
The unit is headquartered in Metro Vancouver, based out of the RCMP “E” Division Headquarters. Through coordinated efforts in all its offices, the special enforcement unit is fully represented throughout the province.
The unit’s mandate is to target, investigate, prosecute, disrupt, and dismantle the organized crime groups and individuals that pose the highest risk to public safety due to their involvement in gang violence.