B.C.’s director of civil forfeiture is looking to keep almost $140,000 seized from Chilliwack drug dealer Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law as the proceeds of crime.
On May 8, 2015, Raymond Francis Morrissey was tracked by the province’s gang unit – the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) – travelling in a Honda Accord on the Alaska Highway toward Fort St. John.
That night, Morrissey met in a rural area with two men in a Honda sedan “consistent with drug trafficking.”
The CFSEU pulled over both vehicles. In the Honda sedan they found five cellphones, 1.8 kilograms of crack cocaine, and 1.6 kilograms of powdered cocaine.
In Morrissey’s vehicle, officers seized two cellphones, $137,870 in bundles in the trunk and $1,165 from Morrissey himself.
“The money was bundled or packaged in a manner not consistent with standard banking practices.”
Six months prior to the seizures, in November 2014, Eheler and Mathew Jordan Thiessen were caught processing nine kilograms of cocaine in a Brett Avenue apartment. After a long, drawn out trial, they were both found guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
During that investigation, officers also located documents in Morrissey’s name, a money counting machine, cutting agents, a hydraulic press, and various items used for drug trafficking, some of which had Morrissey’s fingerprints.
The director of civil forfeiture can seek to seize property deemed to be the the proceeds of unlawful activity. Specifically, the civil forfeiture action filed on BC Supreme Court on June 1 identifies the unlawful activity as: possession for the purpose of trafficking controlled substances; possession of the proceeds of crime; and failure to declare taxable income.
Morrissey has not yet filed a response to the civil claim.
As for Eheler, he was convicted of cocaine trafficking and sentenced to nine years in prison in November 2019.
He is, however, now out of jail as he was granted bail in the B.C. Court of Appeal on Oct. 8, 2020 in part because Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten accepted defence submissions that his health is at risk in the correctional facility where he was housed.
Eheler tested positive for COVID-19 but did recover. He also suffers from severe sleep apnea and says he is not given access to medical equipment he needs.
DeWitt-Van Oosten agreed to release Eheler on a $100,000 promise to pay with a $25,000 cash deposit paid by his father. His former common-law partner is also acting as a surety.
Part of the conditions include Eheler living in Chilliwack with his father where he will be subject to electronic monitoring and a curfew.
Eheler has an extensive criminal record with more than 40 convictions dating back to 1995. He has connections to the Hells Angels and is a former associate of the Bacon Brothers.
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