Burnaby man charged for trafficking, firearms after anti-gang agency probe

Charges stem from 2019 CFSEU investigation ‘into the operation of an organized crime group led by a male known for his criminal activity and associations to gangs’

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A Burnaby man and his stepfather are facing firearms and trafficking charges after a two-year investigation by B.C.’s anti-gang agency into an organized crime group.

Mathew Borden, 32, has been charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and three firearms counts, while his 59-year-old stepdad John Canning, of Surrey, has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit that began in April 2019 “into the operation of an organized crime group led by a male known for his criminal activity and associations to gangs,” Sgt. Brenda Winpenny said.

CFSEU officers executed search warrants at two homes in August 2019 where they seized a loaded semi-automatic polymer handgun, an automatic AR15 rifle, about 200 rounds of ammunition, more than two kilograms of cocaine, 700 grams of heroin and 5.5 kilograms of phenacetin.


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Police also seized $111,878 cash, jewelry and three vehicles.

Both men are due in Vancouver provincial court on April 26.

“The removal of potentially deadly drugs and weapons from the hands of individuals who make our communities unsafe is important to CFSEU-BC and motivates our investigative teams every day,” Winpenny said in a news release.

“The CFSEU-BC is dedicated to doing whatever we can to make our streets safer and holding those people accountable who put the public at the greatest risk of harm.”

Both Borden, his wife Vicky Wang, and Canning and his wife Vera had already been named in a 2019 lawsuit filed by the director of civil forfeiture.

The statement of claim in that case alleged that neither Borden nor Wang appeared to work, but that Borden would regularly take large amounts of cash to deposit in various banks accounts. And he would meet “unknown individuals” to make what looked a lot like illicit drug transactions, the court documents said.

The government suit said Borden and Wang’s Burnaby condo, as well as seized cash, jewelry and three vehicles should all be forfeited as alleged proceeds of crime.

During the search of the couple’s Burnaby condo, police found a black safe containing more than $25,000 in it “bundled with elastic bands … and not packaged consistent with banking standards,” the director alleged.

They also seized a “spreadsheet documenting marijuana grow operation costs and expenses, equipment, crop cycles and profits for 244 plants.”


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A handgun was located in an unlocked dresser drawer.

  1. Condo complex on Victory Street in Burnaby that is subject to forfeiture proceedings.

    Government wants alleged traffickers’ home, car, jewelry and cash

  2. The street scene near where a man was targeted in a shooting in Kelowna on Monday. Several sources confirm the victim was Kyle Gianis, who has survived earlier murder attempts.

    Gang target survives third murder attempt days after police raid West Kelowna home

  3. Handout photos from Surrey RCMP of seized firearms, drugs and body armour from a condominium in Whalley. A new law would toughen measures against illegal guns.

    Proposed law would crack down on gangsters with illegal firearms: B.C. government

  4. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

    Anti-gang program faces budget cut as gang war rages

The Cannings’ home on 154th Street in Surrey was also searched. Inside, police found 700 grams of cocaine as well as 5.5 kilograms of a cutting agent for cocaine. There were scales like those used in drug trafficking as well as sealing equipment, the suit said.

Inside a 2016 Jaguar, police located a kilogram of cocaine in yellow wrapping and a sealed bag of heroin. “Kark 1030” was written on the cocaine.

The civil forfeiture director said that the property, vehicles and money “have been used by the defendants to engage in unlawful activities … that were likely to cause serious bodily harm.

Borden and Canning are involved in trafficking, possession of illegal firearms, failure to declare taxable income and laundering the proceeds of crime, the director alleged.

In Borden’s response to the suit, filed in March 2020, he denied the allegations and said the police search violated his charter rights.

“The defendant, Mr. Borden, is entitled to special costs because of the scandalous nature of the unfounded allegations in the notice of civil claim which amount to allegations of serious criminal wrongdoing, his response said.

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