Gang involved in three homicides 'not particularly bright': Criminologist
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 9:37AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 6:56PM MST
RCMP have arrested and charged four suspects in connection to three murders that took place near Ranfurly, Kitscoty and in Saskatoon in the fall.
Police announced the arrests on Tuesday morning, saying they have four suspects in custody in connection to three murders that took place in rural eastern Alberta and Saskatoon in recent months.
All of the accused were arrested in the province, by RCMP, with help from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), the Edmonton Police Service and the Saskatoon Police Service.
The arrests were made as part of an extended investigation into a certain gang.
“ALERT has been involved in the investigation of the White Boy Posse for some time, and I can confirm these homicides have linkages to that organized crime group in Alberta,” ALERT Supt. Ted Miles said.
“Really, the arrests today on these homicides are just the front end of our organized crime investigation.”
Kyle Darren Halbauer, 22, and Randy James Wayne O’Hagan, 22, of Lloydminster, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Bryan Gower, 35, whose body was found on a rural road near Kitscoty on September 25.
Both men have been charged with attempted murder of a second man in this case.
O’Hagan also faces first-degree murder charges in the murder of Robert John Roth, age of 54, of Lloydminster, whose partial remains were found near Ranfurly on October 20.
The victim’s severed head was found by a passerby in Edmonton on October 25.
Nikolas Jon Nowytzkj, 32, of Wainwright, also faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death near Ranfurly.
Both Nowytzkj and O’Hagan have also been charged with offering an indignity to a human body.
As well, Halbauer and O’Hagan also face first-degree murder charges in the homicide of 35-year-old Lorry Santos, who police say was shot and killed after she answered the door of her Saskatoon home to strangers on September 12.
“They took this woman away from her children and her husband,” Saskatoon Police Service Inspector Rick Penny said. “Lorry Santos was totally innocent, just a by-product of the criminal activity these people were involved in.”
Joshua Petrin, 29, of Edmonton, has also been charged with first-degree murder in that homicide.
Police said all four accused in these cases were part of the street gang ‘White Boy Posse’, a gang that operates mainly out of northern Alberta, but has also spread to Saskatchewan and the northern territories.
“I’m not surprised to see where their scope of operations at this time,” Jerry Scott with RCMP Major Crimes Unit said. “What is surprising to me and my teammates is the level of violence they’ve escalated to, certainly in recent years.”
A local criminologist said the ‘White Boy Posse’ is intimidating, but not necessarily sophisticated.
“This is a gang that’s violent, but not particularly bright,” Criminologist Bill Pitt said.
“This is really irrational behaviour, gangsters, real gangsters don’t act like this,” Pitt continued. “Leaving bodies, a head, hitting the wrong people, this is a group of people; they’re scary because they’re unpredictable.”
While the arrests have been made and charges have been laid, investigators said they still have a ‘significant amount of information’ to go through, and additional charges could be laid against the four accused, and possibly others.
Anyone with information is asked to contact their local police service or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
With files from Susan Amerongen