RCMP
(File photo)

The RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) say they have prevented the expansion of an emerging gang.

According to a statement from RCMP, a special task force designed to track the Brothers Keepers gang and prevent them from expanding into the Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island has been successful.

The Brothers Keepers first emerged within the British Columbia gang landscape in 2017 and were immediately in direct conflict with rival gangs such as the Red Scorpions, the Wolfpack, the Hells Angels, the United Nations, and numerous other individuals and groups, according to the CFSEU.

Police say these conflicts led to increased violence in communities across the province, and the gang has since expanded its territory to Alberta and Ontario.

RCMP says they have been monitoring the Brothers Keepers since early 2018 due to the spike in violence associated with their presence.

Since then, law enforcement officials across 21 jurisdictions have intercepted gang members and their affiliates 259 times.

During that time, police say they have seized over 30 kgs of suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

The Brothers Keepers gang is made up of about a dozen core members and a network of 194 affiliates.

“The Brothers Keepers have continued their operations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this despite the restrictions that have been put in place around travel and non- essential work and the sacrifices that hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have made to ensure they, their loved ones, and our communities remain safe and healthy,” says the CFSEU.

“Crime does not quarantine and neither have the Brothers Keepers.”

Data from RCMP analysts suggests that there has been a 38.5 per cent decrease in combined gang-related murders and attempted murders from January 2017 to December 2019.