British Columbia lawyer charged with gang involvement

CBC News
January 22, 2010

A Vernon, B.C., lawyer who once headed the local Bar Association has been charged with participating in the activities of a criminal organization.

William Mastop, 43, was arrested Friday morning.

Mastop has represented clients who were alleged to have been members of the Greeks, a defunct Okanagan criminal gang.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in the investigation into Mastop and the gang.

“While Mr. Mastop has been arrested and charged, it is our belief that members of the public may have additional information regarding his activities and association with the [gang],” said RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen.

The Greeks were active in Vernon in 2004 and 2005 during an 11-month period in which there were seven killings, believed to be drug-related, in the town, police said.

Five suspected members of the gang face charges in connection with three of the deaths.

Mastop, a former president of the Vernon Bar Association, was defending at least one of the accused.

Vernon is about 470 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Mastop is scheduled to make a court appearance in Vancouver on Jan. 25.

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