FOB’s Chin to remain behind bars (for now)

The National Parole Board decided Wednesday to revoke Roland Chin’s statutory release, a move that will keep him in Bowden Institution until at least February or March next year.

The ruling basically affirms an earlier decision to suspend Chin’s release in August, when Calgary police arrested him for violating conditions banning him from carrying a cellphone and forbidding him from associating with gang members.

Chin, who will be 26 in December, is serving a 32-month sentence for drug and weapons offences. The conviction stems from a 2006 police raid on a Calgary hotel room, where investigators found Roland and his brother Roger with crack cocaine, a loaded handgun and cash.

Statutory release is mandated by law at the two-thirds mark of an offender’s sentence, meaning Chin will likely have another shot despite his inability to fly straight during his failed five-week stint last summer. No word yet on whether authorities will try to keep Chin behind bars until his sentence expires next June — a relatively rare tactic reserved mainly for untreated sex offenders.

Having said that, the Correctional Service of Canada recently succeeded in its bid to detain FOB member Truong Nguyen until his three-year sentence expires in January 2011. Nguyen, 26, was imprisoned for opening fire on rival gang members outside Calgary’s Pacific Place mall in 2006.

At Nguyen’s trial, Roger Chin testified that it was he — not Nguyen — who fired the shots. The trial judge didn’t believe Roger’s testimony and he never faced any charges in connection with the shootout. Freedom wasn’t kind to Roger, however: he was severely wounded in a shooting at a northeast Calgary gas station in Feb. 2008. Five months later, he was shot and killed as he drove alone along Centre Street North.

Roland survived his five weeks of freedom unscathed, but the account he gave during his parole hearing certainly takes some of the glamour out of gang life: he constantly worried enemies were following him while driving and he often wore a bulletproof vest when he ventured outside his father’s home — not that he felt safe there, either. He told the parole board he became paranoid after a gas company employee came to the door asking to read the meter.

Roland continues to deny he’s a gang member, but he admitted his associations have made his life a dangerous one.

“I’m getting too old for this,” he told the parole board.

He’s not kidding: police say the average age for gang members to be killed in Calgary is 20.

AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD: It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this blog, so it’s also worth mentioning that police in Lethbridge arrested Nicholas Rodrigo Hovanesian — who was wanted in connection with the triple homicide at the Bolsa Restaurant on New Year’s Day — in October, after several months at large. A beat officer arrested Hovanesian for allegedly threatening staff at a local bar and then recognized his face from a police bulletin.

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1 Comment

Filed under Corrections, Gangs

One response to “FOB’s Chin to remain behind bars (for now)

  1. Pingback: The deadly business of gangs « Jason van Rassel: crime reporter

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