In 2015, Dean Michael Wiwchar was sentenced to 10 years in jail for possession of 16 firearms in the spring of 2012. At the time, he was a suspect in the murder of gangster Sandip Duhre, who was shot to death in the lobby of the Sheraton Wall Centre. 2 guns were seized from his Vancouver apartment along with an assortment of 14 operational guns that were found at a “safe house” in Surrey during surveillance initiatives to prevent further killings. Wiwchar admitted to possessing the two firearms but appealed on the grounds that he was not associated with the other firearms.

Rejected appeal

The B.C. Court of Appeal rejected his appeal and upheld the conviction by Justice Bowden on all counts as circumstantial evidence had proven that he knew about the other 14 firearms in possession. Bowden said Wiwchar and Ley likely “possessed the firearms for a nefarious purpose, and it is not unreasonable to infer that the purpose was to threaten or inflict serious bodily harm or death.”

While Wiwchar was never charged in the Duhre slaying, he was charged with the first-degree-murder of Toronto gang leader, Johnnie Raposo. The co-accused in the Raposo murder, Rabih Alkhalil, is also charged in B.C. with killing Duhre.

Evidence

The police were surveilling Wiwchar and another man called Phillip Juan Ley because they were showing signs of plotting another murder. Bowden noted that Wiwchar and Ley appeared to be looking for someone at Surrey’s World Gym. The men were caught on camera changing into dark clothes before going to the gym, scanning the gym for “East Indian males.” In surveillance footage, after returning from to the Surrey apartment (where the firearms were found) he leaves the building again dressed in all white.

It was also noted that nobody had access to the building but them. Ley eventually admitted to owning some of the guns but Wiwchar stood by his statement about knowing nothing about them. His prints were not found on the firearms but instead, on a bag inside the apartment.

“It is reasonable to infer that either Mr. Wiwchar himself placed the London Drugs bag in the ottoman or he was present in suite 1209 when (Ley) placed it there. In either scenario, it is reasonable to infer that Mr. Wiwchar would have then become aware of the guns in the ottoman,” Bowden said. (Ottawa Citizen)