Mounties gather near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday.

UPDATE: IHIT confirms identity of Hells Angels homicide victim

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

The body of a Maple Ridge man found face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge on Sunday was a full-patch member of the Hells Angels.

He was identified as Chad John Wilson, a former member of the Haney Chapter of the Hells Angels and who joined the biker club’s newest one, the Hardside Chapter, in a Facebook post and in other media reports.

“R.I.P. Chad Wilson. Today is one of the hardest days I’ve had to face. Our charter, the club and the world will never be the same. You’re a Legend and your family will be with us forever my brother! See you on the other side. always us,” reads the post by Jewsifer, which is linked to the Hardside Chapter’s website.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team confirmed Wilson’s death Tuesday.

Ridge Meadows RCMP said they are working with homicide investigators after a body was found Sunday, face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

“Officers determined that the man, later identified as 43-year-old Chad Wilson of Maple Ridge, was a victim of homicide,” said Cpl. Frank Jang of IHIT.

“Mr. Wilson was a well-established member of an organized crime group and it is believed that his homicide was not random. IHIT will be engaging with numerous gang enforcement units throughout the Lower Mainland region that will be working to mitigate any ongoing violence,” he added.

“While the motive for Mr. Wilson’s murder has not been confirmed, this is yet another reminder of the significant dangers posed to one’s life by being part of a criminal organization.”

Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine and who had links to the Mission and Haney chapters of the Hells Angels.

B.C.’s anti-gang unit confirmed then that Mission full-patch member Jason Cyrus Arkinstall and Wilson were arrested by Spain’s National Police along with associates Scott Smitna and Michael Dryborough.

“We have provided information as it’s been requested through the RCMP to Spanish authorities,” said Sgt. Lindsay Houghton, with B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Spanish police allege the men were involved in smuggling 500 kilograms of cocaine into the country.

A statement from Spanish police said the investigation began after authorities were tipped off about a group of Canadian Hells Angels who were planning to ship cocaine from Columbia to Spain by sailboat.

The discovery of Wilson’s body was made just before 11:30 a.m., just west of Wharf Street and Hazelwood Street.

The Maple Ridge Fire Department called for the RCMP shortly after arriving on scene.

Insp. Vishal Methura, regional duty officer for the Lower Mainland district, said Sunday that police discovered a man lying face-down, deceased.

Several men wearing Hells Angels insignia arrived on scene, crossing the police tape to talk to investigators.

However, Methura would not comment if the death was related to gang activity in the Lower Mainland.

He did say that the deceased male was known to police.

Methura added that the large presence of police was due to the location of the crime scene.

“Usually the amount of officers that would be required is based on the crime scene itself. So this being an open area, especially close to the water, and on the road, we need a large police presence,” he said.

Police are currently in the evidence-gathering phase, and no further information will be provided at this time.

• Anyone with information regarding this investigation can call the IHIT Information Line at1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

• To remain anonymous, contact CrimeStoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Members of the RCMP talk with members of the Maple Ridge Fire Department near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday.

(THE NEWS/files) Mounties gather near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday.

Mounties gather near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday.

Mounties gather near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday. Mounties gather near the Golden Ears Bridge after a body was found in Maple Ridge Sunday.

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