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murder of a man one source said had close ties to the Hells Angels.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Two city men accused of a 2008 murder in the Calgary area are now charged in the alleged contract killing of a well-known underworld figure in Saskatoon.

And police say they're hot on the trail of at least two co-conspirators linked to the Saskatoon murder of a man one source said had close ties to the Hells Angels.

Neil Lee Yakimchuk and Kenneth Jacob Tingle, both 31, are charged with first-degree murder in the April 15, 2004, death of Isho Hana, who was gunned down in the middle of the street outside his Saskatoon home.

Police say the paid shooting was part of a dispute over drug turf and that Iraqi-born Hana, 34, was heavily involved in the dope trade.

His 2004 funeral in Saskatoon was attended by those donning Hells Angels colours.

In March of this year, the same two men were charged with first-degree murder after the body of Juan Carlos Dequina, 22, was found in his SUV on the edge of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation on December 14, 2008.

He'd been shot after being lured to his death, say investigators.

It was that murder that led police to the Saskatoon killings, said Staff Sgt. Grant Miller.

"This was a cold case for Saskatoon police until (Calgary police) detectives learned significant new information in the course of the Dequina investigation," said Miller.

"We contacted the Saskatoon police and started a relationship with them that continues on."

The focus of the investigation, said a police source, are two or more men they say were involved in the contract hit, who live in both Calgary and Saskatoon.

"At this moment, we don't plan an imminent arrest but we're certainly looking towards it," said Miller.

He said the killer-for-hire case is somewhat unusual, but hardly unheard of in western Canada.

"It's uncommon but we do see it -- we were involved in one in Calgary earlier this year," said Miller.

Police say the two killings are unrelated, except for the identities of those charged in their deaths.

Dequina had no criminal background and has been described as an innocent victim by police.

His killing was over more personal issues, say police, and Yakimchuk, who knew the deceased, served as a pallbearer at his 2008 funeral.

Last March, Dequina's mother, Adela, said the family felt betrayed knowing a man accused in his killing was close to them.

"We were very good to him and why? He was someone we trusted," she said.

Both Tingle and Yakimchuk were being held in the Calgary Remand Centre since March but were transferred to Saskatoon on Friday.

Their next court appearance in that city is in February.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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