BRITISH COLUMBIA

Vincent Cheung, Suspect In B.C. Justice Institute Attacks, Once Won The Lottery

09/22/2015 05:40 EDT | Updated 09/22/2015 05:59 EDT

One of the men accused of plotting a spree of arsons and shootings aimed at people connected with the Justice Institute of B.C. is a former lottery winner.

Langley's Vincent Cheung, 40, allegedly orchestrated attacks on 15 different people connected to the school, which trains police and first responders.

Twenty-three attacks that included deliberate fires of people's homes and vehicles took place between April 2011 and January 2012 in several municipalities around southwestern B.C., including Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby and Maple Ridge, said police.

But long before becoming an alleged mastermind, he worked two jobs as a mechanic and bartender, reported The Province.

In 2001, Cheung's father died of cancer so he began buying tickets in the B.C. Cancer Foundation Lifestyles Lottery, said CTV News.

He hit the jackpot in 2003, winning the grand-prize home, worth $2.6 million, said the outlet.

Shortly after the big win, Cheung reportedly sold the Shaughnessy mansion to gangster Miguel Rodriguez, who was shot dead in 2007, added CTV.

Police say Cheung has been associated with the United Nations gang, and believe that his criminal ties were used to help carry out the Justice Institute attacks.

At a press conference Monday, Chief Supt. Kevin Hackett of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit declined to provide a possible motive for the crimes, saying details would emerge in court.

Cheung faces 23 firearms and arson charges.

With files from The Canadian Press

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