Charges have been laid against two men in connection with a string of arsons and shootings involving students and staff at the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Chief Supt. Kevin Hackett of the B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says 15 victims with links to the Justice Institute of British Columbia were targets in 19 arsons and four firearms related incidents between April, 2011, and January, 2012.

Their homes, vehicles and property were the subjects of multiple shootings and arsons.

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

In July 2011, a threatening email was received by the Justice Institute and referenced nine people, all but one of whom had their property targeted in the preceding months.

The RCMP determined the victims were linked and had a connection to the Justice Institute.

Investigators have also found that an ICBC employee had looked up the fifteen victims’ license plates, which provided their personal details.

In January 2012, an arson investigation in Surrey led to the identification of the person who is alleged to have orchestrated all of the offences.

Between December, 2014, and January, 2015, a number of victims received suspicious letters in the mail. One of the letters contained a warning that the attacks would resume in the new year.

Investigators reconnected with the victims to ensure adequate safety until the charges have been laid today.

Two men — 40-year-old Vincent Eric Gia-Hwa Cheung of Langley and 54-year-old Thurman Ronley Taffe of Burnaby — have been arrested and appeared in court today. They will appear in court again on Oct. 1.

Cheung is alleged to be the main orchestrator. He is charged with a number of offences and is believed to have gang ties. Taffe is charged with one count of arson.

The extensive investigation spanned four years and many jurisdictions across B.C., involving hundreds of police officers from several police agencies.

Police says their investigation was complicated by the efforts of the accused to disguise their intent through cunning and misdirection.

The motive of the crimes remains unknown, but police say the victims were all innocent.

Many were at home when the arsons or shootings took place and still feel the emotional impact of these crimes.

Investigators say the public may never know exactly why these people were targeted.

“We know that there are still people out there with information related to this investigation. We ask that the contact us so we can advance the investigation,” says Hackett.

More arrests and charges are expected.