An RCMP member testified Thursday there was no mistaking a federal prisoner on the run who was reported to be armed and hiding out in Cranbrook.
That prisoner, who walked away from a halfway house in Vancouver and was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, was John Garry Shank.
Months later Shank would become a police agent and is expected to be the key witness against three men in a murder conspiracy trial underway in Kamloops.
Cpl. Lee Gregor said during testimony that Shank’s tattoos included a spider beside his left eye and an elaborate design on his neck. The markings were obvious in a mugshot distributed to police.
During cross-examination, defence lawyer Don Campbell asked Gregor if she knew of any significance of a teardrop tattoo below Shank’s left eye.
“That’s them bragging they’ve killed someone?” Campbell asked.
Gregor agreed, saying: “It can be taken that way.”
Shank is expected to testify he conspired as a police agent with Lonnie Adams, Lorne Carry and Colin Correia to murder a Cranbrook drug rival.
A Crown prosecutor said in her opening address Wednesday that Shank started talks with RCMP that led to him signing on to become a police agent after he was returned to jail. He agreed to wear a recording device and take direction from RCMP on his release from jail.
Gregor testified that information given to police before the arrest included that Shank had a criminal record for arson and forcible confinement and was armed with a handgun.
When he was arrested Nov. 19, 2009, at a trailer home in Cranbrook, Gregor said an SKS semi-automatic rifle with a banana magazine was found within arm’s reach of Shank.
Police found the gun on the floor, under a blanket, after they walked into the trailer. Eight Mounties were on the scene to arrest Shank.
The trial is scheduled to take three months.