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Governor of Puerto Rico distances himself from captured B.C. fugitive


“From what I see, this person scammed half the world, deceived half the world, changed, physically operated so that they would not detect him. Now the authorities will prosecute him and make answer for the crimes he committed in Canada.” — Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi

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The governor of Puerto Rico and others who came in contact with a bee preservation charity where accused B.C. killer Conor D’Monte worked under an alias are distancing themselves from the longtime fugitive.

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D’Monte, a one-time leader of the United Nations gang, had been living in the U.S. territory for at least five years until he was arrested on Friday by the U.S. Marshals Service on B.C. conspiracy and murder charges. He is expected to face an extradition hearing in the coming weeks.

He was so well known as Johnny Williams, of the non-profit Karma Honey Project, that even the office of Governor Pedro Pierluisi put out a Feb. 17 news release celebrating his charity’s work.

Karma Honey placed a rescued beehive on the grounds of the governor’s home, Pierluisi said in the release, in which he praised the work of beekeepers like “co-founder of the Karma Honey Project, Jonathan Williams.”

Conor Vincent D’Monte
Conor Vincent D’Monte PROVINCE

“Bees are the most important pollinators in our ecosystem. For this reason, in this Puerto Rican Beekeeper Week, we highlight and recognize all the professionals in this industry because without their dedication and commitment, we would not have food on the table,” Pierluisi said.

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After Postmedia reported on the link between the charity and the fugitive, local journalists grilled the governor at a news conference Monday.

Pierluisi said he had never met Williams personally, though said Karma Honey’s “cause is beautiful.”

And he explained that the group was called in to relocate a swarm of bees at the governor’s house.

“From what they tell me, he was there collaborating with others to relocate this hive, to establish the hive that we have there, to relocate the swarm that existed in an office window,” Pierluisi said, according to El Vocero newspaper.

“From what I see, this person scammed half the world, deceived half the world, changed, physically operated so that they would not detect him. Now the authorities will prosecute him and make answer for the crimes he committed in Canada.”

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D’Monte, 44, is being held at the Guaynabo detention centre in San Juan. His is scheduled to appear in court on March 10. Postmedia has learned that in addition to using the name John Williams, he had other fake identification from California in the name Johnathon Wilson. He had also recently put his penthouse apartment up for sale, one source said.

Under his alias, D’Monte was well-connected on the island. He ran a group chat site for Karma Honey volunteers, as well as one for beach tennis players.

On the beach tennis site, he was constantly organizing matches, BBQs and parties and sometimes advertising things for sale. He also used the site to raise money for charitable causes he was involved in. He posted photos and videos of others playing beach tennis, but never any of himself.

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On Feb. 20, 2020, he wrote: “Hi everyone. I’m looking for a spot in Condado or Ocean Park to do a charity car wash. If you own land or know of someone that might, please reach out to me.”

On April 2, 2020: “Anyone know of any private residences that have tennis courts on them for rent? Actually on the property, not just as part of the gated community.”

Then on April 29, 2020, he was offering up medical supplies in the early days of the pandemic — “just met with some of the staff from the Santa Isabella medical centre to donate masks and face shields,” he wrote. “The situation is pretty dire, they ran out completely and also out of test kits … shoot me a private message if you know any doctors or nurses in need of mask donations.”

kbolan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/kbolan

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