British Columbia Hells Angel Damion John Patrick Ryan is among a group of people charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot in the US. “To those in Iran who plot murders on US soil and the criminal actors who work with them, let today’s charges send a clear message: the Department of Justice will pursue you as long as it takes — and wherever you are — and deliver justice,” said US Department of Justice (DOJ) National Security Division (NSD) Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen in a Monday press release. Court documents from 2020 to 2021 show Iranian resident Naji Sharifi Zindashti, 49, Ryan, and Canadian resident Adam Richard Pearson, 29, conspired with each other in a plot to murder two Maryland residents. The DOJ said Zindashti, Ryan and Pearson used encrypted messaging service SkyECC to recruit people who would travel into the US to carry out the killings, to discuss the identities and locations of the victims, to plan the logistics and mechanics of how to carry out the murders and to negotiate payment for completion of the murder. It added the intended victims of the plot had fled to the US after one of them defected from Iran. Concurrent with this indictment, the Department of the Treasury (DOT) took action against Zindashti’s criminal network targeting Iranian dissidents and opposition activists for abductions and assassinations at the direction of the Iranian government. Pursuant to these designations, the DOT said he and several of his associates are prohibited from engaging in any transaction involving an American or in the US. “As alleged, Mr. Zindashti and his team of gunmen, including a Minnesota resident, used an encrypted messaging service to orchestrate an assassination plot against two individuals,” said US District of Minnesota Attorney Andrew Luger. “Thanks to the skilled work of federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents, this murder-for-hire conspiracy was disrupted and the defendants will face justice.”Between 2020 and 2021, the DOJ said Zindashti and Ryan communicated about jobs, equipment, tools and plans to make money. In 2021, it said they spoke about a job in the US. Ryan noted doing a job in the US was challenging, but he “might have someone to do it.” That same day, he messaged Pearson about this job. He recommended two men go with proper equipment. Pearson said he would encourage the recruits for the job to “shoot [the victim] in the head a lot [to] make [an] example." A few weeks later, Zindashti messaged Ryan on SkyECC seeking an update on the job. Ryan responded by saying he was getting the details in order and would need money. Soon after, Zindashti advised Ryan his organization was ready to move forward. They agreed on a $350,000 payment for the job and $20,000 to cover expenses. After he introduced him to Co-Conspirator 1, he said they had a four-man team ready. Over the days that followed, Ryan and Co-Conspirator 1 continued to correspond on SkyECC about the plot. Co-Conspirator 1 sent him information about his victims, including their photographs and images of a map that highlighted the victims’ known address. He facilitated a $20,000 payment to him to cover his travel expenses associated with the plot. All three of the defendants have been charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire. Pearson is charged with one count of possession of a firearm by an alien unlawfully in the US. Zindashti resides in Iran. Ryan and Pearson are incarcerated in Canada on unrelated offences. The DOJ acknowledged the FBI is investigating the case with assistance from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP. It said District of Minnesota Assistant US Attorney Andrew R. Winter, DOJ NSD's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section Trial Attorney Menno Goedman, and NSD Counterterrorism Trial Attorney Joshua Champagne are prosecuting the case.Conservative MP Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills, ON) said he was disturbed the Iranian government was hiring Hells Angels in BC. “Very concerning that the regime in Tehran is hiring Hells Angels members in British Columbia to conduct foreign interference (FI) threat activities — including assassinations of persons in North America who fled Iran,” said Chong..Chong pointed out this news comes on the heels of a report published in November the Iranian government has 700 affiliates operating in Canada with impunity, intimidating and threatening people and committing financial crimes such as embezzlement and money laundering. The Canadian government has refused to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity. It has delayed the creation of a foreign agent registry. The Canadian government used provisions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in 2022 to target members of the IRGC and prevent its officials from entering Canada.READ MORE: Liberal government bans Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members from entering CanadaHowever, it stopped short of declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization. “The actions we have taken and are announcing today are some of the strongest measures anywhere against Iran,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.