The president of a high-profile motorcycle gang on Vancouver Island has been arrested in connection with the 2016 murder of a Saanich MMA fighter, B.C.'s anti-gang unit says.

Ricky Alexander, president of the Devil's Army Motorcycle Club based in Campbell River, is being held in custody after he was arrested Friday, according to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.

Alexander has been charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown, a 30-year-old semi-pro MMA fighter found dead in his car on a bridge near Sayward in March 2016.

The apparently targeted murder led police to raid a Devil's Army clubhouse in Campbell River in August 2017.

In the release, police say Alexander is one of the founding members of the motorcycle club, which has been based in Campbell River since 2009.

"While a charge of First Degree Murder is significant in any circumstance, this charge is particularly significant as it involves a long-time high ranking member of an Outlaw Motorcycle Club,” CFSEU-BC Chief Supt. Trent Rolfe said in a statement.

The combined investigation between CFSEU-BC and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit spanned years and involved more than 200 police officers, according to police.

"This investigation showcases that a collaborative, coordinated and focused approach can gather the evidence necessary to ensure that those responsible are brought before the courts," said Asst. Comm. Kevin Hackett of BC RCMP 'E' Division.

The news release says Alexander will remain in custody pending further court proceedings.