VANCOUVER – Abbotsford gangster Jarrod Bacon and his former father-in-law Wayne Scott are facing 15 to 21 years in prison at a sentencing hearing today in B.C. Supreme Court.
They were found guilty last Feb. 3 of conspiring to traffic 100 kilograms of cocaine.
The charge has a maximum penalty of life in prison and the Crown is seeking a prison sentence in the range of 15 to 21 years for both men.
The Crown is seeking 13 to 15 years for Scott and up to 21 years for Bacon.
The offence took place in February 2009, when a police agent negotiated the sale of 100 kilograms of cocaine for $30,000 a kilogram.
“Bacon and his financial backers had $3 million to invest in cocaine and said his group would be able to dispose of the cocaine quickly,” prosecutor Peter LaPrairie told Justice Austin Cullen today.
An aggravating factor, the Crown counsel said, is the fact Bacon was on bail at the time for a number of weapons offences.
Bacon, 29, has eight previous criminal convictions, the Crown said.
“He is a criminal and an enforcer who regularly wears a bullet-proof vest,” LaPrairie said.
He said Scott, 56, who has two grown children and a grandson, played the middleman in the drug deal and used covert means to further negotiations.
The Crown contends Bacon was the operating mind and played the central role, and Scott facilitated meetings with the police agent at Scott’s residence.
The Crown also pointed out the two men used a chalk board for clandestine communications at a dining room table while Bacon’s parents were present.
Bacon is the father of Scott’s grandson.
The Crown contends the street value of the cocaine was $3.5 million at the kilogram level, but would have sold for $8 million at the street level.
“This was an offence committed for financial gain,” Laprairie said.
The judge suggested the “notional profit,” since no drugs actually changed hands, would have been $2,500 a kilogram for Bacon and $3,000 for Scott.
“Bacon indicated he had a group to distribute the cocaine,” Laprairie said.
“It’s a little unclear how they were going to distribute it,” he added.
“Even at the kilogram level it would be a sizeable profit,” he said.
“Cocaine is a very dangerous drug.”
The prosecutor also pointed out that Bacon lied during the trial, testifying he didn’t plan to buy the 100 kilograms but planned to rip off the agent posing as a high-level cocaine supplier.
“It’s the Crown’s position that Bacon’s evidence at trial, which was rejected by the court, was untruthful,” Laprairie said.
Bacon has been in custody since Nov. 26, 2009, while Scott has been on bail, the court was told.
The Crown suggested Bacon should receive double credit for the two years and five months he has served in custody, which amounts to a deduction of four years and 10 months.
Scott’s lawyer, Jeremy Guild, asked the judge to adjourn his defence sentencing submission until June 8 to allow Scott to deal with a medical condition.
“That makes sense,” said the judge.
At the time of the police reverse-sting operation, there was a flurry of violence across Metro Vancouver resulting from a gang war between the Bacon group and their enemies in the United Nations gang.
Jeff Ray, Bacon’s lawyer, suggested the judge should consider that no drugs were seized in the reverse sting, so there was no potential for any drugs to be distributed.
“There was never any potential for harm to be done to the community,” the defence lawyer said.
“It was an imaginary offence,” Ray told the court.
He compared it to “a conspiracy to commit a murder of someone who doesn’t exist.”
The fact no drugs were seized by police should be considered when weighing the gravity of the offence to determine , Ray said.
“One of the most significant factors is what you’re punishing Mr. Bacon for is him taking advantage of an opportunity presented by police that really didn’t exist,” he said.
Ray said reverse stings are a relatively new investigative tool in Canadian law.
“I can’t find another case where no drugs were seized in a reverse sting,” he told the court.
Ray suggested an eight-year sentence would be fit.
And after deduction the double credit for “dead time” served in pre-trial custody, Bacon should serve only another three years and two months in custody, the defence lawyer said.
The judge is not expected to impose a sentence today.
The defence lawyer pointed out that his client has not previously served a federal prison sentence and his prior criminal record was minor, with only one conviction for “hard drugs.”
Bacon’s longest previous sentence was six months in jail.
Ray also urged the court not to accept the Crown’s recommendation that Bacon serve half his sentence before he is considered for parole.
The lawyer said Bacon was a high school wrestling champion who ranked as one of the best in Canada.
He is one of three brothers – his brother Jonathan was recently shot to death and his brother Jamie is in custody, facing murder charges.
–Neal Hall, The Vancouver Sun