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Group of parolees sent back to jail after Victoria police bust trafficking ring

Feb 09 2012
Five men, serving sentences for offences ranging from dangerous driving to murder, were implicated in a drug sting and have had their paroles suspended, said police spokesman Const. Mike Russell. 

Five men, serving sentences for offences ranging from dangerous driving to murder, were implicated in a drug sting and have had their paroles suspended, said police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

Photograph by: ., timescolonist.com

Victoria police say they've shut down a drug trafficking ring run by parolees and put the offenders back in jail.

The strike force unit and the high-risk offender unit targeted five federal parolees who police suspected were operating a network selling drugs in downtown Victoria.

Five men, serving sentences for offences ranging from dangerous driving to murder, were implicated in the sting and have had their paroles suspended, said police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

The investigation began in January when undercover officers bought cocaine from John Wesley Shaw, 37, who was on parole for a four-year sentence for assault and property offences.

Police discovered he was the ringleader of a drug network of convicts living in Victoria on full parole.

Shaw's parole was suspended and he pleaded guilty to the trafficking charges.

Victoria police could not get enough evidence to charge the other four men with drug trafficking, but they all had their parole suspended and were sent back to jail.

Russell said parolees are closely monitored by their parole officers and prolific offenders or those convicted of violent or sexual offences are also watched by the Victoria police high risk offender officer, Det. Shawn Robson.

"We've had files where we arrest five people and one is on parole, but to have a file that is a network of parolees is something I can't ever recall seeing," Russell said. "The strength of this file shows we're able to monitor them well in the community and act on that information in a very timely manner."

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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