Sentencing underway in Island man's mail-order drug case
May 04 2012
A sentencing hearing is underway for a Duncan man who pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine in 2006 and 2008.
On Nov. 28, 2011, Jason Thomas Conrad pleaded guilty to mailing 280 grams of cocaine to an associate in New Brunswick. The Xpresspost shipment, sent on Aug. 29, 2006, was intercepted by police.
Conrad also pleaded guilty to delivering three packages of cocaine - two packages of powder weighing a total of 431 grams and a third package of crack cocaine weighing 54 grams - to the same associate on Oct. 26, 2006.
After the first shipment went missing, Conrad gave the cocaine directly to his associate, believing this to be a safer method of delivery. The associate was arrested in Vancouver.
Finally, Conrad pleaded guilty to placing an order for five kilograms of cocaine on Sept. 28, 2008. The shipment was seized by police as it was being driven off a ferry. Conrad was arrested that day.
Federal prosecutor Peter Eccles asked the court to impose a 10-year sentence, a DNA order and a lifetime weapons prohibition. Conrad's defence lawyer, Rory Morahan, is asking for a six-year sentence.
On Thursday, Eccles told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Doug Halfyard that police intercepted Conrad's communications in 2006 when he discussed sending the cocaine through the mail.
Police also intercepted Conrad's communications from early August to October 2008 as part of their investigation into a group of large-scale cocaine traffickers on Vancouver Island.
Conrad, who was a kilogram-level cocaine dealer in 2008, ordered five kilos from a Vancouver supplier at a price of $215,000. Ultimately, police seized nine-kilograms of cocaine and made a number of arrests.
When Conrad was arrested, police searched his room at the Best Western in Chemainus. They found a vacuum sealer, a money counter, almost $6,000 in cash, steroids, a score sheet, two cellphones and two electronic scales.
Eccles described Conrad as a career criminal who committed the offences to advance his career as a wholesale cocaine trafficker.
"Mr. Conrad displayed utter indifference to the addicted individuals whose lives his drugs have destroyed, as well as the rest of society who must endure the violence and criminality associated to the wholesale trafficking of this destructive drug," said Eccles.
Conrad's criminal history includes convictions for forcible confinement, driving while disqualified, trafficking, attempted theft over $5,000 and assault.
The hearing is expected to continue today.