NEWS

Decision today on sentences for $193M drug case

01/15/2014 06:45 EST | Updated 03/17/2014 05:59 EDT
Three B.C. men serving time for what authorities are calling the largest drug case in Saskatchewan history will learn today if their prison sentences will be longer.

Brock Ernest Palfrey, Troy Ernest Swanson and William Bruce Larson were convicted in 2012 for their roles in an organized drug trafficking ring that moved huge sums of cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy pills between B.C. and the U.S., via Saskatchewan. The pills and marijuana were headed for California.

According to court documents, the total street value of the drugs was $193,800,000. The police investigations associated with the case netted only a portion of the drugs which were moved in 16 different shipments over the course of two years beginning in December of 2009.

All three men pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Palfrey, 27, was identified as the main organizer of the shipments and, according to the Crown prosecutor, stood to make around $3,500,000 from the shipments. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Swanson, also 27, was used as a courier. He was given 11 years. Larson, 52, another courier, got 12 years.

According to information provided during the trials, the couriers were being paid about $10,000 per trip.

Palfrey used a variety of methods to move the drugs across the border into Montana including snowmobiles, ATVs and pickup trucks. He also provided his couriers, mostly Canadians he recruited, with modified mobile phones that could elude police surveillance.

The Crown prosecutor on the case argued for a 25-year sentence for Palfrey and 15 years for the other two.

The decision of the Court of Appeal is expected around 10 a.m. CST.

A joint investigation into the flow of drugs, by RCMP and American law enforcement officials, among others, determined Palfrey led a sophisticated crime ring and maintained relationships with suppliers and traffickers. The investigation led to a total of 17 people in Canada and the U.S. being charged.

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