BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. undercover Mountie says suspect worried about going back to jail

02/27/2014 05:05 EST | Updated 04/29/2014 05:59 EDT
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - The man suspected in a homicide more than a decade ago told an undercover Mountie that he was worried about going back to jail, a jury has heard.

Rob Smith is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops, B.C., facing one count each of manslaughter and interference with a dead body.

Smith, 46, became the target of an undercover operation in 2012 — less than a year after Sandy Charlie’s body was unearthed accidentally by an excavator on a property in Lytton.

Charlie was last seen in 1999.

The undercover officer told court about a conversation he had with Smith as the two drove from Vancouver to Whistler on May 12, 2012.

“Mr. Smith described part of his criminal past and stated he’d been in some pretty dark places,” said the officer, whose name cannot be published.

“But he said he’d now figured out how to control his anger.”

The jury also listened to recordings of Smith’s interactions with the undercover Mounties he thought were gangsters trying to recruit him into their powerful criminal organization.

Smith confided his family problems, including his sister’s suicide and another sister’s efforts to leave her husband.

Over four months in 2012, Smith participated in more than 50 scenarios, including a trip to the Yukon to clean up a staged murder scene.

Midway through the operation, the officer told Smith the gang valued honesty and dependability above all else.

He also gave Smith the option of quitting his job as a rebar worker, telling him he could work “smarter, not harder” for the gang.

The jury has listened to several hours of recordings of one of the scenarios in Abbotsford.

In one incident, Smith described to undercover officers how he fillets salmon in one cut — which earned him the nickname One Cut, the officer testified.

Court heard Smith was worried about going back to jail though the undercover officer assured him that wouldn’t happen — as long as he was honest.

“Mr. Smith explained there’s no way he’s going back,” the Mountie testified.

“I said there’s no way he would if he’s working with us because I did things that way so nobody goes to jail," he said.

“I said that we were like brothers. Mr. Smith agreed and we bumped fists.”

The jury has already heard that Smith explained to undercover Mounties how he killed Smith and buried his body.

That videotaped confession is expected to be played in court next week. (Kamloops This Week)