Island drug investigation led to raid on the B. C. legislature
Nine people charged during that probe; here’s what happened to them
The investigation into political fraud and corruption that led to the raid on the B. C. legislature in 2003 stemmed from information gathered during a drug investigation that started in July 2002.
The Vancouver Island RCMP District Drug Section commenced the drug investigation, code- named Project Everywhichway, which targeted the criminal activities of Jasmohan Singh Bains and his associates.
The Crown alleges Bains was the head of a Victoria- based criminal organization that was shipping kilograms of cocaine to the Toronto area. The money was then shipped back by Federal Express in vacuum- sealed bags stuffed with fabric softeners to “ disguise” the contents.
Police seized 20 kilograms of cocaine during a three- month period ending December 2003. As well, police intercepted courier shipments of cash, including one shipment of $ 189,000, which police learned through wiretap was from the sale of five kilograms of cocaine in Toronto.
Here’s a summary of what happened to the nine people charged during the drug investigation:
Jaspal ( Tony) Singh and Mandeep Sandhu were charged with conspiracy to traffic marijuana between Sept. 30 and Dec. 9, 2003 and with possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking on Oct. 9, 2003. The case involved a total of six kilograms of marijuana seized from a Surrey warehouse.
Singh pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2005, in Surrey Provincial Court to possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was given a three- month conditional sentence and fined $ 10,000. Singh also was ordered to forfeit $ 26,385 seized from his vehicle on Oct. 9, 2003 and $ 71,380 seized from his residence on Dec. 9, 2003.
The charges against Sandhu were stayed but he was ordered to forfeit $ 34,000 seized from his Saanich residence.
Former Victoria police constable Ravinder ( Rob) Dosanjh was convicted of obstruction of justice last October in Vancouver Provincial Court. He was found guilty of counselling his cousin Sandhu to make false statements to police about the origin of funds seized from Sandhu’s residence.
He received a conditional sentence of house arrest.
John Scallon and Michael Doyle were charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine and trafficking cocaine after police seized two kg of cocaine on Dec. 3, 2003 in Vancouver. Scallon pleaded guilty in Victoria Provincial Court to trafficking cocaine and was sentenced to five years in prison. Doyle pleaded guilty in B. C. Supreme Court in Vancouver and was sentenced to 32 months in prison. Doyle is appealing his sentence.
Jasmohan Bains, Brahm Mikol, John Scallon and Arianna Blythe Vernon were charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto between Sept. 19 and Dec. 9, 2003. The trial of Bains is scheduled for 2008 in Victoria.
Mikol pleaded guilty in B. C. Supreme Court in Vancouver to conspiracy to traffic and was sentenced to 41⁄ years in prison.
Vernon, who stored the drugs and cash at her residence in Scarborough, Ont., pleaded guilty in B. C. Supreme Court in Vancouver to conspiracy to traffic and was given a conditional sentence of two years less a day. Her sentence took into account her lower level in the criminal organization and the fact she is now the mother of a very young son.
Scallon, 43, was arrested in Toronto, in front of an elementary school, with six kg of cocaine on Oct. 17, 2003.
He advised Bains to take steps to protect himself. Scallon was caught two months later in Vancouver with another two kg of cocaine. He pleaded guilty in Victoria Provincial Court to conspiracy to traffic for the two kg and was sentenced to five years in prison, concurrent with the five- year sentence he earlier received.
The sentencing judge found Scallon was not a mere foot soldier but a trusted participant in multi- kilogram sales of cocaine who managed to appear as a legitimate businessman — he ran his own decorating business and his wife ran a fitness business.
Dave Basi had been charged with the production and possession of marijuana after police found a grow operation in a home he owned but rented out at Shawnigan Lake, about 20 kilometres north of Victoria. Those charges were stayed June 30, 2005, by the federal Crown.
Ex- police constable Ravinder Dosanjh was convicted of obstruction of justice.