Whitehorse Daily Star

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CONFISCATED – RCMP seized these weapons and drugs, shown in April 2015, in Whitehorse as part of operation Monarch.

Stay away, pushers told

The takedown of a cocaine ring by the RCMP has led to five convictions and a warning from Yukon territorial court to B.C. drug dealers: don’t come here.

By Pierre Chauvin on March 9, 2016

The takedown of a cocaine ring by the RCMP has led to five convictions and a warning from Yukon territorial court to B.C. drug dealers: don’t come here.

“I hope that as words spread of the sentences, others down south won’t come here to take advantage of local people,” Judge Donald Luther said Tuesday.

Luther sentenced Bradley Prowal, Jeffery Redick and Taylor Wallace for their roles in a cocaine trafficking ring operating in the Yukon.

Prowal received three years for trafficking cocaine, Redick 3 1/2 years for trafficking cocaine and two weapons offences and Taylor Wallace six months for the careless use of a firearm.

They had entered guilty pleas at what was supposed to be a preliminary hearing.

All three are from B.C., and moved to the territory a couple of years ago. They operated as part of the Langley-based 856 gang.

An agreed statement of facts read in court by Crown prosecutor Eric Marcoux shed some light on the investigation conducted by Yukon RCMP’s Federal Investigations Unit.

In May 2014, the unit received information about a cocaine ring run by Prowal, and started investigating it.

The police set out to make a first purchase using a phone number they had learned of, with the goal to then “work up the line.”

An undercover police agent called the phone number on June 27, 2014.

Later that day, the agent approached a car and talked to Prowal.

He purchased $50 worth of cocaine.

The agent was given a new cellphone number for further purchases.

On Nov. 22, 2014, the agent called again, this time to arrange a four-ounce delivery, about 113 grams, with Prowal.

The following day, the agent exchanged $12,000 for the four ounces at the Canada Games Centre parking lot.

On Jan. 25, the agent made another purchase, this time 116 grams of cocaine for $10,000.

Redick was present during a number of the transactions made with the undercover agent, the Crown said.

On March 16, 2015, the RCMP decided to end the investigation and arrested all three men.

They obtained a warrant for a home they had been surveilling.

Police seized three loaded handguns, three rifles, cocaine, pills, $20,000 in cash, large quantities of ammunition and “856” T-shirts at the home.

Police recovered Redick’s fingerprints on one of the rifles. At the time, he was under a firearm prohibition.

The Crown admitted they had the least amount of evidence on Wallace – he was only seen leaving the residence.

They also obtained a warrant to check inside the mouths of the three men. Wallace had “856”, Prowal “85” and Redick “8” tattooed inside their mouths.

In 2014, the Vancouver Sun reported that complete 856 tattoos were for high-ranking members of the gang, with 85 and eight tattoos for lower-level members.

The sentences were joint submissions from the Crown and the defence lawyers.

For all three men, the Crown told the court they should get credit for entering a guilty plea early on.

A four-day preliminary hearing was supposed to have started Tuesday.

Prowal has 18 months left to serve, taking into account credit he was granted for his time on remand. He received a $200 fine.

The 27-year-old plans to head back to B.C. once he is released and become a longshoreman, his lawyer, David Tarnow, told the court.

While Luther noted that the sentences for Prowal and Redick were on the “light” end of available terms, he accepted them.

Jurisprudence says a judge should depart from joint submissions only if they’re demonstrably unfit, he noted.

He warned both men that if caught again, they would be looking at sentences ranging from five to 10 years in a federal penitentiary.

Redick, 35, has 24 months less a day left to serve. He was also fined $600.

His lawyer, Norah Mooney, told the court he intends to work as a barber once he’s been freed.

He had done more than 200 haircuts while in jail, she said.

Wallace has three months left to serve.

The 24-year-old has been working as a horse wrangler, his lawyer, Craig Sicotte, told the court.

Wallace, who had been granted bail, flew back to the territory to serve his time, Sicotte said. He was fined $200.

All of the men assured the court they have no plans to return to the Yukon.

“These men had no reasons to come up here other than traffic drugs,” Luther noted.

“They did so with a sense of arrogance and opportunism.”

Tuesday’s convictions bring the tally to a total of five men convicted in the Monarch operation.

On Monday, Gerrit Houben-Szabo was sentenced to 18 months for failing to attend court and trafficking cocaine.

Monarch is the second operation in a year to yield convictions after a major drug bust.

In 2013, the federal investigation unit launched operation Monolith.

Using a drug dealer-turned-informant, the unit took down a similar drug supply network.

As of November 2015, prosecutors had obtained five convictions and were appealing one acquittal.

A majority of the drug dealers convicted in the Monolith operation were from B.C.

Comments (7)

Up 3 Down 1

Rose on Mar 14, 2016 at 8:50 pm

I really hope they check to see if that young woman who was shot last year was shot from one of those rifles. Scary business.

Up 1 Down 0

Josey Wales on Mar 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Hey SJW Yes indeed, see that is better.
About that "inappropriate" comment of mine, did you proclaim yourself the "gate keeper" of what is appropriate?
You may have, but if you had not noticed?
Many folks, of which I very much am one, are beyond fed up with folks as you deeming what is appropriate/hateful etc.
In my view and many others I speak with, yes they too are fed up with nanny state progressives ABSOLUTELY dictating the premise of any conversation.

CC0R&F section 2 (b)..." freedom of thought, belief,opinion AND expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; "
You can think any way you desire. What you will not do successfully ...is tell me how to express myself or what is "appropriate" ...things getting clearer for you SJW?

Up 6 Down 3

Josey Whales on Mar 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm

"So is this the "token" message of the year from our courts?
Yeah, we don't welcome drug dealers here...from outside."

This is a very inappropriate statement Josey. Our judicial system has many messages and drug pushing is not encouraged or welcomed regardless of where someone comes from.

We are evolving as a northern city and many improvements have been recently made. The RCMP will continue to deal with speeding and impaired driving because that is what people want- we all want safer streets.

Up 22 Down 2

WhatAJoke on Mar 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm

I suppose they weren't selling high enough quantities of cocaine to qualify for an informant deal with the RCMP, how unfortunate for them. Let this be a lesson, go big or go home.

Up 18 Down 36

Josey Wales on Mar 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

So is this the "token" massage of the year from our courts?
Yeah, we don't welcome drug dealers here...from outside.
Clearly seem to embrace "local" impaired drivers.
Most certainly encourage negligent drivers maiming/killing/property damage via turnstiles on..yup..the courthouse.
And let us not forget, depending on your ethnicity and gender...will give you many many opportunities to compete...via...yup those tough courts
...with drug dealers from "the outside"?
Even our local criminals seem to have an equity clause/union like protection....to "keep on keepin' on"
Yes courts "OOooooooo scaaaary message, certain they all heard you and are trembling in their gangster wear.

Up 52 Down 1

john gould on Mar 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Funny how these guys, supposedly gangsters, get to stay in the Yukon to finish their time when one would think they would be anxious to return to BC to hook up with their BC gangster buddies... but oh yeah, 856 is a chump gang loosely affiliated with nobody who gets robbed on a regular basis in Langley and who are forced to do their time in protective custody. Please stop identifying these people as someone the public should fear rather the public should boot their spineless butts back to BC and stop treating the general public like we are all morons who don't know who's who. We have had a lot more serious gangsters in the Yukon for decades and nothing ever happens to them or they get chicken poop sentences like 3 years. After doing 12 months in a place like WCC it's a joke not a deterant. These guys will be back up here until the real gangsters tell them to leave, not our comical justice system.

Up 46 Down 2

Anon on Mar 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

What a bunch of idiots

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