Abbotsford man sentenced for role in 2009 home invasion

Judge says Shawn Brien formulated the plan to steal cash and pot plants

An Abbotsford man has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for his role in a home-invasion grow rip that took place in June 2009.

Shawn Charles Brien, 32, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of break and enter to commit an indictable offence.

Brien was sentenced on June 13 by Justice Brian Joyce in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack, but the decision was not posted online until this week.

He was given 340 days’ credit for the time he served in prison from the time of his arrest until he was granted bail.

Joyce said Brien pleaded guilty not because he actually entered the home and committed the robbery, but because he was a party to the offence.

Joyce said Brien was “instrumental in formulating the decision to commit the offence and recruiting the two men who actually committed it.”

He also drove the vehicle that they used to get to the scene, Joyce said.

The offence took place on the evening of June 14, 2009, when Brien and co-accused Robert Dahlgren and Jerome Bishop drove to an Abbotsford home.

Brien parked the vehicle around the corner from the home and waited as Dahlgren and Bishop broke into the residence.

Bishop was carrying a sawed-off shotgun and Dahlgren had a can of bear spray.

The pair pushed the victim to the floor, pulled his shirt over his head, briefly put the gun to the back of his head, and tied his hands with zap straps.

Dahlgren then went into a bedroom where the man’s 12-year-old son was sleeping, woke the boy, led him to the living room, placed him on the floor, and tied his hands behind his back with zap straps.

Dahlgren and Bishop robbed the man of marijuana plants from his grow operation, as well as up to $1,800 in cash and his truck.

Dahlgren and Bishop both previously pleaded guilty in the case and were sentenced to two years and four years respectively.

In his ruling, Joyce said he believes that Brien is “truly remorseful for his actions in committing this crime and the pain it caused his victims.”

Joyce said Brien has since turned away from drug abuse and crime, and has adopted “a positive, productive life where he is now respected by family and friends.”