Jarrod Bacon’s sentence for conspiracy to traffic cocaine has been increased from 12 to 14 years, following a judgment made today (Thursday) in the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver.
Crown prosecutors had appealed the sentencing decision reached in May 2012, saying it was too light and that the trial judge erred in not considering sentences for the importation of illegal drugs.
In the appeal, Crown sought a jail term of 20 years.
Bacon also appealed his sentence, saying it was excessive, particularly when compared to the three-and-a-half-year term given his co-accused, Wayne Scott.
Bacon and Scott were convicted in February 2012, following a 2009 undercover “reverse sting” operation in Abbotsford.
The operation involved the use of a police agent who negotiated with Bacon, using Scott – the maternal grandfather of Bacon’s young son – as the middleman, to purchase 100 kg of cocaine purportedly being smuggled from Mexico.
Arrangements had been made for the purchase of the first 10 kg for $300,000, with the remainder to be bought 10 kg at a time until it was gone.
The operation was halted by police before any money or drugs changed hands.
The Crown had asked the sentencing judge, Austin Cullen, to consider drug-importation sentences when determining Bacon’s sentence, but Cullen concluded it would not be appropriate to do so.
Importing cases are considered more serious than drug trafficking and, as such, draw harsher penalties.
In the appeal, the Crown argued that the Bacon-Scott case was closely tied to a proposed drug-smuggling scheme and was comparable to importing cases.
Bacon countered that there were no circumstances of importing in this case.
Two of the three appeal court judges sided with the Crown on that issue and agreed Bacon’s sentence should be increased.
The third, Justice Anne McKenzie, said Bacon’s sentence should remain the same, despite his claim that he was treated unfairly.
All three were in agreement that Bacon’s sentence should be higher than Scott’s.
McKenzie said there was a “clear distinction between the culpability” of the two.
She said Scott, who had no prior criminal record, was “of previously good character” and was “genuinely remorseful for his conduct.”
“This is in stark contrast to Mr. Bacon’s self-described criminal existence and ‘enforcer’ role, previous criminal record and commission of the offence while on bail.”
Scott’s sentence was also appealed by Crown, which suggested 15 years would be more appropriate.
That appeal was dismissed by all three judges, upholding the three-and-a-half-year sentence.
“Mr. Scott had an unblemished history until the age of 56. It is highly unlikely he will commit another offence, given the significant negative effect the criminal proceedings had upon him and his family,” McKenzie stated.
Bacon’s original net sentence was seven years and two months, after receiving credit for the time he spent in pre-trial custody.