Friday, 30 November 2012 13:28

Lengthy jail sentences for two men involved in large drug trafficking operation

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Troy Swanson and Brock Palfrey leave the Swift Current courthouse Nov. 30. Troy Swanson and Brock Palfrey leave the Swift Current courthouse Nov. 30.

Two 26-year-old men received lengthy jail sentences in a Swift Current court room for their involvement in what the Crown has described as the largest drug trafficking case in Saskatchewan's history.

Brock Ernest Palfrey, who was described as the kingpin of the cross-border drug operation, received a sentence of 18 years less 472 days time served.
Troy Ernest Swanson was a courier who helped to transport cocaine from the U.S.-Saskatchewan border to British Columbia. He received a sentence of 11 years less 117 days time served.
Justice T.J. Keene delivered his sentencing decision at the Court of Queen's Bench in Swift Current on Nov. 30, 2012. He started proceedings by directly addressing the two accused.
“This is a troubling case for myself,” he said. “You both got willingly involved in a very powerful and dangerous business, the drug trade.”
Palfrey, who is from Vernon, B.C., pled guilty to seven counts during a sentencing hearing that took place on Nov. 1 and 2, 2012. The main count is that he was one of at least three persons who constituted a criminal organization for the importation and trafficking of cocaine and ecstasy.
He also faced two charges of trafficking cocaine between the periods Dec. 15, 2009 to March 26, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011 to Oct. 3, 2011 from the Val Marie and Big River areas of Saskatchewan to Vancouver and Vernon, B.C. Another charge was for trafficking ecstasy during the period Jan. 1, 2011 to Oct. 3, 2011.
Two other charges were for breaching his recognizance orders. The seventh charge was for his attempts while in custody to conspire with a number of people to collect some $100,000 in outstanding money from his previous trafficking activities and to set up another cocaine trafficking enterprise in Saskatchewan.
Palfrey, who does not have a previous criminal record, expressed remorse during his sentencing hearing and said his motivation was personal gain.
The Crown highlighted the sophisticated nature of Palfrey's operation, which involved importing between 1,325 and 1.370 kilograms of cocaine and exporting almost 800,000 ecstasy pills.
The Crown estimated the total value of the drugs to be close to $200 million, of which Palfrey was hoping to receive around $3.5 million.
“Mr. Palfrey falls into the upper level category in the drug hierarchy and a review of such cases indicate ranges between 16 years and 19 years,” Justice Keene said.
Justice Keene gave Palfrey a global sentence of 18 years with a reduction for time already served, which means an effective sentence of 16 years and 258 days.
Swanson, who is also from Vernon., B.C., was recruited by Palfrey to be a drug courier. He made six trips from the border between Montana and Saskatchewan back to British Columbia and was paid between $5,000 and $10,000 for each trip.
He transported between 455 and 495 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated value of between $20 million wholesale and $75 million retail.
Swanson, who has no previous criminal record, pleaded guilty to a count of unlawfully importing cocaine and another count of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking during the Nov. 1 and 2 sentencing hearing. He expressed remorse and indicated that he participated in the trafficking operation for personal gain.
“Clearly Mr. Swanson does not fall into the category of the higher ups in the world of drugs and should not in my view be punished as such,” Justice Keene said.
Justice Keene therefore considered an overall jail sentence of 11 years to be appropriate. Swanson has already served 117 days in custody and his effective sentence will therefore be 10 years and 248 days.

Read 23266 times Last modified on Friday, 30 November 2012 14:29

More Swift Current News...