A man who continued selling cocaine in Victoria after being charged in a Vancouver dial-a-dope operation should go to jail, a judge heard March 22.
Crown prosecutor Chelsea Gardner told Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Jennifer Oulton that Sahajdeep Khunkhun should serve a total of 10 months in jail on two charges of trafficking in cocaine connected to an August 2020 incident in Vancouver and two from January 2022 in Victoria.
Khunkhun pleaded guilty to the charges in November.
Gardner said the fact Khunkhun continued to sell drugs while having one trafficking case already before the courts was an aggravating factor for sentencing.
“He had to travel to Victoria to commit new offences,” Gardner said.
The Vancouver incident
The court heard that an undercover officer called to buy $100 worth of cocaine on Aug. 18, 2020.
Shortly afterwards, a black pickup truck arrived and picked up the officer. Police, who were monitoring, noted the licence plate and were able to connect the truck to Khunkhun.
The truck was quickly boxed in, and Khunkhun was arrested after a brief struggle.
Police seized 1.15 grams of cocaine and $525 in cash. Of the cash, bill serial numbers on $100 matched those taken from the undercover officer.
He was later released.
The Victoria incidents
In December 2021, Victoria police received a warrant to track a dial-a-dope number.
When they called it in on Jan. 4, 2022, an officer watched as Khunkhun exited a Yates Street building. They followed as he went to Broad and Johnson Streets where an undercover officer bought 3.77 grams of cocaine for $280.
Again, on Jan. 6, a second undercover officer called the line and met a vehicle from which they bought 14.31 grams of cocaine for $850.
Gardner sought four months jail on the Vancouver charge and six months on the Victoria charge. She suggested the sentences be served consecutively.
She said Khunkhun was motivated by profit and noted he had a youth record of discharging a firearm into a Vancouver house.
Khunkhun’s lawyer Brian Coleman said a conditional sentence was appropriate, suggesting that instead of jail time he live with his family under supervision and strict conditions.
As well, Coleman said, such an order would allow Khunkhun to continue to better his life through an auto detailing business he has begun.
“It has been a wake-up call for Mr. Khunkhun,” Coleman told Oulton. “He has matured. He has learned a serious lesson from this process.”
Coleman disagreed with Gardner’s suggestion of a profit motive.
“He is a substance abuser. The substance was cocaine,” Coleman said. “This wasn’t just pure profit – although that was a big attraction.”
A date for sentencing has yet to be set.