Okanagan drug traffickers sentenced

Two men involved in a gang drug trafficking ring in 2006 have been sentenced in a precedent setting case.

Thomas Donald Fraser and Jason Jonathan Herrick were at the Kelowna Courthouse March 15, for their sentencing on organized crime drug trafficking charges stemming from the RCMP drug trafficking investigation.

During the four month investigation, police seized six kilos of cocaine, more than 400 tablets of ecstasy, two vehicles and $70,000 in cash.

According to RCMP, three Kelowna businesses were involved in the trafficking.

Fraser was sentenced to a total of 10 years less time already served for drug trafficking and Instructing the Commission of an Offense for Criminal Organization.

Herrick was sentenced to four and a half years for drug trafficking and the Commission of an Offence for Criminal Organization.

"This marks the first sentencing in B.C. to stem from a conviction on the charges of Instructing the Commission of an Offence for a Criminal Organization and Commission of an Offence for a Criminal Organization," says RCMP Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

The RCMP began an investigation into the activities of Fraser and Herrick in relation to their involvement in cocaine trafficking in the Okanagan area in 2006.

Several arrests were made and Fraser and Herrick were charged with drug trafficking and instructing to commit and committing an offence for a criminal organization.

Supt. Brian Cantera, Officer in Charge of the RCMP Drug Enforcement Branch in B.C. is pleased with the ruling, citing a win for public safety in B.C.

“The RCMP is pleased to see successful convictions against people who are operating for the profit of criminal organizations. This ruling affects all levels of organized crime. This is not something that can merely have an impact on large, well-known criminal groups. It can apply equally well to smaller criminal organizations and the people that commit crimes on their behalf.”

Two other individuals being tried separately relating to this investigation, will be making their court appearances in April 2011.

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