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Man, 44, Fets 4 Yrs in Prison for Marijuana Trafficking

By Hempology | September 21, 2006


cannabisflamme100x100.jpgSteve Berry, The Province
Published: Thursday, September 21, 2006
A man who ran a high-end Harrison Hot Springs restaurant has been sentenced to four years in prison for being the “organizational facilitator” in a multimillion-dollar marijuana trafficking scheme.  

Daryl Desjardins, 44, was one of 46 people arrested in the U.S. and Canada last May following a two-year, cross-border police investigation.

Three aircraft, more than 3,600 kilograms of marijuana and 800 kg of cocaine, plus more than $1.5 million US were seized.

Desjardins pleaded guilty in B.C. Provincial Court in Chilliwack on Aug. 10 to exporting and trafficking marijuana and weapons possession. The reasons for sentencing were released yesterday.

Police had watched as he flew a Bell JetRanger helicopter from Harrison Hot Springs to Loomis in Washington state and unloaded three hockey bags containing 155 kg of marijuana worth $1.2 million.

The bags of dope were seized by U.S. authorities and the recipients were arrested.

When police searched his house in Popkum they found two sets of ballistic armour and eight firearms, including two assault-style rifles and four handguns. A Glock handgun, which had its serial numbers removed, was taken from his vehicle. Some of the guns were loaded. Police also found $21,000.

Judge Brent Hoy found there was no direct evidence linking Desjardins to the larger probe, but said Desjardins was “not a mere courier, but rather the organizational facilitator in a drug-distribution chain.”

The judge said: “This incident was a well-planned and carefully co-ordinated scheme that involved a multitude of other individuals, both in Canada and the United States, for the pickup, delivery and distribution of drugs. The defendant was not a mere courier hired for the specific purpose of delivering marijuana.

“Rather, he created the means by which the drugs were delivered to the U.S. market.”

Desjardins was not licensed to fly the helicopter and it had not been inspected.

“The defendant was involved in a large-scale commercial operation in the distribution of marijuana, with economic gain as the driving force for his participation,” said Hoy.

Desjardins, who ran the beachfront Breakwater restaurant on Harrison Lake, has two children and is separated from his wife.

He was previously ordered to pay $5.4 million in civil penalties by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which convicted him in a multimillion-dollar stock scam.


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