July 18, 2013 - 12:08 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops gangster has inched his way toward freedom within just six weeks — from medium security imprisonment to minimum security, and now to day parole.
Jayme Russell (32) serving jail time for multiple trafficking crimes has been granted conditional day parole, according to a decision by the federal parole board released this week.
Russell has been serving a seven year sentence with a statutory release date of January 13, 2014 for multiple drug related convictions. He has been serving time for trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking concurrently and consecutively with a two year sentence he was already serving for related charges.
He recently won a lawsuit alleging his constitutional rights were violated when he was transferred from a minimum security institution to a medium security institution last September after suspicion he was trafficking drugs within prison walls.
Russell won his transfer back to minimum security on May 30 after a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in Vancouver.
Six weeks later to the day, the Parole Board of Canada has granted him day parole.
The parole decision, dated July 11, comes with a list of conditions including: financial disclosure to parole supervisor, to seek or remain employed and not to own or possess multiple mobile communication devices as well as providing bill statements to supervisor, and avoiding criminal associates.
The decision says Russell has a 'minimal but serious criminal history that relates primarily to drug trafficking.'
Russell is known for his ties with the Independent Soldiers gang and was reportedly the leader in Kamloops at one point.
Despite denying Russell parole in 2012, the board granted the Russell day parole with conditions, citing multiple factors that lead to the decision.
The decision listed several aggravating factors, such as: the seriousness of the crimes over many years, concern over institutional behaviour, an assessment that a high level of intervention is required, and a need for a high level of improvement regarding attitude and associates.
It also cited mitigating factors, such as: a limited criminal record, no convictions for violence, no identified alcohol or drug issues, the completion of educational upgrading and institutional programming, engagement in a correctional plan, adherence to rules and regulations imposed on releases, positive family supports and assurance of employment.
While Russell has not been convicted of a criminally violent offence, he has had multiple violence charges against him with which have been stayed and found not guilty of, including an attempted murder charge in May 2008.
Russell's proposed day parole release plan involved activities such as spending time with his family and community supports, work, going to school to get tickets and certification, as well as 'positive' leisure activities such as working out, doing artwork and helping with family projects.
"The Board considers your release plan is realistic and will provide sufficient structure and supervision necessary to manage your risks as you re-integrate back into the community."
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An earlier version of this story contained the incorrect statement that Richard Crawford, expected to appear in court next week after a cocaine sting in Kamloops, is affilliated with Jayme Russell. Thomas Crawford was actually Russell's No. 2 man, not Richard. We corrected the story at 2:45 p.m. July 18, 2013 and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013