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No additional jail time for Vernon drug traffickers

Three Vernon men involved in a large cocaine trafficking operation won't be in jail any longer than their original sentences dictated.
Image Credit: RCMP
January 15, 2014 - 12:01 PM

VERNON - A trio of Vernon men involved in Saskatchewan’s largest drug bust in history won’t spend any further time behind bars than what they’ve already been sentenced to, a court of appeal judge decided Wednesday morning.

The Honourable Chief Justice Robert Richards dismissed the Crown’s appeals for longer jail time, leaving William Bruce Larsen of Coldstream with 12 years, Troy Swanson, also of Coldstream, with 11, and the so-called ringleader of the cross-border operation Brock Ernest Palfrey, of Vernon, with 18.

The Crown was looking to increase Palfrey’s sentence to 25 years, Larsen’s to 18 and Swanson’s to 15.

While Richards decided not to change the length of Palfrey’s jail sentence, he did adjust how many years he was handed for each offence. The sentencing judge gave Palfrey 14 consecutive years for his role in a criminal organization, with the remainder of the 18 years attached to the drug trafficking and breach of recognizance charges. 

“I conclude that the sentencing judge overstated the gravity of the criminal organization offence.... As a result, he imposed a sentence for that offence which was substantially too high,” Richards said.

He essentially reversed the distribution of the jail sentence, giving Palfrey 16 years for the cocaine trafficking charges and two for the criminal organization charge.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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