A B.C. man was sentenced to nearly three years in prison by a judge who scolded him for the "grotesque act" of getting his mother unknowingly involved in transporting $100,000 worth of cocaine.
"Being the mother of a wayward child can be a very thankless experience," provincial court Judge Thomas Woods wrote about Christopher Mauro, who was sentenced last month to two years and 10 months in prison for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
"Mr. Mauro's actions on the day of the offence ... was a cowardly, self-serving ungrateful act," Woods said about an incident that also initially got Mauro's mother charged.
The case centres on a traffic accident in February 2013. Mauro rear-ended a pickup truck with his 2009 Audi A4 at Clarke Road and Barnet Highway in Port Moody.
'The court does not view you as a horrible person. But you are a person who made a very grave mistake ... Now it is necessary for you to answer for your mistake.'
- Thomas Woods, provincial court judge, to Christopher Mauro
Court documents show that soon after the crash, Mauro called his mother, who drove to the scene.
Mauro transferred a grocery bag from his vehicle to hers, without her knowing that it contained 1.3 kilograms of cocaine.
Mauro didn't know, however, that the driver of the pickup truck took a picture of him transferring the bag, because he thought it was suspicious. The pickup truck driver then showed the photo to officers at the scene.
Eventually, both Mauro and his mother were arrested and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. Police subsequently determined his mother had no involvement in the drug world and the charge against her was dropped.
Judge calls man 'ungrateful'
The judge said Mauro, now 29, was "fortunate" to have retained the support of his mother, who attended every court appearance.
"[It] is a testament to her character, her strength and her maternal commitment to someone who could be described as undeserving," Woods wrote.
The judge noted Mauro was in the process of completing a plumbing apprenticeship and had the support of his employer. He also said Mauro had no previous criminal record and was genuinely remorseful.
Woods wrote he would have given Mauro a shorter sentence had he not "placed the almost 1.3 kilograms of cocaine in your mother's possession."
Mauro's defence had asked for a suspended sentence — which would have meant no jail time — because Mauro argued he had a crippling drug addiction, and his motivation for having so much cocaine was to pay for that addiction, rather than make a profit.
The judge disagreed.
"The court does not view you as a horrible person," Woods wrote. "But you are a person who made a very grave mistake ... Now it is necessary for you to answer for your mistake."
Mauro's lawyer, Rishi Gill, is appealing the conviction.