mb-finch-surveillance

Stacy Jack Finch, right, is seen talking to police informant Scott Robertson, whose identity is masked, in surveillance video shown at Finch's bail hearing Tuesday. ((CBC))

A former City of Winnipeg employee arrested during the cross-country Project Drill raids last week has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

The court heardTuesdaythat St. Pierre-Jolys resident Stacy Jack Finch, 50, had stored some of the drugs at the city's Harbour View Golf Course and Recreation Complex.

Finch was supposed to appear to apply for bail, six days after the Project Drill arrests.

But by the end of the day, Finch pleaded guilty to one count each of trafficking marijuana and crystal methamphetamine in a plea agreement that saw the Crown stay another count of drug trafficking and three charges of possessing property obtained by crime.

Videotape evidence of Finch conducting a drug deal with a paid police agent, Scott Robertson —played as part of his bail hearing — was by far the strongest evidence the Crown had against the city maintenance worker.

Finch, who was sentenced to four years in a federal penitentiary, had been just nine months short of retirement from his city job.

Project Drill was a joint RCMP-police operation investigators described as targeting the high-level drug trade in Manitoba, using a paid police agent.

Seventeen people in Manitoba have been arrested in the sweep, which began last Wednesday.One suspect is still being sought by police.

Those arrested face charges related to drug trafficking, firearms importation and organized crime. Several of the people charged are members of the Hells Angels and their associates, police said. Nine of them are Manitobans.