British Columbia

Surrey man to serve 13 years in U.S. jail for 'massive' drug smuggling operation

Kevin Kerfoot, 53, was found to be the leader of a cross-border drug smuggling operation that was busted in 2005.

53-year-old Kevin Kerfoot fought extradition for over a decade, may have arranged hit on co-conspirator

Kevin Kerfoot of Surrey has been sentenced to 13 years in a U.S. prison for leading a cocaine and ecstasy smuggling ring. (Handout)

A 12-year saga of drug smuggling and attempted murder came to an end Thursday in a Seattle courtroom when Surrey resident Kevin Donald Kerfoot was sentenced to 13 years in a U.S. prison.

Court documents describe Kerfoot as "the leader of a massive cross-border drug smuggling operation" and say he was "likely" responsible for ordering the killing of a former co-conspirator who had turned against him.

Kerfoot was indicted in 2006, nine months after men working for him were caught trying to smuggle 41 kilograms of cocaine into Canada on a boat in exchange for 24,063 tablets of ecstasy.

He pleaded guilty in April of this year after fighting extradition to the U.S. for a decade.

Kerfoot is the brother of Greg Kerfoot, owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Much of the sentencing memorandum delivered by U.S. attorney Annette L. Hayes deals with a man referred to as R.P., a former associate of Kerfoot's.

R.P. originally gave evidence against Kerfoot, but then recanted in 2010, allowing Kerfoot to delay extradition proceedings, according to the document.

Attempted murder of associate

In July 2016, Kerfoot's extradition order appeal was denied.

Two weeks later, R.P. was shot by a man on a bicycle eight times with a semi-automatic pistol equipped with a silencer outside a West Kelowna car wash. 

"Amazingly, R.P. survived the shooting. He managed to put his vehicle in gear and run down the shooter before he could reload. The shooter also survived and is pending trial in Canada for the attempted murder," read the court documents.

Soon after the shooting, R.P. "recanted his recantation" and again told U.S. law enforcement that Kerfoot was the leader of the smuggling operation.

R.P. also confirmed Kerfoot had paid him to provide false sworn testimony related to the extradition process.

The court documents say although there is no direct evidence that Kerfoot ordered the hit on R.P., there is powerful evidence to support his involvement.

In the sentencing memorandum Hayes writes, "Unlike many defendants who come before this Court, Kerfoot appears to have had every advantage growing up. His parents, by his own account, were loving and provided for him. 

"His older brother is a wildly successful businessperson, who also provided Kerfoot with many opportunities to make a lawful living. Kerfoot appears to have willfully chosen a life of crime."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karin Larsen

@CBCLarsen

Karin Larsen is a former Olympian and award winning sports broadcaster who covers news and sports for CBC Vancouver.

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