Calgary

Plea deals made for 3 Calgary gangsters involved in gun violence

Three Calgary men involved in gun violence connected to a gang war on city streets have been sent to prison after plea deals resulted in most of their charges being withdrawn.

Tarek El-Rafie and brothers Barakat and Talal Amer originally faced a total of 25 attempted murder charges

Tarek El-Rafie and two of his associates, who pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal, were sentenced Monday. (Jim Wells/Calgary Sun)

Three Calgary men involved in gun violence connected to a 2015 gang war on city streets have been sent to prison after plea deals meant most of their charges were withdrawn.

The three men — Tarek El-Rafie and brothers Barakat and Talal Amer — originally faced a total of 25 attempted murder charges as well as organized crime-related offences.

Plea deals were arranged between prosecutor Brian Holtby and defence lawyers Brian Greenspan, Brian Beresh and Kent Teskey.

Tarek El-Rafie pleaded guilty to one count of recklessly discharge of a restricted firearm and received a six year, four month sentence of which he has just over two years left to serve.

El-Rafie admitted to his involvement in a November 2015 drive-by shooting in the city's northeast, according to an agreed statement of facts.

The Amer brothers each pleaded guilty to recklessly discharging a firearm and conspiracy to traffic drugs. Four people sitting in a Cadillac Escalade were shot at on Nov. 29, 2015, while parked in a residential neighbourhood. 

Both were sentenced to 7½ years in prison. With credit for time served, they have about three years left behind bars.

In 2015, Calgary had 100 shootings, double the number of shootings over the previous year, police said. 

The courtroom was packed Monday with members of the offenders' families, including several young children.

The three men offered brief statements, saying they had accepted responsibility for their actions and wished to move forward with their lives. 

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Willie deWit said he hoped the trio would "not get caught up in the criminal world in the future."

"It's important you be rehabilitated by this sentence."

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

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