'Right-hand man' in drug crime group gets 84 months in prison
Saint John group used Blackberry phones given to them by a police agent in J-Tornado sting
Robert Patrick White, 43, was sentenced to a total of 84 months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to drug charges including trafficking, conspiracy and possession of proceeds of crime.
An agreed statement of facts lists White as the right-hand man of a crime figure identified in court documents as S.W.
White was arrested in September 2014 as part of a sweep involving several police departments in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
Police seized large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, at least seven firearms, drug paraphernalia and cash.
A total of 29 people were arrested in New Brunswick, Halifax and Laval, Quebec.
RCMP have alleged large quantities of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, were supplied to two crime groups in Saint John via routes from Montreal and Halifax, and from another crime group in Moncton.
The drugs were then redistributed to dealers in Saint John and other New Brunswick communities, including Fredericton, Oromocto, Sussex, St. George and Grand Manan, to be sold on the street.
Statement of facts
White initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but changed his plea during a court appearance last week. The statement of facts agreed to by the Crown and by White's defence lawyer, Rodney MacDonald, show police had an agent who gained the trust of the lead crime figure, S.W.
The cellphones had been set up to send encrypted messages which police could intercept.
According to the agreed statement of facts, "the distribution of the phones and resulting intercepts allowed law enforcement to gather evidence of the organization's activity, the identity of its members, its hierarchy and modus operandi."
At the time of his arrest at his Lansdown Avenue home on Sept. 10, 2014, he was in possession of $38,000 in cash, of which $33,000 has been forfeited.
White also had one of the Blackberry devices supplied by the police agent. Its email was email@example.com
White will serve a total of 55 months after credit for time spent in custody while awaiting trial.
Beginning on Monday in Saint John, six weeks have been set aside for the trial of three other men arrested as part of the J-Tornado investigation.