New Brunswick

'Right-hand man' in drug crime group gets 84 months in prison

43-year-old Robert Patrick White was sentenced to a total of 74 months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to drug charges including trafficking, conspiracy and possession of proceeds of crime.

Saint John group used Blackberry phones given to them by a police agent in J-Tornado sting

Police say two crime groups in Saint John distributed drugs shipped in from Moncton, Halifax and Quebec

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.

The operation was dubbed J-Tornado.
Police seized cocaine, heroin and marijuana, drug paraphernalia, fire arms and cash in the operation dubbed J-Tornado.

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 agent supplied S.W. with Blackberry phones, which were in turn distributed to associates in the criminal organization.
Crime group used Blackberry phones given to them by a police agent.

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."

The document goes on to say White was tasked with collecting money to pay for shipments of cocaine and played an important role in distributing the drug to individual dealers and arranging payment.

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 imdifferent@cryptlock.net

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.