Sentencing for Ricardo Vasquez is now set for July 5 in Surrey Provincial Court.

Bad news for drug mule as jail time recalculated

Recent appeal-court decision prompts Surrey judge to postpone sentencing man who pleaded guilty to swallowing 66 cocaine-filled condoms.

A B.C. Court of Appeal decision earlier this month is bad news for a man who pleaded guilty to swallowing 66 cocaine-filled condoms.

Ricardo Vasquez had been set to learn his fate Wednesday in Surrey Provincial Court for the September 2012 smuggling attempt.

Instead, Judge James Sutherland postponed imposing a penalty, citing a June 14 BCCA decision that changes how he must calculate credit for pre-trial custody, and thereby, his analysis of a sentencing issue.

“It’s not good for my client, it’s not good at all,” defence counsel Evi dos Santos told Peace Arch News, explaining the change essentially reduces the credit Vasquez may receive for time served to one-for-one from time-and-a-half.

Vasquez – a resident of Mexico who was born in the U.S. – has been in custody since Sept. 7, after border guards at the Pacific Highway crossing in South Surrey became suspicious of information provided by Vasquez, who was a passenger on a northbound bus.

He had told border guards he was travelling from Chicago, Ill. to Whistler to see a friend, but he had no return ticket; that he then changed his story; and that he was found to be carrying two cellphones, one of which bore a text message that appeared to point to a plan to import drugs.

During monitoring in a “drug loo” at Vancouver airport, Vasquez admitted to swallowing “about 20 pellets,” then began excreting them about 30 minutes later.

Transported to Richmond Hospital, the balance of the 66 pellets – a total 725 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of just over $25,000 – were collected from Vasquez over the next two days.

The court heard that the crime was motivated by a personal debt Vasquez had incurred as a result of medical bills for his young son.

In sentencing submissions, federal prosecutor James Whiting  asked Sutherland to impose a four-year jail term on Vasquez; dos Santos suggested a term of 18 months.

Last month, Vasquez apologized for his actions, telling Sutherland he “didn’t have a choice.”

Vasquez had been scheduled for sentencing on June 12, prior to the BCCA decision, but the matter was adjourned due to scheduling conflicts.

Wednesday, Sutherland told Vasquez that the latest delay was unavoidable.

The decision “directly applies to your sentence,” he said.

“I know it’s difficult being where you are and having the matter put over. It’s important that we do it right.”

Vasquez is now scheduled to be sentenced on July 5.

 

Just Posted

18 months conditional term for indecent caller

Incidents reported in Surrey, White Rock and Langley

Delta mosque holds silent prayer vigil for Christchurch victims

Event emphasized the importance of acceptance, solidarity in the wake of the attack on Muslim worshippers

White Rock Mexican restaurant told to remove flag from patio

‘I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life,’ Primo’s Mexican Grill general manager said

White Rock water plant operational by month’s end

Utilities manager’s talk to Peace Arch Rotary also covers global water issues

A Surrey Mountie’s tale of reconciling her family’s history with the LGBTQ+ ‘purge’

PART TWO: Cpl. Sturko is spokeswoman of Surrey RCMP after her great uncle was ‘purged’ from the RCMP

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three-vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Most Read

l -->