One of three brothers among a notorious family with reputed links to Vancouver’s gang world “fabricated” a story that he was simply planning to steal drugs, instead of scheming to traffic them with his ex-girlfriend’s father, a B.C. Supreme Court judge said Friday.
Jarrod Bacon, 28, and Wayne Scott, 55, were each found guilty of one count to conspire to traffic cocaine by Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen after a four-month trial that ended mid-January.
“In my view, there is ample evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of a conspiracy to traffic as opposed to simply negotiations towards that agreement,” Judge Cullen said, as he spent more than two hours reading his judgment form the bench.
“The evidence taken as a whole establishes an agreement among Bacon, Scott and others unknown, to acquire and sell the drugs.”
Mr. Bacon was arrested in fall, 2009, over the cash-for-cocaine deal that never materialized because it was actually a police sting.
The Crown’s case was built around a series of interactions between the duo and a former drug importer and trafficker who promised to sell them upward of 100 kilograms of cocaine that he sourced in Mexico.
That man, who the judge only referred to by initials, was actually a police informant whose interactions by phone and in person between Feb. 20, 2009, and Aug. 28, 2009, supplied the judge with enough evidence for the conviction.
The informant worked for the province’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which was devised to target organized crime and gangs that have formed a sinister part of the Lower Mainland’s landscape.
The pair’s arrest capped a bloody year in the Vancouver area during which dozens of people were shot to death or seriously wounded in gang hits.
Superintendant Pat Fogarty, who heads operations in the organized crime branch of B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Mr. Bacon’s takedown resulted from information police had gleaned at the time.
“I would never say that Jarrod Bacon would be a target based on his notoriety, but on the basis of the evidence and intelligence that we had, and the opportunity,” he told reporters outside court, noting he was pleased with the judge’s decision.
“Often times these things are opportunities and so we capitalize on that opportunity, and here we are today.”
Court heard that the drug plot began in winter, 2009, when the informant began chatting about wanting to get back into the drug trade with Mr. Scott. They had been acquaintances some 20 years earlier.
The informant had served more than two years in a U.S. jail for drug trafficking before being returned to Canada by treaty. He knew Mr. Scott's daughter has a son with Mr. Bacon.
Referring to Mr. Bacon, Mr. Scott told the man, “You and the kid have a lot in common, you should get together,” Judge Cullen quoted in laying out the case facts in his oral judgment.
That conversation prompted a series of further meetings, starting with a discussion between Mr. Bacon and the informant at Mr. Scott's home in Abbotsford, B.C.
At the initial sit-down the two talked about getting drugs from Mexico during a supply shortage. They agreed the deal would be for no less than 100 kilograms, generally discussed pricing and decided upon a rough time frame for the transaction of two to three months.
At a subsequent meeting, Mr. Bacon told the informant he was backed by local farmers who were willing to float $3-million to make the deal happen. They planned to first bring in 10 kilograms of the drug a week, and if it was good would increase the amount to upward of 40 kilograms.
By spring, 2009, police secured legal authority to wiretap interactions between their informant and the pair. A total of 20 telephone calls and five meetings with Mr. Scott were recorded, along with two meetings with Mr. Bacon.
Mr. Bacon was under curfew and on strict bail conditions at the time for unrelated charges on which he was later acquitted.
The pair was ultimately arrested in late November, before any drugs were exchanged.
Judge Cullen said he accepted evidence provided by the informant, in spite of his “unsavoury background” and knowing his sole motivation to help police was money.
But the judge rejected testimony put forward by Mr. Bacon that he was using “imaginary facts” to set up the informant for his own small-time robbery.
Mr. Bacon said there was actually no funder, no $3-million float money and that he had no means of distributing the drugs he had planned to acquire.
“There are a number of inconsistencies and logical flaws in the story advanced by Bacon,” Judge Cullen said.
Judge Cullen cited as one example the use of both a green eraser board and code language by Mr. Bacon to communicate with the informant.
The judge said Mr. Bacon wouldn't have taken such precautions if he only intended to rob the informant and had no knowledge of drug trafficking, as he claimed.
Lawyers for the convicted men will appear in court on Wednesday to fix a date for sentencing. Mr. Bacon's lawyer also told the judge he is considering joining a notice of entrapment argument that may be filed by Mr. Scott's lawyer.
Mr. Bacon is the younger brother of Red Scorpions gangster kingpin Jonathan Bacon, who was murdered in a hail of bullets last year outside a luxury Kelowna casino.
Their other sibling, Jamie Bacon, is facing a murder charge in the deaths of six people in a Surrey apartment in October, 2007.