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Weapons seized by Vancouver police after an investigationCFSEU

Two members of a crime group that police partly blame for a Vancouver gang war in 2008 have received tougher sentences from a B.C. Supreme Court judge than the Crown had requested.

Boby and Navdip Sanghera, who are cousins, each received seven-year sentences on convictions that included possession of prohibited weapons and unlawfully being in a vehicle with a firearm.

Crown prosecutor Mark Sheardown had not sought further jail time for the Sangheras, suggesting that a six-year sentence would be enough.

The cousins had already served just over three years in pre-trial custody, which was counted as double time toward their sentences.

But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes cited the violence that gang wars have created in the Lower Mainland over recent years in her decision to give tougher sentences.

"I don't depart from the Crown's suggestion lightly," Judge Holmes said. The "gravity of the offences" justified the longer jail terms, in her view.

Boby Sanghera also received a further 18-month sentence for breaching bail conditions, while Navdip Sanghera received an extra two years for violating a previous prohibition on gun possession.

Each of those sentences were added consecutively onto the seven-year sentences, but with the pre-trial custody taken into account, both men will be out of jail within three years.

The convictions stem from a search of a rented vehicle on Nov. 8, 2008, that revealed three loaded handguns in a hidden compartment.

The trial heard police had been watching the Sangheras for weeks after a series of drive-by shootings escalated a dispute between gangs in the city.

Shortly before pulling over the vehicle, police had heard from a confidential informant that the Sangeras were in "hunt mode."

All three handguns discovered in the vehicle were fully loaded with bullets in the chamber. The serial numbers of two of the guns were obliterated.

Two other men who were in the vehicle at the time were acquitted of charges.

Judge Holmes sentenced a third man on a separate conviction.

Savdip Sanghera, brother of Navdip, was given six years in prison for transferring a semi-automatic handgun on Jan. 31, 2009.

Because of Savdip's time in pre-trial custody, he will serve only one more day in jail before being released on probation.

THE CANADIAN PRESS