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B.C. court rejects Surrey dial-a-dope appeal

Doing a vehicle search, police seized 25 oxycodone pills, 23 grams of cocaine and $1,485.
The appeal court found the judge did not err in his sentence.

A B.C. man who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking has lost his sentence appeal.

Court of Appeal Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein said Tenzin Jamyang Garie sold cocaine and oxycodone to Surrey undercover police officers in a dial‑a‑dope drug‑trafficking operation on four separate occasions.

Garie had sought an 18-month conditional sentence order but the Surrey provincial court judge imposed a nine-month jail sentence and six months of probation.

The Nov. 10 decision said RCMP police officers called a telephone number that was known to be an active dial‑a‑dope drug line.

It was an undercover officer who spoke with a person named “Gino,” later identified as Garie, and set up a meeting to buy drugs at Elements Casino in Surrey.

The first buy happened July 4, 2018; Garie arrived in a BMW and sold an undercover officer one gram of cocaine for $120. On Aug. 30, the officer called the same number and requested 3.5 grams of cocaine and two oxycodone pills.

The two met at the same location, and Garie, this time driving a black Nissan Sentra, sold the undercover officer the drugs for $380.

On Sept. 13, the officer purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine for $220 at the same location. Garie arrived in a different Nissan Sentra and had a bag of drugs between his legs.

Then, the officer asked if he could purchase an ounce of cocaine and Garie agreed at a price of $1,900.

A week later, an officer called the same telephone number and set up a meeting in Surrey. This time, Garie was driving a white Nissan Altima. The officer purchased 0.5 grams of cocaine and two oxycodone pills for $200.

Garie and his female passenger were arrested.

During a vehicle search, police seized 25 oxycodone pills, 23 grams of cocaine and $1,485 from Garie’s wallet. There was a BlackBerry phone on the floor of the vehicle with the same number that had been called to reach Garie. Thirty minutes after the arrest, a call was received on that line from someone ordering drugs.

On appeal, Garie sought a suspended sentence or intermittent sentence. He cited the shifting legal landscape following the release of a Nov. 4 Supreme Court of Canada decision on conditional sentences.

He had also sought to introduce fresh evidence: a change in his personal circumstances arising from the murder of his sister and the impact on his mother.
The court rejected that, saying neither a conditional nor an intermittent sentence were not fit in the circumstances.

“Evidence of a potential hardship on Mr. Garie’s mother has no bearing on the outcome of this appeal, which is to determine whether the judge erred in principle or imposed a demonstrably unfit sentence having regard to the gravity of the offences and Mr. Garie’s moral culpability,” Stromberg-Stein ruled. “The sentence imposed was fit as it was proportionate to the gravity of the offences and the moral culpability of Mr. Garie.”

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