A Burnaby man has been jailed for 10 years, after being caught by police with a massive illegal drugs and weapons cache inside a luxury Richmond condo.
Billie Onare Kim – who had links to the Red Scorpion gang – was found guilty last year of 14 charges, including possession of illegal drugs for trafficking and illegal firearms possession.
Kim was in charge of a “stash site” which was raided by a multi-agency police operation, called “Green Planet,” in September 2017 on the 12th floor of a River Green “Five-Star Diamond” condo overlooking the Fraser River and the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Police raided luxury Richmond condo from above
The court heard last year how officers breached the front door of the condo and made an “aerial” entry onto the 12th-floor balcony, where they found Kim.
Inside, officers found more than $150,000 worth of illegal drugs, tens of thousands of dollars and a weapons haul which included including three handguns and two semi-automatic rifles.
His convictions included nine counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking the likes of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine, primarily for supply chains in Richmond, Delta and Vancouver.
Condo stash site operated under the "guise of legitimacy"
In passing her sentence on Tuesday at the BC Supreme Court, Madam Justice Martha Devlin pointed out that the “stash site was located in a densely populated residential building, operating under the guise of legitimacy.
“Unbeknownst to the other residents in the high-rise building, Unit 1204 housed a toxic combination of drugs and guns.
“This situation posed an unacceptable risk to the safety of other residents, their visitors, and the police.”
The Crown had asked the court for a 12-year sentence, while Kim’s defence suggested four to six years would have been appropriate, claiming his role in the dial-a-dope operation was “relatively minor.”
The judge noted that Kim was observed meeting with various individuals who were “dialers” in the Green Planet operation, responsible for delivering the drugs to the undercover police officers.
His defence, however, claimed Kim’s main role was to package drugs in suite 1204.
Judge Devlin didn’t accept that Kim’s role was, indeed, minor, especially given that a subsequent search warrant of his property in Government Street, Burnaby threw up items which demonstrated his “active participation in the Green Planet drug trafficking operation.”
In his background report, the court heard how, over the last few years, Kim, a father-of-two, had traded in cryptocurrency and stocks and, until the recent economic downturn, had significant success with the investments.
According to his submission, he took up various part time jobs with a “goal in life” to be a “proud father, husband, and son.”
In his letter, Kim said he was ashamed that he was involved in a crime that profited by providing deadly drugs and expressed remorse about the suffering felt by parents who lose their children to drug overdoses.
But Judge Devlin, in her sentencing, said she had to weigh up Kim’s “genuine remorse” with the need to “denounce Mr. Kim’s conduct and to deter him and others from engaging in such pernicious conduct in the future.”