B.C. Supreme Court convicts two Filipinos for drug trafficking

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  • A B.C. Supreme Court has sentenced two Filipinos for drug trafficking in Coquitlam and Burnaby.

     

    Kevin Gonzales and Christopher Fundal had entered guilty pleas that between August 16, 2012 to November 23, 2012, they sold cocaine through a “dial-a-dope” operation.

     

    “The transactions admitted by the offenders were all with undercover RCMP officers,” stated the court decision dated November 15, 2016.

     

    Fundal, 26 years old, was nearing 22 years of age at the time of the offences.

     

    “After his parents separated when he was three, he was raised by his mother. He continues to live with his mother and three siblings in Richmond. At the time of his pre-sentence report, submitted in 2015, he had not seen his father, who is in the Philippines, for approximately 14 years. He appears to have a close relationship with his family and although his mother struggled on the edge of poverty for several years, he described himself having a happy childhood,” the decision noted.

     

    “In his mid-teens, he began to hang out with a negative peer group which led to him participating in a gang in Richmond. Mr. Fundal told the probation officer who authored his pre-sentence report that his gang gave him a group of people to hang out with and to seek protection from during fights. This gang introduced Mr. Fundal to drug trafficking. He no longer associates with gang members,” the ruling also stated.

     

    The court sentenced Fundal to two years to be served in the community, meaning he doesn’t go to prison.

     

    Fundal’s condition sentence has several terms, including having to appear to a conditional sentence supervisor.

     

    Fundal can also continue to live with his mother. He will have a curfew for the first six months of his sentence, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

     

    Gonzales, for his part, is currently 27 years of age.

     

    “Since immigrating to Canada from the Philippines, Mr. Gonzales has been raised primarily by his mother and had no contact with his father. He has maintained a close relationship with his mother who was interviewed by the probation officer. Mr. Gonzales completed Grade 9 while living in Vancouver and hopes to return to school to obtain his General Equivalency Diploma which he requires to enter school to become an automotive mechanic, which he advises is his goal,” the court decision noted.

     

    “In recent years he has worked in the construction industry and in warehouses. His current employer is in the residential construction industry and has positive comments regarding Mr. Gonzales, his work and his attitudes,” the court ruling also stated.

     

    The court found that Gonzales’ level of involvement in the dial-a-dope operation was at least at that of a mid-level drug trafficker as evidenced by his direct involvement in the larger transactions.

     

    “Your level of involvement must, in the circumstances, result in an emphasis on denunciation and deterrence rather than on rehabilitation. Higher level drug transactions commonly result in a period of incarceration served in an institution and that is the case here,” the court ruling stated to Gonzales.

     

    The court sentenced Gonzales to two years of incarceration to be served in a federal institution.

     

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