Cocaine find ends in three year sentence for Surrey man

10 kilograms of drug discovered in box labeled 'live tropical fish' in 2009.

A Surrey man convicted after being found with 10 kilograms of cocaine in his Jeep has been sentenced to three years jail.

Robert Charles Arthur was found guilty last fall of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in January, with the reasons for decision posted online this week.

It was May 2009 when Arthur, then 29 years old and under surveillance by police, was seen leaving a Burnaby residence with a box labeled “Live tropical fish.”

His vehicle was stopped and 10 kilograms of cocaine was discovered inside the box, with an estimated street value of between $300,000 and $500,000.

Justice Miriam Maisonville said while there was no evidence of a link to a specific drug trafficking organization or that he was a “trusted lieutenant” of such a group, Arthur was assigned to pick up the cocaine, knew about the cocaine and had two cell phones an expert deemed “important” to drug traffickers.

The court heard Arthur comes from an affluent family and has been a beneficiary of significant gifts from the family trust. He received a golf scholarship to the U.S. but was injured, forced to give up the sport and the scholarship and returned home, where he became involved with people that led to his arrest.

He has since turned his life around, said the judge, and is married with three children, has his own company and has family and community support.

“This drug, however, is dangerous for the community,” said Maisonville. “It has wreaked havoc on the lives of many individuals.”

Maisonville noted Arthur has no prior criminal record and has expressed genuine remorse.

“Nonetheless, the amount of cocaine in Mr. Arthur’s possession and the corresponding street value is an aggravating circumstance,” she said. “There was no evidence that Mr. Arthur was addicted to drugs. Instead, it appears that he was motivated by profit.”

While the judge said there was no evidence to link Arthur to a specific drug organization, Arthur was one of six men arrested in 2012 in what the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. called an international drug sting in 2012.

 

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