A man who was freed in 2010 after being charged in connection with the notorious Surrey Six murder case has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for a string of gun and drug offences committed while he was out on bail.
Sophon Sek was sentenced Tuesday on seven charges to which he pleaded guilty in early October in Surrey Provincial Court. In a joint submission made to the court, the Crown and defence recommended Sek be sentenced to six years in jail. The judge adhered to the agreed-upon sentence, with credit granted for time Sek has spent in pretrial custody, leaving five years, one month remaining.
Sek and several co-accused were charged in March with numerous restricted firearm, drug trafficking and possession offences that took place between June and September 2014 in Surrey. Sek pleaded guilty Oct. 1 to two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.
On Tuesday, the court heard Surrey RCMP began an investigation into Sek in April 2013, suspecting he was a wholesale drug supplier selling to dealers out of a tattoo shop on 104 Avenue near 139 Street.
Undercover police officers made several drug transactions with lower-level dealers, but were initially unsuccessful having direct contact with Sek.
While investigators collected intelligence (which led to the arrest one of Sek’s associates), it wasn’t until May 2014 that undercover officers attended an illegal after-hours club to meet Sek. One officer spoke to him and arranged to get a tattoo at his shop.
The undercover agent spoke to Sek about “other business opportunities” in Kelowna, where things were “dry,” and suggested Ketamine (a pain killer/sedative) might sell well there. The two continued to speak and meet to arrange deals, during which time Sek admitted he was on bail for another matter and didn’t need any “trouble.”
Sek, said Crown prosecutors, had no prior criminal record and was referring to manslaughter and break-and-enter charges he faces for his alleged involvement in the October 2007 mass murder of six men in a Whalley apartment – now referred to as the Surrey Six murders.
Sek, with black spiky hair and wearing a prison-issue orange jumpsuit, acknowledged friends and family when he entered the Surrey courtroom on Tuesday morning. He listened while the series of conversations and dealings between Sek and the undercover cop were detailed in court, including numerous comings and goings from a “drug stash” suite in an apartment tower near 133 Street and 104 Avenue.
The investigation culminated on Sept. 4, 2014, with arrests and raids of several sites connected with Sek.
The drug stash suite was a one-bedroom apartment with minimal furniture and plenty of drugs and paraphernalia. A canvas bag was discovered containing guns and ammunition, including four restricted submachine guns, three high-capacity magazines that could be readily loaded in the weapons, plus 150 rounds of ammunition for 9mm and 38-special handguns.
Cupboards and counter tops in the apartment contained fentanyl powder and pills, heroin, methamphetamine, scales and blenders with drug residue, and a cooking pot with crack cocaine residue.
Sek’s home in Newton was also searched, as was one of his co-accused’s homes in Burnaby.
Crown prosecutors pointed to many aggravating factors in Sek’s offences, including that they were organized and premeditated, and spanned months.
The Crown also noted the “remarkable” resemblance of the scenario to the one he was on bail for.
The Surrey Six case also involved drug dealing and the men who were killed were shot to death in a drug stash suite where drugs were made and packaged for sale.
During the trial of Red Scorpions gang members Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston – who were convicted in the Surrey Six case and imprisoned for life – the court heard Sek led the murderers to the door of the drug suite where the executions took place.
Sek has yet to face trial in that case.