B.C. Hells Angels associate should get 10 years for drug sting: Crown
RCMP announce seizures as a result of a raid of the Kelowna Hells Angels clubhouse as part of Operation E-Predicate. (Wayne Leidenfrost/Postmedia Network)
Shawn Womacks was caught red-handed as he unpacked what he believed to be cocaine from a Martha Stewart box at a Burnaby warehouse in 2012.
The Crown thinks the 45-year-old long-time criminal should spend 10 years in jail for his role in the international drug deal involving two full-patch Hells Angels and several associates.
Prosecutor Sarah Paulson noted Monday that Womacks had just finished another sentence for trafficking when he got involved with associates who committed to buy hundreds of kilos of cocaine from South American brokers.
Those brokers turned out to be undercover RCMP officers posing as cocaine suppliers who arrested Womacks and others on Aug. 25, 2012.
“Mr. Womacks, we know, opened up that Martha Stewart box and began distributing the stacks of placebo into different bags so they could be carried out,” Paulson told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Carol Ross.
“He was actually handling the packages. He wasn’t merely picking up closed bags and carrying those off into the Budget truck. We heard zipper sounds on the recording and he was redistributing them throughout the bags.”
Womacks arrived at the warehouse that day wearing gloves, carrying a radio and ready to work, Paulson said.
His codename was Football.
While Womacks wasn’t one of the leaders of the conspiracy, his role was still significant, Paulson said.
“The Crown’s submission is that Mr. Womacks played an important role as he was the final actor that brought the highly valued 200 kilograms of cocaine into the hands of the group of accused.”
Womacks, along with Hells Angels David Giles and Bryan Oldham and associate James Howard, were convicted last September in the drug case that the RCMP dubbed E-Predicate.
The police received a $4-million down payment, then delivered a kilo of real cocaine and 199 kilos of fake product to the Burnaby warehouse.
Womacks' lawyer Lou Webster said his client should get no more than five years in jail.
He said Womacks played a very small role in the drug operation and was only trying to make some cash to pay off a drug debt.
“He had a $60,000 debt to a serious cocaine trafficker in the Interior and ultimately took the job that brings him before the court,” Webster said.
“He felt there was a yoke around his neck and felt himself to be in significant danger.”
Webster said Womacks' lengthy criminal history related to decades of substance abuse stemming from a troubled childhood.
His client is now sober, has a positive relationship and is working in a job he loves, he told Ross.
Womacks addressed the court briefly after both lawyers completed their submissions.
“I am truly sorry for what I have done,” Womacks said, his voice breaking.
Ross reserved her ruling on his sentence until March 31.
Sentencing hearings for Womacks' co-accused continue at the Vancouver Law Courts this week.