Drug mule sentenced to eight years prison

Calgary man caught with nine kilograms of cocaine at Kingsgate, sentenced in Cranbrook Supreme Court.

A Calgary man has been sentenced to eight years’ prison for importing cocaine to Canada at the Kingsgate border crossing.

Douglas Ernesto Pocasangre was sentenced by Justice Thomas Melnick in Cranbrook Supreme Court on January 17, 2013.

The sentencing followed a trial in Cranbrook from November 20 to 26 last year.

In making his decision, Justice Melnick explained the circumstances of Pocasangre’s crimes.

He was arrested at Kingsgate on March 6, 2010 after border officials discovered a backpack containing nine kilograms of cocaine hidden in a specialized trailer Mr. Pocasangre was bringing over the border.

The cocaine had a wholesale value of $305,000, and a street value of $720,000.

“In other words, a very substantial amount,” Justice Melnick said.

In a report on the sentencing released last week, Justice Melnick explained that Pocasangre, 48, was born in El Salvador and immigrated to Canada as a political refugee when he was a young man.

Pocasangre is married with a 22-year-old son, who lives with his parents at their home in Calgary.

Justice Melnick described the aggravating factors in the case as follows:

“1. The considerable quantity of cocaine, a hard drug capable of resulting in something like 90,000 individual retail sales to end users with the resultant grief that would inflict on thousands of people.

“2. Mr. Pocasangre used his position as a driver for a company that had special U.S. security clearance, taking advantage of the efforts and the reputation of his employer.

“3. From the record of cellphone messages, this was clearly a planned and deliberate act, not a decision taken on the spur of the moment. Mr. Ewan (defence counsel) submitted that this was not an aggravating factor, but I am satisfied that it is.

“4. Mr. Pocasangre clearly was motivated by profit. There can be no other explanation. He has had a good job and a good income. His truck was paid for. He had a new business venture in El Salvador.

“5. I am satisfied from the evidence that Mr. Pocasangre was aware of the risk he took, but took it anyway.”

The Crown sought a sentence of nine to 10 years, while defence counsel suggested a two- to three-year sentence.

Justice Melnick decided upon an eight-year sentence for importing cocaine, and a three-year sentence for possessing the cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, with both sentences to be served at the same time.

Pocasangre was required to provide a DNA sample and is prohibited from possessing firearms, weapons, ammunition and explosives for 10 years.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read