Appeal denied in dial-a-dope case

Supreme Court judge rules four-year span between arrest and trial ‘is not beyond limits of constitutional tolerance’

A Supreme Court judge has dismissed a Surrey couple’s application to have their criminal charges dropped in connection with a large dial-a-dope operation in Langley in 2008.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice J. Verhoeven denied an application made by Barrett Jordan, 27, and Kristina Gaudet, 23, for a stay of all proceedings based on their right to a timely trial.

The pair, who face trafficking and possession charges in 2008, argued the length of time it has taken for their cases to go to trial is unjust. Their trials are set for January, 2013.

The total length of the delay from the charges to the end of the scheduled trial date is just over four years for both.

Between March 12, 2008 and Dec. 17, 2008, the Langley RCMP investigated a dial-a-dope operation selling heroin and cocaine in Langley and Surrey.

The Crown alleges that Jordan was running the operation.

In particular, the Crown alleges that he was responsible for the phone line on which orders were placed, and that he employed others and supplied them with drugs to deliver to the buyers.

The Crown contends that between May 6 and Dec. 10, 2008, undercover police officers purchased cocaine on six separate occasions by calling a cellphone number associated with Jordan.

On Dec. 17, 2008, the police executed a search warrant at an apartment on 68 Avenue in Surrey.  The Crown contends that the apartment was the residence of Jordan and Gaudet.

Among other things, the police seized 42.3 grams of heroin, 1,463.5 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine, $6,640 in cash, and what is alleged to be a “shift calendar” for the dial-a-dope line.

Jordan and Gaudet were arrested the same day. Court documents indicate the couple had been together for more than four years.

On Dec.  24, 2008, the charges against Jordan were expanded, including the contention that he was the controlling figure behind the dial-a-dope operation.

In February 2009, 10 people were charged with offences relating to possession and trafficking of cocaine and heroin related back to the dial-a-dope line.

These arrests and charges came at a time when a drug turf war was exploding in Langley, resulting in at least two drug-related murders in March 2009 of Laura Lamoureux and Marc Bontkes.

Both were believed to be ripping off dial-a-dope operations.

Gaudet contends that the delay has held her back from pursuing a career in accounting.

If she has a criminal conviction it would not allow her to go into that career. She also claims the wait has caused anxiety and depression. “The delay is not beyond the limits of constitutional tolerance,” said Verhoeven in his judgement in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

“I am not persuaded that Ms. Gaudet has established a breach of her rights.”