A drug dealer was led away in tears on Friday to start a federal prison sentence for dealing in substantial amounts of cocaine.
Keith Elliot Shingleton, 28, of Red Deer received a four-and-a-half-year sentence in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench after pleading guilty to trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.
Charges of money laundering, possession of the proceeds of crime and possession of a narcotic were withdrawn by federal Crown prosecutor Craig Kallal of Edmonton.
Shingleton will serve three years in jail after being credited with 18 months of pre-trial custody based on the fact he was under 24-hour house arrest after he was charged on July 4, 2008.
The sentence was worked out between the Crown and defence lawyer Jake Chadi of Edmonton.
Justice Jim Foster accepted the arranged sentence after hearing of the Crown’s difficulty in prosecuting the case in the first year.
Kallal said Shingleton was the “No. 2 man” in a sophisticated “dial a doper” operation that handled significant amounts of cocaine, measuring many hundreds of grams at a time.
Kallal said the Crown didn’t have a case until two drug dealers working for Shingleton and co-conspirator Ryan Wesley Mack, 26, of Red Deer, turned informants.
Both Tyler Clark and Grant Courtney were never charged after Red Deer RCMP busted the operation on July 4, 2008.
Mack was also jailed for four and a half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to traffic in cocaine when he appeared in court about a month ago.
Mack was credited with two and a half years in pre-trial custody, meaning he still has two years to serve.
RCMP seized more than $20,000 in cash, a nine-mm handgun and a large stash of cocaine after searching two Red Deer homes.
Police also found about 150 grams of cocaine worth about $15,000 in a safe buried in the ground in a forested area near Red Deer.
Homes in Clearview and Oriole Park were searched.
In addition to the drugs and cash, RCMP also seized four vehicles.
Almost $13,000 in cash, which couldn’t be proven to be the proceeds of crime, was returned to Mack.
In addition, one of the vehicles was returned to Mack because it belonged to a woman not involved in the crime. The other vehicles are in police custody.
Chadi said Shingleton had no previous criminal record and didn’t violated any terms of his house arrest.