Man receives jail term in cocaine case

A master carpenter who taught carpentry in Japan and helped build ski lodges and chalets all over B.C. was given a two-year jail term on Tuesday for selling cocaine to undercover police officers.

A master carpenter who taught carpentry in Japan and helped build ski lodges and chalets all over B.C. was given a two-year jail term on Tuesday for selling cocaine to undercover police officers.

Robert Charles Long, 46, who now lives in Vernon, B.C., pleaded guilty at the start of a two-day trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench to two counts of trafficking a narcotic.

Justice Monica Bast heard that Long was busted on June 24, 2007, during a major sweep of street-level drug dealers in Red Deer.

He was arrested after selling 3.6 grams of cocaine to an undercover RCMP officer for $200. He had sold another $200 worth of cocaine to an officer two days earlier, federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis told court.

Long was acting as an agent for Theresa Van Wyck, of Red Deer, who was also busted.

Inglis said the officers had Long’s cellphone number and said they wanted to buy some cocaine. Long met them both times and Van Wyck would come a short time later with the drugs.

Van Wyck, who had a lengthy drug-related record, pleaded guilty a few years ago and was jailed for two years and nine months.

Long received credit for a modest record, which included one simple drug possession conviction and a drunk driving conviction 20 years ago.

He will serve another nine months in jail since he was arrested and remanded in custody on Sept. 28, 2010, after failing to show up for a court appearance.

Once he heard a warrant was out for his arrest, he turned himself in, court heard.

He received a two-for-one credit because the charges were laid before Parliament abolished the old credit scheme.

Defence lawyer Lorne Goddard said Long had a gift for carpentry and soon developed a reputation that resulted in his employer sending him to Japan for two years to teach the Japanese about building “stick houses.”

However, Goddard said Long fell into drugs and alcohol and became an addict.

Goddard said Long fought his addictions soon after the bust and moved to Vernon to escape the drug scene in Red Deer.

Long must also surrender a sample of his DNA and can’t own or possess guns or ammunition for 10 years.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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