Men jailed for threatening to set victim on fire

LETHBRIDGE — Two southern Alberta men who kidnapped and tortured another man over a drug deal gone bad have been sentenced to five years in prison.

LETHBRIDGE — Two southern Alberta men who kidnapped and tortured another man over a drug deal gone bad have been sentenced to five years in prison.

Court heard Daniel Michael Cooke was taken from his Lethbridge home last July, punched, kicked and beaten with the blunt ends of guns and a machete.

His kidnappers also poured gasoline over him, threatened to set him on fire and used pruning shears to injure his thumb while threatening to cut off his fingers.

Cooke was released after five hours, walked into town and took himself to hospital.

Charles Morrison-Lonie and Adrien Ferdinand Theriault pleaded guilty to kidnapping, aggravated assault, administering a noxious substance and wearing masks to commit crimes.

They had been hired by a drug dealer whom Cooke had tried to pay with a stack of papers topped with a $100 bill.

Judge Jerry LeGrandeur said it was a “terrible error in judgment” for the men to get so involved in teaching someone a lesson in a drug deal ripoff they had “nothing to do with.”

“They were not the leaders. At first, I don’t believe they really knew what they were getting into,” said LeGrandeur. “But, having said that, neither did they stop” when it became clear.

“It had nothing to do with them and I don’t believe they fully understood the circumstances in terms of who the bad guys were here.”