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REPORTING · 6th January 2011
Merv Ritchie
Sentencing deliberations began this morning, January 6, 2010, in Court Room number 1 at the Terrace Court house. The preliminary hearings were cut short earlier after an RCMP officer had delivered evidence under cross examination. Frederick Mowatt and his Lawyer determined he should plead guilty as a trial would take up public resources and the evidence was insurmountable. He would in all likelihood be found guilty at the end anyways. This decision probably saved Mowatt at least a year if not two or more years behind bars in a federal penitentiary.

Eight RCMP officers, including Inspector Stubbs, were in attendance to observe the sentencing hearing and after the Court adjourned they expressed how happy they were with the final outcome. After Mowatts guilty plea, his Council and the Federal Prosecutors, Chris Greenwood with Alexandra Rice, worked out a joint statement and agreement for the Judge.

The statement detailed the evidence of the distribution network; the supply by Jason Snider, the distribution by Mowatts family members including his son Dakota, the stash houses, the money, the collections and the score sheet detailing the people involved holding drugs and owing money. The Joint statement also detailed exactly what the Judge should consider for his ruling.

Mowatt will serve another 3 years and 2 months behind bars as he has already been in custody for 10 months. He has been ordered to produce a DNA sample and is now forbidden, for life, to possess a firearm. All the guns recovered during the search of his property, at least 4, have been seized as well as $7,460 in cash and the various drugs taken during the search execution.

As the statement stated, Mowatt ran and directed a cocaine warehouse and distribution facility. The Crown Lawyer called it sophisticated where the Defense claimed it was more amateurish pointing to the sloppy handling of materials and even the score sheet that listed the names of the participants. The description of the trafficking arrangements was at times humorous. The RCMP were monitoring the telephone, cell phone and texting services of various residents and had undercover operatives working the market.

Many names of locals were used during the reading of the agreed statement of facts and we do not have the correct spelling of many, therefore the following may not be the exact renditions of the names. In one drug seizure, Jason Snider and Harry MacDonald were involved in a $10,000 transaction which began at 4717 Staume Avenue. The RCMP followed the transaction to the Spirit Night Club where they seized “9 decks of Cocaine” from a black Dodge. After this bust someone called Mowatt and he then called Ellen New to see if she had heard anything as she had been monitoring police communications.

In another affair an undercover agent went to Elisa Watts residence to purchase Cocaine and she asked if he was Bronson’s buddy, referring to Bronson Nadeau. When he said yes she proceeded to attempt to give the officer money stating the Bronson was coming to “reload her”. Tamara, who was also in the residence talking to Mowatt on the phone asked why he didn’t just come by as “She has your money”.

Gary Alexcee had been finishing work on his fishboat when he called/texted for an ounce of cocaine. After the police arrested Alexcee he called Mowatt and then Mowatt called his son, Dakota and Bronson. Later Billy Joe Mowatt told him they just got back from picking Pine Mushrooms and they got 40 pounds. The RCMP recognize this as code for taking delivery of 40 ounces of Cocaine which they confirmed by executing another search and seizing 35 of the 40 ounces, a value of approximately $50,000.

It appears from the evidence detailed in court that it was this that led up to the search warrant execution on Freddy Mowatts property on September 26, 2009. the original press release from September 2009 HERE. The formal charges were made in March of 2010 and the RCMP News Release along with pictures of the drugs seized can be read HERE.

The raid by the RCMP on Mowatts property on Dobbie Street in Thornhill became public knowledge almost immediately as the Annual Riders Toy Run was underway and the route passed directly in front of Mowatts home, which at that time was filled with Police cars. The gathering that followed in the Northern Motor Inn was rife with laughter and good cheer as those who knew Mowatts line of work spread the news.

The Police found the score sheets detailing the distribution information, coke on the bedroom headboard, scales with coke residue, an ammunition clip for a hand gun, a 300 Winchester, a 12 gauge, $1,200 cash in one location, another $4,680 under the mattress and another $1,580 they took off of Billy Joe Mowatt. While looking through the paperwork at Mowatts home they discovered a list of nine names he was working through in an attempt to discover who the informants were.

Others were implicated in the receipt of or supply of stolen property. A shipment of clothing destined for Marks Work Warehouse was stolen from the shipping company by their employee. Paul Sampson had called Mowatt to tell him they know about the jackets and Mowatt claimed he never stole anything. It was this evidence that lessened the charges to possession of stolen property. Gary Stevens was observed taking armloads of clothing out of his truck after visiting Mowatt and then receiving a call from Mowatt asking “Do the clothes fit the girls?”

The Crown lawyer described Mowatts operation as “mid-level ounce dealing”, stating he got others to do the “dirty work”. Mowatt, he claimed, supplied Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and the surrounding communities. The Defense Lawyer made the claim Mowatt was a victim of an unfortunate childhood upbringing and was helping his family out of the circumstances he endured. He stated Mowatt was committed to attending an aboriginal treatment program, which would be available in prison. He added at the end of his submissions that stealing was not a part of Mowatts ongoing criminal activity.

The Judge commented how he saw this as not sophisticated but a very serious agreement for wholesale distribution of Cocaine to Terrace and the surrounding communities. He also reflected on Mowatts past record, one conviction in 2003 for conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance. He stated it was clearly a commercial enterprise involving a good number of family members who were willing participants that Mowatt organized. He gave Mowatt credit for the “attempt to give his family better than what he had, but he involved his family”.

The Judge accepted the joint submission recommendation that the sentence be four years for the first count; conspiracy to traffic cocaine. On the third count, possession of stolen property, he received the one year to run concurrent with the first count. The second count was the possession of the various other drugs which were seized as forfeiture. The RCMP may use these drugs as evidence in other cases. The Judge added that he was inclined to impose a stiffer sentence of 5 years or more but as both lawyers followed the rules, that they provided examples of similar cases with similar sentences, and that they had discussions he was not privy to which may have included more details, he felt obliged to accept their recommendations.