Yeo sentenced to seven years in prison on drug charges

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 9, 2014

Jason Yeo

A Charlottetown man who is already serving nine years in prison for armed robbery had another seven years added to his sentence Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court.

But after already spending 634 days in custody, Jason Norman Yeo, 31, will get enough credit to reduce the latest sentence to four years and 271 days on top of whatever else he has left to serve.

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Yeo appeared before Justice Wayne Cheverie in Charlottetown for sentencing on several charges dating back to 2012 after an investigation known as Operation Latte involving the RCMP and Charlottetown police.

Cheverie sentenced Yeo to serve five years for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and two years for trafficking cocaine, both to be served consecutive to each other and the time he is already serving. The judge also sentenced Yeo to four months each on 11 other charges related to breaches of court orders, all to be served concurrently.

Cheverie gave Yeo credit at a rate of 1.3 days for every day served.

That meant Yeo got a total credit of two years and 94 days because he has been in custody since his arrest.

The sentencing came after Cheverie found Yeo guilty in February of drug trafficking after he was in a vehicle with Chase James Roper when the latter sold a bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer for $500.

Yeo previously pleaded guilty to the other charges against him after an investigation in which police seized more than $60,000 worth of drugs, along with drug paraphernalia and several weapons.

He was sentenced in March for his role in 2012 armed robbery in Emyvale.

It took Cheverie more than an hour to deliver his decision Monday, and throughout the proceedings Yeo showed little emotion as he rocked in his chair with his wrists handcuffed and hands folded in his lap.

The lawyers for all sides previously made a joint recommendation of eight years in total, although the defence suggested it be served concurrent to the sentence Yeo is already serving, which led Cheverie to say it really wasn’t a joint recommendation at all.

“They are eight years apart,” Cheverie said.

In handing down the sentence, Cheverie said he had to consider what would be appropriate and while he agreed with the recommendations of eight years, he thought a consecutive sentence would be fitting.

Cheverie said the defence argued Yeo’s actions were all closely linked or related, which meant a concurrent sentence was appropriate.

He disagreed and said within a few months of his release from prison for a previous offence, Yeo was back in the drug business.

“While I applaud the ingenuity of defence counsel in his argument, I cannot accept it.”

Cheverie said there weren’t any victim impact statements filed in the case, but the courts were aware of the lives that are ruined and families that are destroyed by people like Yeo.

“This is all done for profit without any concern for the havoc that is wreaked upon our community,” he said.

Although he agreed with the eight-year sentence recommendation, Cheverie said he had to consider whether the combined sentence of 17 years for those offences and the armed robbery was too harsh or unduly long as set out in the principles of sentencing.

Cheverie said it might be too long and required an adjustment so he reduced the sentence on the trafficking charge from three years to two, which lowered the total sentence to 16 years. Along with the jail time, Cheverie ordered a lifetime weapons prohibition.

After the court dealt with Yeo’s sentence, the federal Crown withdrew all of the charges his girlfriend, Samantha Keenan, was facing.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

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