File photo Officer with the Mounties’ Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team takes paraphernalia from a home.

Guilty pleas in White Rock drug-house raid

Sentencing for Frederic Dwayne Wilson set for February 2018 as co-accused released on bail

A man charged in connection with a May 2016 police raid on a White Rock home pleaded guilty this week to four of 15 charges against him – three related to drug trafficking and one related to firearms.

Frederic Dwayne Wilson made the pleas before Judge Alexander Wolf Monday morning in Surrey Provincial Court.

His co-accused, Pardeep Grewal, was released on bail Monday after more than a year in custody, and charges against her are expected to be dropped after Wilson is sentenced. That hearing is set for Feb. 19 and 20 of next year.

“I’m just happy that she’s out,” a woman who identified herself as Grewal’s sister told Peace Arch News outside court.

Grewal and Wilson – 31 and 46 years old at the time of arrest, respectively – were taken into custody May 3, 2016, after a clandestine drug lab was discovered in a two-storey home in the 800-block of Parker Street.

The raid was conducted by the Mounties’ Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit with assistance from White Rock RCMP and the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team, followed by the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team.

Police one week later said numerous illicit items found in the home and a vehicle included six weapons, ammunition, drugs and cash, as well as a quantity of unknown tablets and powder. Testing confirmed the presence of fentanyl.

Charges were announced later that month – 15 against Wilson and six against Grewal – and an eight-day trial was scheduled to get underway this week.

Monday, Crown Edlin Laurie told the court the drug charges moving ahead pertained to possession of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. She said more than five kilograms of cocaine was seized from the home, along with more than three kilograms of heroin and fentanyl.

Regarding the firearms – Wilson pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded Smith and Wesson, and three unloaded guns “with readily accessible ammunition” – Laurie said three of the guns were found in a duffel bag in a Pontiac van.

Grewal was granted bail in July of 2016 but wasn’t able to meet the conditions, so remained in custody. Monday – with Grewal’s mother, sister and other family members watching – lawyers submitted a joint proposal for her release, with a $25,000 no-deposit, no-surety bail, and conditions including no contact with Wilson and two others, as well as a mandatory firearms prohibition.

Grewal’s lawyer, Neil Cobb, told the court he expected to return to ask for revisions to the no-contact order regarding one “close family friend” who was named, noting concerns “dematerialize” with Wilson’s guilty plea.

Asked by Wolf if she felt the order was “absolutely necessary,” Laurie said yes, explaining the subject individual was “seen coming and going” from the Parker Street home with Wilson and Grewal during the course of the police investigation.

In suggesting sentencing for Wilson be adjourned until early next year, Wilson’s lawyer, Marvin Stern noted his client is already a “sentenced prisoner for another matter,” which is scheduled to go before the appeal court in September. Stern said that result will be “certainly something for this court to consider.”

Other reasons for the wait include the need for a Gladue report for Wilson – due to the accused’s aboriginal background – and Stern’s unavailability for court for about four months due to a sabbatical starting in September.

Laurie disagreed that the appeal proceedings should impact the case at bar.

Proceedings launched last August by the BC Civil Forfeiture Office in connection with the case – seeking to seize the home – are ongoing.

tholmes@peacearchnews.com