The brother of two men whose shootings deaths – including one in South Surrey in January – police have said were linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to drug-trafficking offences that took place while he was already in custody.
Sameet Kang learned the penalty May 19 in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, according to oral reasons for sentence posted online Friday (July 23).
Kang pleaded guilty in December 2020 to “directing the commission of a serious offence, namely drug trafficking, for the benefit of a criminal organization” and conspiracy to traffic in drugs, the reasons state.
Crown and defence counsel proposed consecutive terms of 1.5 years for the first offence and 12.5 years for the second. Factoring in credit for time served, Kang has just over eight years left behind bars.
According to the sentencing reasons, Kang’s offences took place between May 2017 and August 2018, and involved “large amounts of fentanyl and other drugs.”
“They involved trafficking in many locations in the Lower Mainland, Northern British Columbia, the Okanagan, and parts of Alberta. The offences were conducted through a criminal organization that you and your two brothers led, you as the main leader, along with numerous other co‑conspirators, some of whom have been charged and some not. You also had many employees,” associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said.
Throughout, Kang was in custody at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, serving a two-year sentence for drug trafficking.
“However, you ran the drug trafficking organization nonetheless, mostly by way of illicit telephone calls or other forms of communication with the co‑conspirators,” Holmes stated.
According to the reasons, Holmes heard that the organization used eight stash sites in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey to store, produce and package drugs, and that “changes were made from one stash site to the other to avoid detection, often with a mess left behind that sometimes included chemical hazards.”
Search warrants executed in April and June of 2018 found large amounts of drugs and cutting agents, including more than seven kilograms of fentanyl mixture, more than 5.5 kg of fentanyl, nearly two kilograms of cocaine and more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine. Cash totalling more than $77,000 was also found.
In considering sentencing, Holmes told Kang that the law considers him a relatively youthful offender. Turning 30 this year, he has “a lot of life ahead of you,” she said. Noting supporting letters that describe Kang as having had positive characteristics, personal skills and strength earlier in life, Holmes said he must now choose between being how those family and friends describe him and the more destructive life he has been living.
“I am confident that you understand that responsibility, in part because of the particularly difficult circumstances you find yourself in now,” Holmes said. “I am not saying that you are in those difficult circumstances through no fault of your own. However, I acknowledge… that you have had to face some profound consequences of losing your two brothers, both to gun shootings, and you have had to watch the effects of those losses, and no doubt your own lifestyle as well, on your parents.”
Kang’s older brother, Randeep, was killed in a targeted shooting in the 11300-block of Surrey’s Alpen Place in October 2017; his younger brother, Gary, was shot to death in the Morgan Heights neighbourhood of South Surrey on Jan. 6, 2021.
Holmes said aggravating circumstances of Sameet Kang’s offences include that he was a “directing mind” of the drug-trafficking organization; that his mid-level network made large amounts of drugs available to distributors; that the network was sophisticated and distributed in many B.C. communities; that fentanyl was the primary commodity; and that Kang directed the activities from prison.
Mitigating circumstances included his guilty plea, lengthy negotiations that avoided what could have tied up the courts for another 1.5 years, and that Kang had a direct or indirect effect on others who were co-charged or charged with similar offences also pleading guilty.
“In fact, your brother Gary entered a guilty plea before his untimely death,” Holmes said.
In addition to the 14-year term – reduced to eight years and four months after applying 50 months credit for time served – Holmes imposed a lifetime firearms and ammunition ban on Kang and ordered a DNA sample. She also signed a forfeiture order for 12 nine-gauge shotgun shells seized from a bedroom believed to be Kang’s.
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