A man the RCMP hired to help catch drug dealers in southern New Brunswick as part of Operation J-Tornado was bringing kilos of cocaine into the area before and after working for police, court heard Monday.
John "BJ" Trecartin, who described himself as a local Saint John drug dealer in business for more than a decade, said he bought virtually all of his cocaine from a single supplier — a man who is the crown's key witness in its current drug prosecution of Shane Williams and Joshua Kindred.
"It was just ounces until 2013," said Trecartin of the cocaine he bought from the man. "Then kilos."
Williams, 34, and Kindred, 39, have been on trial for various drug possession, trafficking and conspiracy charges since April. They were among 28 arrested by police in 2014 as part of Operation J-Tornado, a three-year long investigation into drug trafficking in New Brunswick.
The investigation depended heavily on evidence gathered by a Saint John businessman, and former friend of Williams, who police agreed to pay nearly $600,000 for six months work on the case and his eventual courtroom testimony. His identity is protected by a publication ban. Trecartin was not arrested as part of J-Tornado but is in jail awaiting trial on unrelated assault charges. He agreed to testify and was brought to court by Sheriff's deputies where he told of a long-running drug relationship with the businessman, first as a rival then as a customer.
Drug dealers' competition
"Were you friends?" asked Kindred's lawyer, Reid Chedore.
"No. He was my competition," said Trecartin of his early dealings with the man.
"Did you socialise?" asked Chedore. "No. I keep myself and my suppliers separate. I don't put my heat on them and I don't want their heat on me."
Reid Chedore, defence lawyer for Joshua Kindred, called a witness who described himself as a drug dealer, and contradicted testimony given earlier by the main police informant in the case. (CBC) Trecartin said he did drug deals with the man all over southern New Brunswick between 2004 and 2015, meeting in service station and mall washrooms, on dirt roads and even at the Irving Nature Park.
"Why bathrooms?" asked Chedore. "You can't put cameras in a bathroom. You can't put microphones in a bathroom." Trecartin said he was careful not to do deals on the phone, in cars or anywhere else he felt he could be observed. He said he switched to buying kilos of cocaine in 2013 to cut down on the number of meetings he was having with the man.
Bought cocaine after J-Tornado
In one of his last big deals in the fall of 2014, about a month after all the J-Tornado arrests, he said he met the man on a dirt road near Lorneville and noticed he had 4 kilos of cocaine in his car.
"I bought two kilos and he still had two kilos in the back seat."
Trecartin testified even though the crown has not finished presenting evidence in the case. Chedore said he was having a scheduling problem and asked if the crown could suspend its case briefly so he could call three witnesses.
Brothers also testify
In addition to Trecartin, Chedore called brothers John and Nathan Livingston. The two testified to being with the businessman and a woman in a motel room in Moncton in either 2012 and 2013 where the businessman pulled out a bag of cocaine for people to use. John Livingston described the businessman as "a nice guy" but said he was angry about what happened and left the room because his brother has a significant drug problem. Nathan Livingston said he couldn't stop himself from using the cocaine that night after it appeared.
"It surprised me he would offer me drugs. I have a serious drug addiction. If you put drugs in front of me I'll do it," said Livingston.
Had denied supplying cocaine
During his testimony the businessman denied having ever supplied cocaine to anyone in the presence of the Livingston's and also denied being Trecartin's cocaine supplier. "I have nothing to do with this person you are mentioning," he testified about Trecartin when asked on June 6 by Williams lawyer Brian Munro.
Crown prosecutors will cross-examine Trecartin about his story Tuesday.
By Robert Jones - CBC News/June 27, 2016
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