A 22-year-old Surrey man has been handed a conditional sentence including six months of house arrest after pleading guilty to possessing fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking in North Vancouver in July 2021.
Shiva Manish Mudaliar pled guilty to the charge Feb. 1 in North Vancouver provincial court and was sentenced May 15 by Judge Joseph Galati.
According to an agreed statement of facts read in court, Mudaliar and a co-accused – Gurpinder Vicky Johal, 27 – first came to police attention while North Vancouver RCMP were conducting surveillance on a rooming house at 462 East 11th St. because of that address’s association to previous drug activity.
That morning, police saw a white Jetta driven by Johal approach the area, stop briefly and interact with someone who then walked away, said Crown counsel Lisa Dumbrell.
Police then started surveillance on the car, following it around the North Shore through several brief stops including some in West Vancouver.
Surveillance continued until the Jetta went back to the alley behind the house on East 11th Street where a man appeared to be waiting, getting into the back seat of the car and leaving a minute later.
Police eventually moved in on the car when the drug dealers went through the Tim Horton’s drive-through at 2177 Dollarton Hwy., blocking the exit and arresting the two men in the car.
As they did so, Mudaliar, who was in the passenger seat, dropped a bag of drugs on the floor of the car, said Crown counsel Lisa Dumbrell. Both men were taken back to the detachment and the car was towed and searched.
Inside the car, police found about $1,100 in cash along with bags of drugs and a collapsible baton.
The drugs included 13 baggies of fentanyl benzodiazepine with a total weight of 1.6 grams, six baggies of fentanyl with a weight of 0.6 grams, five baggies of fentanyl benzodiazepine with a weight of 1.2 grams, and 48 bags of cocaine with a weight of 15.4 grams, said the Crown. The drugs were estimated to have a value of about $2,000.
Dumbrell said Mudaliar does not appear to have a drug addiction himself. Selling drugs “appears to be for profit and simply for easy money,” she said.
She added Mudaliar is a “low level drug trafficker” without a criminal record.
“He is not at the top of any food chain.”
Mudaliar’s defence lawyer Marvin Stern told the judge his client was just 19 when he committed the drug offence and was going through an aimless period of his life. He now works for a company in Surrey that imports and exports vehicles, said Stern.
Judge Joseph Galati placed Mudaliar on house arrest for the first six months of his 18-month conditional sentence, with exceptions for medical care, work and school.
Johal, the other man in the car during the dial-a-dope operation, received a similar sentence in March.