The daughter of Kelowna’s top cop has been sent to jail for seven months for her role in a “dial-a-dope” drug trafficking operation.
Lisa McKinnon, 23, daughter of Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon, was sentenced Friday morning in Kelowna after pleading guilty to three charges — one count of trafficking a controlled substance (heroin) and two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking (heroin and cocaine).
Judge Vince Hogan sided with the Crown prosecutor in sending McKinnon to jail rather than giving her the conditional sentence that McKinnon’s lawyer, Chandra Corriveau asked for.
But while the Crown attorney wanted McKinnon jailed for a year, Hogan said he was giving her credit for pleading guilty and for voluntarily seeking help from a Lower Mainland drug counselling and rehabilitation program. He knocked five months off the Crown’s request for a year in jail.
But in sentencing McKinnon to jail rather than a conditional sentence in the community, Hogan said a message needed to be sent that so called “dial-a-dope” operations will not to be tolerated in the community.
“You’re peddling your poison and your addiction to other members of the community,” Hogan told McKinnon, who wiped tears from her eyes as she was sentenced. “It’s extremely destructive.”
When she was asked if she had anything to say, McKinnon rose and in a soft, breaking voice apolzied for her actions.
“I’m sorry for all the drama I’ve caused my family,” she said, adding she plans to go back to school and “get on with my life” after her sentence.
McKinnon’s father was not in court but her mother, who is also a Kelowna RCMP officer, was present. She did not speak to the media after her daughter was led out of the courthouse by the sherriff to start serving her sentence.
Lisa McKinnon was arrested Feb. 28, 2011 after police watched what they said was a drug transaction between her and another woman in the parking lot of the Mission Park Mall.
Acting on information police said they received, officers moved in after watching McKinnon in the days preceding the Mission Park Mall drug deal.
According to the Crown, McKinnon said “I’m busted” as police approached her in the parking lot as she sat in a green minivan. They recovered a “flap” of cocaine (about one-tenth of a gram) from the woman and the $20 bill they believe she used to pay for it in the minivan McKinnon was driving.
The officers also found two cell phones in McKinnon’s possession at the time of her arrest, a day timer journal full of drug transaction information known as “score” sheets and two plastic bags with small amounts of heroin and cocaine in them. The court was told the drugs had a street value of about $675.
Following her arrest, the court was told, the phones rang several times with police answering four times. Each time, it was a different person looking to buy drugs. Despite that, the defence and prosecution lawyers, as well as the judge agreed McKinnon was a “simply a low level trafficker.”
“Int these cases the people who take the biggest risks have the least to gain,” said Hogan, who told McKinnon while she may think her life is over because he was sending her to jail, it isn’t.
He said he did not believe she would go back to drug trafficking after she completed her sentence and the probationary period she will be on after she gets out. He also said he did not believe she was a danger to public.
“I want you to work on yourself and be a success,” Hogan told McKinnon.
To help that he also banned her from being around other people who deal in or take, drugs.
“You have the support of family here and that is pretty unusual in these kinds of cases,” said the judge noting the presence of McKinnon mother at the back of the court gallery.