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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Alleged street-gang member gets 13 years for gun crimes

 

An alleged Gators street gang member who insisted he sold crack, not guns, to evade tough justice received a precedent-setting 13-year prison sentence Thursday. Justice Jane Kelly delivered the high-water-mark sentence of nine years for gun possession convictions against Lyvon Lambert, 20, plus four years for other offences, including 1.5 years for violating a previous firearm prohibition. The nine-year sentence for gun possession is only one year below the maximum. Lambert had nine weapons, crack cocaine, two pit bull dogs and a four-foot alligator – police say it is the club mascot – in his tiny two-bedroom Eglinton Ave. W. apartment when Toronto Police searched it in January 2009. Kelly convicted Lambert of 40 charges, including possession of three fully-loaded handguns, two sawed-off shotguns, two other long rifles, ammunition packaged for sale and 27 grams of crack for the purpose of trafficking. “The seizure of seven illegal guns in one place is unusual and represents a significant seizure,” said Kelly. In compiling what the judge called an “unenviable record,” Lambert had previously robbed an undercover cop of $700 (posing as a crack customer), whom he suspected he was a police officer. Lambert thought “the courts will not punish him severely for trafficking (cocaine) and that it is therefore ‘worth it’ on a cost-benefit analysis,” stated Kelly. “His belief was that ... it was well worth the risk to enage in selling crack as a career,” said the judge. “Mr. Lambert needs to be disabused of this notion. Only a stiff and exemplary deterrent sentence will do so.” Kelly said Lambert implored another man to sell crack “as an easy source of money. “He purportedly went on a crack-selling fund-raising tour to pay for canteen sundries and his lawyer’s retainer,” said Kelly. Lambert denied being a member of the Gators gang, which in early 2009 was involved in a deadly turf war with the rival Five Point Generalz gang in the west end. Lambert was active in both the ammunition and drug selling business in 2009, a year after Parliament tripled the mandatory minimum sentence for possession of prohibited firearms from one to three years and subsequent offences from one to five years. “Parliament could not be clearer: Do not possess loaded prohibited firearms. Indeed, according to Mr. Lambert’s testimony, he received this message,” said Kelly. “He just did not heed it.”

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