Vancouver Mayor's Gregor Robertson's foster son facing drug, gun charges
An arrest warrant has been issued for the foster son of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who is alleged to have been part of a dial-a-dope-and-gun operation, The Richmond Review has learned.
Jinagh Farrouch Navas-Rivas, 21, has been charged as part of an 18-count criminal indictment involving a total of five men. He is facing two counts of trafficking in cocaine in Richmond and Vancouver, and one count of transferring a .22-calibre Ruger pistol and ammunition without authorization while in New Westminster.
Navas-Rivas has not yet been arrested by Richmond Mounties, and late Thursday afternoon, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement, requesting that Navas-Rivas turn himself into police.
“Today I learned that the Richmond RCMP are seeking Jinagh Navas Rivas on criminal charges," Robertson said in a statement.
“My wife and I foster parented Jinagh for two years until 2009. We have always believed that providing support to youth in need is of great importance and that fostering is an important contribution our family can make.
“It was in this spirit that we took in Jinagh to live with us. He has been on his own now since June 2009.
“I am disappointed to hear that Jinagh is wanted by the Richmond RCMP and I urge him to turn himself into the police immediately.
“Out of respect for the ongoing investigation, I will refrain from commenting further at this time.”
The Robertson family is currently vacationing in Hawaii, and won't return until next week. Navas-Rivas did not accompany them on the vacation, according to Mike Magee, speaking on behalf of the mayor's office.
Robertson and his wife Amy have three other children.
Navas-Rivas was a track athlete while a student at Prince of Wales Secondary in Vancouver, but according to his Facebook account, is originally from Richmond and resides in Vancouver. He played atom level football for the Richmond Jets while in elementary school.
Gregor Robertson made a special point to thank his family during his Nov. 19 victory speech following his successful municipal re-election bid, and referred to a smiling Navas-Rivas—who was standing next to him on the stage—as the "birthday boy." He's also mentioned in Robertson's bio on the City of Vancouver website.
The allegations against Navas-Rivas, who is charged with four other Lower Mainland men, stem from a six-month police investigation into a Lower Mainland dial-a-dope operation and involves offences that allegedly occurred in Richmond, Vancouver and New Westminster.
Dial-a-dope operations involve drug dealers who leave a phone number—sometimes on business cards—with users and addicts, and when drugs are wanted, arrangements are made by phone about the quantity and type of drugs, and drop-off locations where the drugs are exchanged for cash.
The Richmond provincial court indictment also includes three gun charges, two involving the transportation of guns with ammunition and one of possessing a loaded prohibited firearm.
While the charges indicate the police investigation started as late as June, the court information also suggests that Navas-Rivas may not have been involved until later in the investigation.
The first count against Navas-Rivas occurred "on or about" Nov. 4, and involved trafficking in cocaine in Vancouver.
Then Navas-Rivas was co-accused with Leslie James Miller, 29, on a charge of transferring a firearm and ammunition knowing that he was not authorized to do so on Nov. 18 in New Westminster.
Then Navas-Rivas was again accused along with Miller of trafficking cocaine in Richmond on Dec. 9.
How exactly police were able to net these five suspects remains unknown, and many questions will likely remain unanswered until this case goes to trial: Did investigators have an inside informant? Were undercover officers making controlled purchases after being alerted to the group? Was wire-tapping and round-the-clock surveillance involved? And to whom were these guns being delivered and for what purpose?
The indictment against Navas-Rivas and his co-accused was sworn before a justice of the peace at Richmond provincial court on Dec. 23, which is the same day that Mounties arrested Miller. He has a criminal record dating back to 2001.
Co-accused with Navas-Rivas and Miller are: Vingh Hoang (David) Le, Willie Sing Cheung Truong, and Kwok Pui (Raymond) Ma. All, save Miller, remain at large, and have outstanding warrants for their arrest.
Le is facing 14 counts of trafficking in cocaine and ecstasy between June and November of 2011. He was charged in Richmond provincial court with drug possession in 2009, but a stay of proceedings was issued.
Truong is facing a single count of cocaine trafficking in Richmond. He was found guilty of possession for the purposes of trafficking in 2007 and was sentenced to five months in prison along with a lengthy period of probation.
Ma is charged with one count of cocaine trafficking in Vancouver. He has a relatively minor court history involving accusations of supplying liquor to a minor and three fishing-related infractions.
Miller is charged with possessing a loaded prohibited weapon—a .40-calibre Heckler & Kotch handgun—and transferring a .38-calibre Smith & Wesson revolver with ammunition knowing he wasn't authorized to do so. He was charged with impaired driving, uttering death threats, driving without a licence, assaulting a peace officer and mischief in Delta back in 2001. He also faced other charges in North Vancouver in 2007, but a ban remains in place on the details and outcome of that case.