News / Vancouver

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson's foster son sent to prison for four years

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's foster son, a young man described as a "wannabe gangster," was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for gun and drug trafficking.

Richmond provincial court Judge Patrick Chen called the sentence fair for 22-year-old Jinagh Navas-Rivas.

The judge noted the young man was not the key player in the drug and gun deals, but appeared to be on a path to a criminal lifestyle.

Chen warned Nevas-Rivas that he will encounter "more negative peers" in prison but credited him for taking the initial first steps toward his rehabilitation.

"Few people are blessed by having such a support network," the judge said before the man was handcuffed and led into custody.

Navas-Rivas apologized to the court for his crimes.

"There was no excuse for what I've done and now it's time to take responsibility," he said, his voice becoming choked with emotion.

"I want to become a better person," he said.

During the sentencing hearing the man's lawyer, Emmet Duncan, told the court that his client was a "wannabe gangster," who was a cocaine addict at the time of the offences and his girlfriend was pregnant  — she later had a miscarriage.

"His addiction and his lifestyle drove much of his behaviour," Duncan said.

He added that his client has had a change if attitude since his release on bail and is firmly on his way to rehabilitation.

Crown lawyer Ernie Froess told the court that the sale of guns was an exceptionally serious offence that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years.

"The Lower Mainland has been plagued by gun violence and an ongoing drug war," Froess said during a sentencing hearing.

The court heard that Navas-Rivas told an undercover police officer posing as a drug and gun buyer that he was a "broker" who could get them a range of drug and guns, including an AK-47 machine gun.

Navas-Rivas pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine and an illegal handgun last December. 

While Robertson wasn't present for the sentencing, his wife Amy and the couple's daughter attended the hearing.

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