As reported by The Vancouver Sun
Ariel Savein was handed a term of 30 months, which amounts to the time he spent in pre-trial custody in both Vancouver and San Diego. Savein will also remain on supervised release for three years, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn L. Huff ruled.
Written submissions filed for the sentencing hearing by Savein’s defence lawyer and U.S. prosecutors are sealed.
Savein, 30, was arrested in July 2011 after a massive two-year undercover investigation into Mexican cartels by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
He was one of several Canadian money couriers used by the Sinaloa and La Familia cartels to collect millions owed to the gangs by local drug traffickers.
Savein and others working for the cartels in the Lower Mainland were also assigned to deliver the cash to a cartel contact in Vancouver.
What they didn’t realize at the time is that the man who collected duffel bags containing millions was an undercover Vancouver Police officer working with a DEA agent who infiltrated the Sinaloa cartel and brought down dozens of its key people.
Savein was caught making one delivery for La Familia, a smaller cartel with close ties to Sinaloa.
He arrived in the parking lot of the Rona Home & Garden store on Grandview Highway in east Vancouver in April 2010 with $811,850 stuffed in a duffel bag and two cloth shopping bags.
Savein told the VPD officer he was worried someone might see the money sticking out of one of his bags.
After his 2011 arrest, Savein fought his extradition for more than three years before the B.C. Court of Appeal ordered him to surrender to American authorities last summer.
He was flown to San Diego in early September and pleaded guilty Sept. 30, 2014.
Two Mexican men living in Vancouver, who delivered more than $6 million in cartel cash in the same case, were earlier sentenced to 46 months each in San Diego.
Savein, who graduated from Vancouver’s Point Grey Secondary in 2003, had no criminal record in B.C., though he was once suspected in a fraudulent lottery scam.
But police sources say he did have links to a former B.C. gangster named Shane (Wheels) Maloney, who is now in jail in Montreal awaiting trial on charges of smuggling cocaine into Canada.
Savein was also listed in a document obtained by The Vancouver Sun as an associate of Montreal’s premier pot smuggler Jimmy Cournoyer, sentenced by a New York judge last August to 27 years for running a major international drug ring linked to the Hells Angels, the Mafia and the Sinaloa cartel.