An alleged Kamloops gangster who was sentenced earlier this week to 18 months in prison is once again free on bail pending an appeal filed in B.C.'s highest court.
Jason Robertson was sentenced on Monday, Feb. 19, following his conviction on five weapons and property-related offences, as well as one count of identity theft. He was released on bail on Wednesday following a brief B.C. Court of Appeal hearing in Vancouver.
Robertson and his wife, Sarah, were arrested following a series of high-profile police raids in May 2014 on properties owned by Jason Robertson, including the execution of a warrant at their Arrowstone Drive home in Sahali.
At the time, police took reporters to an evidence room at the Kamloops RCMP detachment and displayed dozens of firearms, electronics, cash and drugs seized in the raids. Police said the operation was gang-related and Hells Angels support stickers were visible on some of the seized items.
Early on in the proceedings against them, the Robertsons were facing more than 50 charges. Last year, on the eve of their trial, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jeanne Watchuk stayed all of the counts Sarah Robertson was facing, ruling her Charter rights had been violated by police during their investigation. RELATED Robertson sentenced to 18 months in prison The bulk of Jason Robertson's 18-month sentence was for a conviction for possession of a stolen firearm, which carries a mandatory one-year prison sentence.
During Robertson's sentencing, Watchuk ordered police to return 34 legally owned firearms seized by police during their execution of the Arrowstone Drive search warrant.
At an earlier hearing, court heard $50,000 in cash was seized from the Sahali home -- the house alleged to have been the Robertsons' primary residence.
During proceedings in 2016, when defence lawyers challenged the methods used by police while executing the warrant, surveillance footage showed officers joking about leaving live ammunition in the family's fireplace and seizing their passports to stop them from travelling.
"It was straight humour," retired RCMP Sgt. Gary Senner said in court last year. "There was no intention to ever do that."
Robertson's lawyers are appealing both his conviction and sentence. His next court appearance is slated for Sept. 10 in Vancouver.