Man busted in Operation Roadrunner gets house arrest

Rosie Mullaley
Published on November 29, 2011
Mark Kane
Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A man arrested in connection with a major drug bust 4 1/2 years ago has been sentenced to house arrest.

In Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s today, Mark Kane of Portugal Cove will serve a two-years-less-a-day conditional sentence, with two years’ probation.

Kane pleaded guilty to trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.

He was arrested in October 2007 for his involvement in the drug-smuggling ring that was dismantled as a result of an intensive police investigation dubbed Operation Roadrunner.

The 18-month-long investigation involved trafficking cocaine and marijuana between Quebec and Newfoundland by members of a drug distribution network.

It resulted in dozens of arrests and the seizure of 51 pounds of marijuana, 19 pounds of cocaine, $300,000 in cash, six vehicles, weapons and laptop computers in St. John’s.

The sting began in early 2006 as an investigation into drunken thuggery on George Street and climaxed in the bust of the drug ring.

A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary operation, it also involved officers from across the country and uncovered an extensive drug operation, leading to raids on 11 homes in the St. John’s area, as well as arrests in Quebec.

Police discovered Kane was responsible for collecting money from drug trafficking, providing drugs to drug traffickers, assisting in setting up stash houses and directing the preparation of drugs for sale on the street.

He was released on bail shortly after his arrest.

Justice Alphonsus Faour said a conditional sentence is appropriate for Kane, who is a first-time offender and has already spent 4 1/2 years successfully adhering to strict court conditions.

The judge pointed out that when Kane’s sentence and probation are completed, he will have been following court restrictions for more than eight years.

“Eight years is a significant amount of time to be under restrictions of the court,” he said.

The conditions of Kane’s sentence include that he notify the court of any change of name or address and adhere to a curfew. He was ordered to abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs and must submit to electronic monitoring.

He must also submit a DNA sample and is prohibited from having a firearm for 10 years.

At the request of the Crown, Kane’s cell phone and 1996 car, which were confiscated during the investigation, will also be forfeited to the court.

Kane was one of more than 20 people arrested in the bust, 13 from this province. Twitter: @TelyCourt