Licensed grow op shooting nets man prison sentence

A shooting at a licensed marijuana grow op nets a man an 11-year sentence.

  • Feb. 2, 2017 2:00 p.m.

Keith Fraser/Special to the Langley Advance

A man who shot an employee of a licensed marijuana grow-op in Langley during the course of a robbery has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.

Christopher Carl Agin, 31, pleaded guilty to using a prohibited firearm to commit a robbery, discharging a prohibited firearm and aggravated assault in relation to the March 2014 robbery of the grow-op located in an outbuilding on 216 Street in Langley.

Court heard that when Amarjit Kang, the operator of the Health Canada certified grow-op, opened the door of the outbuilding, Agin, wearing a black hoody sweatshirt and brandishing a black handgun, proceeded to hit Kang twice in the head with the gun while yelling, ‘get down.’

Agin ran inside the building where Kulasack Sisomphon, an employee of the grow-op, and several other workers were harvesting marijuana. He pointed the gun at Sisomphon and yelled, ‘Everyone down.’

Sisomphon noticed a red laser on his body coming from the gun in Agin’s hand and believing it was a fake gun, he ran toward Agin, who shot Sisomphon in the leg with a bullet. Fortunately, Sisomphon survived the shooting.

Agin, who was on parole at the time of the offence and has a criminal record consisting of 48 convictions, ran outside and fired a bullet at Kang, who was hiding behind a truck. The bullet penetrated the truck and broke the passenger side front window.

The accused fled the scene but was arrested later in the back yard of a residence on 85B Street. Police located a Glock 9 mm pistol, loaded with a cartridge magazine, under a tree. A separate magazine pouch with a fully-loaded magazine containing 14 cartridges was found nearby.

In imposing sentence, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jenkins noted the pre-meditated nature of the robbery and the fact that twice during the offences, Agin shot at people, wounding one person and nearly injuring a second person.

“The extent of gun violence, especially as it is associated with the illegal trade in drugs, is of immense concern in this community,” said the judge.

“It is commonplace for firearms to be linked to the drug trade, especially in disputes between competing criminal organizations, but also in situations such as that before me where a licensed grow operation is being operated legally by an owner and employees.”

The judge concluded that while Agin was remorseful, the circumstances of the case called out for an emphasis on denunciation and deterrence over rehabilitation.

In a victim impact statement, Kang said he’d experienced sleepless nights and fear of others coming back to his legal marijuana operation to attempt to kill him.

After the judge gave him the equivalent of four years and four months credit for pre-sentence custody, Agin has six years and eight months of jail remaining on his sentence. The Crown had called for a 12-year jail term while the defence had called for an eight-year global sentence.

– Keith Fraser is a reporter with the Vancouver Sun.

For more from the Vancouver Sun, click HERE.

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