Music producer gets 6 years for cocaine trafficking



WINNIPEG -- Ramsey Yaggey should have stuck with producing rap videos instead of adding to his rap sheet.

Yaggey, 32, pleaded guilty Friday to cocaine trafficking and offering to transfer a restricted firearm. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Yaggey was among more than a dozen people arrested in February as part of an undercover police investigation dubbed Project Deplete that targeted the illegal gun and drug trade. Like similar investigations before it, Project Deplete used a paid police agent and gang associate to ensnare targets.

Yaggey, an Edmonton-based music producer, was not an original target of the investigation. Court heard Yaggey was in Winnipeg in October 2011 shooting a rap video when he met the police agent and the conversation turned to drugs.

In the ensuing weeks, the men brokered a deal that would see Yaggey sell the agent two kilograms of cocaine and other drugs for $52,000. Only one kilogram of cocaine changed hands before police arrested Yaggey on Feb. 3 in Edmonton.

During the same time period, police monitored a conversation between Yaggey and the agent during which Yaggey, at the agent's prompting, offered to sell him several handguns. No handguns were exchanged prior to Yaggey's arrest.

"This was more than just talk," Crown attorney Mike Desautels said. "In the Crown's view, this was a bona fide business transaction."

Defence lawyer Sheldon Pinx argued the gun charge could have been defeated had it gone to trial.

"There was discussion about a gun transfer but not enough to amount to an offer," Pinx said.

Justice Robert Dewar said Yaggey, coming from a position of relative advantage, had no excuse for his actions, but commended him for "facing the music."

Dewar fined Yaggey $52,000. If the fine is not paid, Yaggey will serve up to two more years in prison.

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