[UPDATE – April 3, 2017 – See bottom of page]
In 2013, the Langford drug bust of Ali Ziaee and Zachary “Ziggy” Matheson was billed as one of the larger drug busts ever on the lower island. At sentencing on June 17, 2016, suddenly now, one of the dealers is small time. Of course, that’s if you take crown prosecutor’s statement at face value. So, what changed? Crown prosecutors got lazy, AGAIN; that’s what changed. Simply put, the Ali Ziaee plea agreement is a loser for crown. In fact, it is a disgustingly bad deal and another failure of BC’s justice system.
As I always try to do, here is the story behind the story
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit
[CFSEU] said this about Ali Ziaee
“Criminal charges have now been laid against two alleged high-level Vancouver Island drug traffickers following their arrest last June in an investigation led by the Vancouver Island team of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.”
Items seized added up to over $500,000
- two kilograms of cocaine
- 12.7 kilograms of marijuana
- 10 litres of GHB or the “date-rape” drug
- one kilogram of crystal meth
- 200 ecstasy pills
- ammunition and two shoulder holsters, but no weapons
- a medical marijuana grow op [This proves gangs and criminals have been lining up to supply Victoria’s pot shops. I’ve been telling you that for a year now,]
According to CHEK News, here is the Plea Agreement of Ali Ziaee
“Ali Ziaee was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his role in what prosecutors described as a sophisticated drug trafficking operation, after a judge accepted a joint submission from crown and defense lawyers saying he was a lower-level player in the drug ring [The CFSEU does great work and they said he was a high level dealer].
Under an agreement reached between his defense counsel and the Crown, he won’t be called to testify in Matheson’s trial when it resumes in November.”
It sounds like Ali Ziaee got a Plea BARGAIN when it’s supposed to be a “Plea Agreement”
In a BARGAIN, only one side wins, whereas in an AGREEMENT, both sides gain.
In other words, crown prosecutors were supposed to get something out of the deal. But if taken at face value, the only thing crown got was avoiding a trial.
After all, Ziaee is not even having to testify against Ziggy Matheson, his partner in crime. In other provinces, you might expect a seven year sentence on this type of crime, but Ziaee only got two and a half years. Even in BC you might expect a four year sentence.
Ziaee’s partner, Ziggy Matheson, elected a “trial by judge”
Matheson has elected “trial by judge” rather than “trial by jury” for the adjudication of his charges. Generally when somebody picks “trial by judge” it is because they intend to argue the mechanisms that led to the arrest.
Apparently, Matheson intends to make a “Charter” argument, virtually conceding that the hard evidence and alleged chain of control of the drugs lead back to him. That being the case, the conviction of Ali Ziaee was probably assured based on the evidence. After all, it was the same evidence.
If Matheson’s lawyer had cause to believe the evidence would convict his client, then Ziaee’s lawyer was probably of an equal mindset. This was the reason for the plea agreement. Moreover, the fact that the defense was willing to negotiate an agreement shows the strength of the position that crown failed to take advantage of.
Ziggy Matheson is no stranger to the courts
He had previously been charged with murder. As well, he has been found guilty of assault and guilty on multiple counts of drug trafficking.
Ali Ziaee and Langford dealer Ziggy Matheson were in the drug business together
Therefore, they were partners, no matter what percentage Ziaee owned or says he owned. Also, they were arrested together. It’s that simple.
Ziaee is and was complicit in the drug operation and in exchange for any leniency should have been required to give crown something of value.
Is Ali Ziaee now more of a liability than an asset?
One can only wonder what Matheson or Matheson’s buddies might think Ziaee gave up in order to get such a sweet deal. In the criminal world, that’s the problem with sweet deals between prosecutors and defense. This is especially true in the paranoid world of drugs.
You need to recall, in addition to the dropped murder charge against Ziaee, above, that at one point Ziggy was a suspect in the murder of Lindsay Buziak. Lindsay was the realtor who was murdered in February of 2008 in what was obviously a contracted hit. The U.S. news show, Dateline, even did a story on the murder.
Ziggy could worry that Ziaee knows more about that than Ziggy is comfortable with. Regardless, Ziaee knows a lot about the drug business on Vancouver Island.
Matheson has never been declared “innocent” in the purchasing of that murder. Not finding enough evidence to charge or convict is not the same as a declaration of innocence. In my mind, Ziaee likely knows what happened, at least through the grapevine. And if Matheson was involved, Matheson knows that Ziaee knows.
Why was Buziak murdered?
The problem with getting rich on drug sales is doing something with the money, and Ziggy and Ali were generating a lot of cash
You and I, and other normal people, can simply put our money in the bank. But high level drug dealers cannot do so because the banks would question from where the money came? Therefore, the dealers need to “launder” their money.
Real Estate is a great way to launder money
Accordingly, it is possible that Jason Zailo, a real estate broker and the boyfriend of Lindsay Buziak was funneling drug money through his family real estate connections to buy real estate from Lindsay. As an aside, Matheson lived in a Zailo owned property.
Furthermore, the Zailos and Ziggy Matheson were known to be constantly looking for real estate for Matheson. Some say Matheson specifically wanted property that could house a grow op. [Remember, the CFSEU found evidence of a grow up when they did their raids that uncovered the $500,000 worth of dope.]
Anyhow, then Buziak figured it out and had to be silenced before she went to authorities. Any possible need to silence her would be especially true, if as according to Lindsay’s friends, Lindsay was breaking it off with Zailo, and if Zailo had been duping Lindsay in order to launder money. For the record, after Lindsay’s murder, Zailo claimed that they were not breaking up.
All of the above about those who could have been involved in Lindsay Buziak’s murder represents a simple possibility based on known facts, and therefore, is not an accusation
Hell, the more I think about it, the more I wonder what information Ali Ziaee might have given up in his plea agreement. After all, as stated earlier, Ziaee knows a lot, if not about the Buziak murder, then certainly about the drug trade on the lower island. I also know a few of the Victoria area Crown Counsel, and the ones I know seem pretty sharp. Can the crown prosecutors be bad enough negotiators to have gotten nothing? Hmmm
[UPDATE – April 3, 2017]
Today, Ziggy Matheson was sentenced to five years in prison. It doesn’t find justice for Lindsay Buziak, but it is comforting to know that there are those in prison who have a bone to pick with Ziggy. Consequently, he might not do “easy time”.
SHARE THIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @HannonHal
You may post your comments below