Mica Borderland Beat from National Post
TORONTO — A former high-profile Vice Media music editor who recruited young musicians, models and a former Vice intern to smuggle huge loads of cocaine — hidden in their luggage — on flights to Australia was sentenced to nine years in prison, Tuesday.
Yaroslav Pastukhov, 29, best known under his pen name Slava Pastuk or his online alias Slava P, was found not to be the mastermind of the international plot that ended when four Canadians and one American were caught at Sydney airport with more than $20 million worth of pressed cocaine bricks glued into the lining of their suitcases.
He was, however, found to be directing frontline couriers and organizing and facilitating the network’s Toronto end, along with a co-accused, a judge said.
Ontario Court of Justice Judge Heather Pringle said Pastukhov’s actions were more significant because he “exploited his relationship with these couriers,” several of whom he met through his work at Vice.