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Former Vice Canada Music Editor Sentenced to Nine Years for Drug Smuggling

by Ace Damon
Former Vice Canada Music Editor Sentenced to Nine Years for Drug Smuggling

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Slava Pastuk recruited young, aspiring musicians, promoters, and role models he met in his work to become drug mules.

Former Deputy Music Editor Yaroslav Pastukhov was sentenced to eight years and 252 days in prison on Tuesday, his lawyer with Billboard confirmed. Slava Pastuk, 28, was a music-focused editor of Noisey Canada and recruited young, aspiring musicians, promoters, and role models he met in his work to become drug addicts.

In September Pastukhov pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to import a commercial amount of cocaine into Australia. According to his lawyer Dan Kirby, Pastukhov is eligible for parole after serving a third of his sentence.

Ontario Court Judge Heather Pringle deducted 113 days from the nine-year sentence for the period Pastukhov had already spent in custody before her mother agreed to pay the terms. Since then, he was under house arrest before sentencing.

Pastukhov's downfall came after five of his drug mules spoiled a smuggling effort in Australia just days before Christmas 2015.

On December 22, 2015, Sydney Airport Customs Authorities detected 40 kilograms of cocaine in the baggage of mules arriving from Los Angeles on American Airlines. The drugs estimated at $ 22.67 million ($ 15.4 million) were collected by the five mules – four Canadians and one American – during a stop in Las Vegas. All five were tried and convicted in Australia and served sentences of between three and five years.

According Sydney Herald, court documents revealed that the mules were badgers, manipulated and eventually assigned to drug transport. Although some tried to retreat, but were allegedly threatened with bodily injury, including torture. The judge of the case, Dina Yehia, remarked at the time: "I am very firm in the opinion that these criminals were exploited by cruel, persistent and manipulative people in recruiting them."

In February 2016, Pastukhov left the Vice and moved to Montreal, where he lived under the new legal name of Leonid Yari Farrow. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested and charged him on January 31 this year and he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge to import cocaine into Australia.

"I am very sorry for the decisions I made and the lives they affected," he said in court on October 31, as reported by the National post. "I was involved in something I didn't fully understand at the time, but I do it now. I ruined my chance to become the man I would like to become and I will always regret it."

But a private Instagram post the day before revealed a more unrepentant side. “The education I had as a result of having to rebuild myself from scratch was almost worth the scandal, and I'm better at it,” he wrote, also referring to himself as “the most prolific and notorious music journalist Toronto will ever see. . "

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