HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Ill-Gotten Gains Go Down The Drain
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Apr 2004
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Sherri Borden


Crown Seizes Killer's Assets

Once a business-savvy dealer who ran a multimillion-dollar drug cartel, 
Paul Wilson lost it all last week when he was sent to prison on murder and 
other charges and his ill-gained assets were forfeited to the Crown.

The Halifax RCMP's proceeds-of-crime section began looking into the 
criminal activities of Mr. Wilson, 38, and his associates in May 1997.

Police searched several homes, offices and businesses owned by Mr. Wilson, 
his wife, his mother, his accountant, a co-worker and friends. The 
investigation revealed his activities began in the late 1980s when he was 
dealing in marijuana, hashish and cocaine.

By the start of the 1990s, Mr. Wilson was dealing cocaine at the 
multi-kilogram level and continued to deal in drugs until he fled Canada in 
May 1999.

"During the period of time under investigation, Paul Wilson's financial 
affairs revealed a significant discrepancy between his legitimate income 
and his expenditures," federal prosecutor Stan McDonald told the court at 
Mr. Wilson's sentencing last week.

Income tax records obtained by investigators revealed that from Jan. 1, 
1989, to Jan. 1, 1999, Mr. Wilson (and his wife Karen for part of that 
period) reported taxable income of $486,075, yet had a total change in net 
worth and personal expenditures of $1.2 million.

"This figure does not capture all transactions which went through Paul 
Wilson's bank accounts and his credit cards and certain costs for which 
there were no records, such as food purchases from 1989 to 1993," Mr. 
McDonald said. "More importantly, it does not capture many of the cash 
transactions with no paper trail."

In the early 1990s, cocaine cost $40,000 per kilogram "wholesale" if bought 
in Montreal or Toronto, depending on market conditions, Mr. McDonald told 
Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

At that time, a kilogram of uncut cocaine would yield profits of more than 
$20,000 in Halifax. If sold by the gram, the profits would be $120,000.

On April 30, 1999, Okan Arslan, Mr. Wilson's key courier, was arrested in 
connection with two marijuana grow operations in Yarmouth and Shelburne 
counties. Subsequently, Mr. Arslan approached the RCMP and gave sworn 
statements about his involvement in those operations and his relationship 
with Mr. Wilson over the previous 10 to 12 years.

Testifying at a preliminary inquiry on the marijuana charges, Mr. Arslan 
detailed Mr. Wilson's many years of drug dealing.

He said he collected drug debts, sold narcotics and managed large grow 
operations for Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Arslan testified that not long after the two first met, Mr. Wilson 
hired him to work in an auto body shop he ran in Lawrencetown. Mr. Wilson 
used the shop to receive cocaine and "cut" it for distribution.

It was then, Mr. McDonald told the court, that Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Arslan 
to start dealing cocaine for another Wilson associate.

When one of those associates was jailed on drug charges, Mr. Arslan began 
dealing cocaine for Mr. Wilson.

In 1988, Mr. Wilson was arrested with 51 grams of cocaine and charged with 
possession for trafficking. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in 
jail in 1989.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Wilson assigned Mr. Arslan to guard his "stash 
house" - an apartment in Fall River where he kept cocaine and money.

"A stash house is used to distance the owner of the drugs and cash in case 
the police raid it," Mr. McDonald told the court.

Mr. Arslan testified that while he lived there, he usually had four to 
eight kilograms of cocaine at any given time. Mr. Wilson oversaw the 
operation and had a key to the apartment.

One of Mr. Wilson's closest associates at the time was an American living 
in Halifax whom Mr. Wilson bought cocaine from at a discount. He also 
helped the man - whose name wasn't revealed in court - import cocaine from 
the U.S. The man would buy cocaine in Florida and when he reached the New 
Brunswick border, he'd walk into Canada with a backpack of cocaine. Mr. 
Wilson would be waiting for him in a car.

In December 1991, the American associate was convicted of trafficking 
cocaine in Florida and sentenced to 15 years.

Mr. Arslan testified that shortly after, Mr. Wilson, using an assumed name, 
gained access to the man's Halifax apartment and his bank account and took 
possession of his two automobiles.

Police later recovered money withdrawn from the account and one of the 
vehicles; Mr. Wilson had put the other vehicle in his wife's name.

Police returned one of the vehicles to Mr. Wilson in 1992, but it was 
damaged three years later when some drug dealers raided one of his grow 

Three times in May 1992, Mr. Wilson, using the name Bill, unwittingly went 
to a money exchange house in Montreal that was actually an RCMP sting 
operation into money laundering. There he exchanged $225,000 Cdn for 
American currency.

He was covertly photographed and followed by officers to eight more 
exchange houses in the same area where police believe he exchanged more money.

And in June 1992, Mr. Wilson sent an associate to Florida with $95,000 US 
to buy five kilograms of cocaine but the man never returned with the drugs.

RCMP charged Mr. Wilson in October 2000 with two counts of first-degree murder.

The next month he was deported to Nova Scotia from Grenada, where he was 
serving a three-year sentence on drug charges.

Last week, Mr. Wilson, a former manager of Reflections Cabaret in Halifax, 
pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the February 1997 death of Robert 
MacFarlane and to conspiring with William Marriott and Larry Pace to kill 
William St. Clair Wendelborg, who died in October 1998. The victims were 
Hells Angels associates.

Mr. Wilson received life in prison as well as a concurrent 12-year term on 
14 drug and other charges.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart