Transferred prisoner wins bid to return to medium security

Move to maximum security over suspected cellphone possession was not warranted, judge rules

Kent Institution is located at Agassiz.

A 40-year-old man serving time for being the leader of a dial-a-dope operation in Langley and Surrey has won a B.C. Supreme Court decision against the wardens of Mission and Kent institutions regarding his transfer to maximum security.

Last week, Supreme Court Justice J.W. Williams agreed with prisoner Daniel MacNeil that he should not have been transferred against his will from medium to maximum security.

The judge ordered he be returned to Mission medium security prison.

MacNeil was sentenced in 2011 to six and a half years, on charges related to drug trafficking that took place in 2005 and 2006.

Information revealed during his trial indicated he was known by the name ‘Nasty,’ drove a Hummer and was accused of running the heroin trade with others. Police conducted a 15-month long investigation that included wiretaps and undercover operations.

In 2013, MacNeil lost an appeal of his conviction.

According to the recent judgment, MacNeil was put in segregation at Mission in February 2016 and remained there until his transfer to Kent in April.

Prior to being transferred, MacNeil filed a rebuttal to being transferred and a hearing was held. His transfer to maximum had been requested because the warden believed he was in possession of a cellphone. A search of his unit found that his cell mate did have a watch phone, which jail officials believed to be MacNeil’s.

In his decision, Williams said the warden had ‘not shown that the deprivation of the applicant’s liberty was lawful.’