Coast to coast drug dealer sentenced

Drug dealer Ricco Zanolli was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Yukon Supreme Court on Thursday.

Drug dealer Ricco Zanolli was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Yukon Supreme Court on Thursday.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to 12 charges – some were laid in the Yukon and some were laid in Newfoundland, where he was part of a drug ring.

Zanolli was sentenced to five years for the Yukon charges and five years for the Newfoundland charges, but that was reduced to a total of six because of time he’d already served in both jurisdictions after he was arrested in December, 2009.

Zanolli will be eligible for parole in 18 months.

The court was told Zanolli was originally from Victoria, B.C. and his mother passed away when he was six. At 12, his father and stepmother kicked him out. The young teen bounced around in foster care, but spent most of his time in juvenile detention centres until he reached 18.

“I went from 12 to 20 years old overnight,” he was quoted as saying.

He never finished high school but was on his way to completing a personal training certificate when he became involved in drug trafficking in the East Coast.

The court was told his family had a history of schizophrenia and that during all of his offences, Zanolli was taking large amount of steroids and human growth hormones.

While not one of the masterminds behind a criminal organization in Newfoundland, Zanolli was trafficking drugs and transporting drug money to the West Coast.

Zanolli came up to the Yukon at the end of 2009 to collect a drug debt. He was charged with extortion, uttering threats, and other charges were laid after Zanolli fired a gun into a house that had people in it. The bullet went through one victim’s wrist before lodging itself in a wall.

Zanolli was also charged for damages caused after he set fire to his cell at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre and for uttering threats to a guard at the prison.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at