Ex-B.C. cop caught in Creep Catchers sting gets house arrest

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

A former Surrey RCMP constable who pleaded guilty to breach of public trust after getting caught up in a Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016 has been sentenced to a four-month conditional “jail sentence served in the community,” followed by 12 months probation for breach of trust.

Following lawyers’ submissions on Sept. 11, Judge James Sutherland made his decision this morning in Surrey Provincial Court.

As part of his “jail sentence to served in the community,” Devic will be under house arrest for the first two months but was granted the condition that he can drive his kids directly to and from school.

During the second two months of his sentence, Devic will have a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The judge ruled that Devic does not have to provide a DNA sample.

Last month the former Mountie, Dario Devic, told Sutherland, “I’m truly and deeply sorry I have put myself in this situation and everybody around me.”

“The community expects the best from all police officers,” he said, tearing up. “It is not easy to deal with what has happened.”

The Crown sought a one-year conditional sentence order (CSO) for the former cop while the defence wanted a conditional discharge.

A CSO is typically house arrest and a conditional discharge is when an individual isn’t sentenced for a crime unless another is committed within a certain time period.

“I have always been proud to be a Mountie,” Devic told the court, adding his actions should not reflect on other police officers, whom he’s proud to have served with. “They also deserve an apology for my behaviour.”

Devic also apologized to his wife, family and friends, whom he said have always been there for him regardless of the circumstances.

“I hope that from this day on I can be worthy of their love,” he told the court, adding it’s difficult to see other people suffering because of his actions and that he “wholeheartedly” takes responsibility for them.

“I will always have this hanging above my head,” he said. He will have to tell his children about it one day, he told the court.

“I hope to once again be a positive role model for my kids.”

READ ALSO: Dario Devic apologizes to family, community and former police colleagues

The judge heard submissions from Crown prosecutor Lauren Chu and defence lawyer Rishi Gill.

Devic’s wife Adisa Devic, who also addressed the court, stood by her man.

“I’m still proud to call myself Mrs. Dario Devic,” she said.

The couple spent a decade working, losing themselves and each other, she said, but despite his betrayal she knows he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

“I simply know he’s not capable of it,” she told the court.

“While he made a horrible mistake, I do not believe he should be defined by that mistake,” she said, adding her husband is living in “deep regret.”

“His dream job is gone.”

Gill said his client “has been vilified in a justifiable way” and “he is here to accept the consequences.” The lawyer took aim at Surrey Creep Catchers who “generated this incident” and maintains “they have to have some accountability here.”

The lawyer added Creep Catchers’ role doesn’t absolve his client, though. He says the “vigilante” group is “thumbing their nose at the system.”

Devic was arrested on Sept. 9, 2016 after Surrey Creep Catchers, a citizen group that aims to weed out “potential predators” and “blast” them in social media, did a sting outside a local mall.

The court heard a 30-year-old woman, Danielle Van Vliet, working with Surrey Creep Catchers, placed a “personals” ad on Craigslist — Vancouver, BC >Delta/Surrey/Langley>Personals>Women Seeking Women, titled “Summer Fun (Surrey), with the message “hey!!!! this summer has been super boring and im (sic) looking to meet someone cool to hang out in the sun with,” with a photo of Van Vliet — aka “Candace” — with her age being listed as 18.

Surrey Creep Catchers is a vigilante citizen’s group that aims to weed out “potential predators” and “blast” them in social media. The court heard Van Vliet posed as a 15-year-old girl and communicated with Devic online after posting her bogus Craigslist ad. A meeting was set up outside the Boston Pizza at Surrey Central Shopping Mall in Whalley for Sept. 7 and Devic and Van Vliet met at about 9:15 p.m. Surrey Creep Catchers Surrey president Ryan LaForge and his crew live-streamed the sting on the Internet. Devic ran away.

At that time the Surrey RCMP received an anonymous report that Creep Catchers had posted on Facebook that they’d caught a police officer trying to meet up with an underaged girl. Police located Devic at 1:30 a.m. and drove him home. He was arrested the next day.

Devic had worked on the crash team since February 2016 and was required to be “on call” to respond to traffic crashes. On Sept. 7 he finished his shift at 9 pm. and was scheduled to be on call until 8 a.m. the next day.

The court heard that on Sept. 9, 2016, Devic was suspended from the RCMP, which then launched a code of conduct investigation “based on allegations that Mr. Devi had pursued a sexual, intimate or romantic relationship with an underage female, contrary to Section 7.1 of the Code of Conduct, and that he used his position as a police officer for personal reasons in pursuing a sexual, intimate, or romantic relationship with an underage female, contrary to Section 3.2 of the Code of Conduct.”

On April 20, 2018, Devic was “medically discharged” from the RCMP. After that, the force dropped the code of code investigation against him because it lost jurisdiction over him because he was no longer a Mountie, the court heard. In August Devic pleaded guilty to one count of breach of public trust.

The court also heard Devic, who had worked as a constable on the Surrey RCMP Criminal Crash Investigation Team, and Van Vliet had exchanged approximately 200 emails between Aug. 29 to Sept. 7, 2016, exchanging photos as well. Devic called himself “dan donson.”

Chu told the court Devic had sent Van Vliet — aka “Candace” — a “shirtless photo” with the message “Do you like cops?”

When “Candace” told him she was really 15, the court heard, Devic replied “I thought you were 18, are you really 15?”

The prosecutor said he appeared to accept Candace’s claim she was 15 and was “reckless about her age” and had communicated with her about meeting while he was on duty.

“It’s abundantly clear as a police officer that he should have known better,” Chu said.

Devic’s lawyer Rishi Gill told the court his client is no pedophile.

“At no point did he actually believe this person was under 16,” Gill said, with Devic basing this on her representation in emails, pictures and “his investigation into some of her assertions.”

Gill asked the judge to make an order that the photos they shared be released to the media, and neither Sutherland or Chu objected. “I think it’s appropriate these pictures be released,” Gill said. He said he would present in court “numerous letters of reference from friends and family” that would prove “illuminating.”

“Mr. Devic had a very serious error in judgment,” he conceded, but added, “There’s no risk of future offences.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Graduation rates drop in Coast Mountains School District

Lower student cohorts, increase in Evergreen certificates pointed as possible causes

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

Proposal could see Haisla reserve double in size

Ellis Ross says waterfront development would be ideal

Kitimat CDC benefits from special technology for special kids

“The kids participate now where they didn’t before.”

Home care declines as B.C. senior population grows, advocate says

More deferring property tax, using rent subsidy to stay at home

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Ousted B.C. legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

Most Read