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Social Worker to be Sentenced

October 17, 2006 permalink

One of Hamilton's angelic social workers is up for sentencing. It seems in addition to saving children, she was running guns for a street gang. The CTV source page has a link to today's video news report. It was the lead story on the 6 pm news.



Sara Villella
Sara Villella was described as having a split personality that led her to work for the 'Malvern Crew.'

Crown wants 10 years for Malvern Crew gun-runner News Staff

A social worker and honour student deserves a 10-year prison term for gun-running for one of Toronto's most notorious street gangs, a prosecutor argued Tuesday.

Sara Villella, who worked with children and lectured teens about drug use and dangerous lifestyle choices, was described as having a split personality that led her to work for the "Malvern Crew."

"Villella has a chameleon-like ability to change her persona, not unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," crown attorney Neziana Chrisante said at Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

"She was leading a double life."

Villella, 27, was arrested in May 2004 during sweeping raids by Toronto police. More than 500 charges were laid against 65 people involved with the street gang.

Twenty-eight firearms were seized, along with drugs such as ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine.

A judge found Villella guilty of 13 charges, including smuggling guns across the Windsor border and possessing prohibited firearms.

The one-time supervisor with the children's aid society was the girlfriend of a man caught running 23 guns across the border, court heard.

Chrisante also described Villella as "a merchant of death."

Lawyer Randall Barrs defended his client and asked for a lesser sentence, saying she was no criminal mastermind.

"She was easily sucked into the money, the cars and the lifestyle," he said.

Villella will be sentenced before Mr. Justice Brian Trafford later this month.

Members of Scarborough's Malvern Crew are responsible for several shootings throughout the GTA.

The gang's No. 2 man, 30-year-old David Francis, received a seven-year prison term in August after pleading guilty to gun running and participating in the shooting of a rival gang member.

With a report from CTV's John Lancaster

Source: CTV website

Addendum: Here is what the Toronto Police Service news release had to say about Villella at the time of arrest:

Sara VILLELLA, 26, Grimsby
Traffic Cocaine x 2
Traffic in Methamphetamine
Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
Fail to Comply with Recognizance
Conspiracy to traffic Cocaine