clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ex-MMA fighter and alleged drug cartel ‘kingpin’ Steve Skinner given 8 year sentence for manslaughter

New, comments

Steve Skinner was arrested off the coast of Venezuela in 2016.

Last week Steven Douglas Skinner, 46, formerly of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada was sentenced to an 8-year prison term after he plead guilty to one charge of manslaughter (per Toronto Star). Skinner had been charged in the shooting death of Stacey Adams, who was killed in Lake Echo, N.S. in April, 2011.

Skinner, who had a professional MMA record of 3-2 between 2006 and 2010, was arrested on Margarita Island, Venezuela in 2016. Since the killing of Adams, Skinner was wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

However, Skinner was able to evade Canadian authorities, heading south to Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. It’s thought that, while on the run, Skinner may have also spent time in Mexico and Colombia.

While in South America Skinner is alleged to have organized a drug-trafficking cartel known as ‘Morfhox’ with a partner named Daniel ‘El Loco’ Barrera. The Office of the Attorney General of Colombia claims that Skinner killed Barrera before moving to Venezuela. In Venezuela Skinner is alleged to have recruited drug mules to smuggle liquid cocaine to Canada, the United States and Europe.

It had been previously reported that Skinner’s alleged smuggling ring recruited seniors and mothers-to-be. Over 25 people believed to be tied to the Morfhox operation have been arrested by Colombian investigators.

Prior to his name being tied to a drug trafficking cartel, and the killing in Lake Echo, Skinner was charged over a violent incident in Halifax, NS. In 2009 he was arrested on suspicion of torturing a 66-year-old man (whose body was burned with hot spoons and knives). Skinner was jailed for this incident, but was released after posting $50,000 CAD in bail. He was awaiting trial for the torturing charge when he fled to South America.

Skinner’s 8-year sentence for manslaughter has been met with dismay from Stacey Adams’ family. Skinner was originally charged with second-degree murder (which can carry a life sentence in Canada) in this case, but days before his trial was set to begin the Nova Scotia Supreme Court withdrew those charges and replaced them with manslaughter in exchange for Skinner’s guilty plea.

Adams’ mother Gloria told reporters outside a Halifax courthouse that, “Our justice system is a joke to a lot criminals ... They get more rewards than punishment. What do we get? They can make a deal; is there a deal for me?”

“Skinner did what he had to do through our justice system to get where he wanted to get,” continued Gloria. “All I wanted was the right justice. I also wanted that man to know, my son did nothing to him, nothing. He destroyed my life, is what he did.”