Edmonton men plead guilty to violent drug-related attack in N.W.T.
WARNING: This article contains graphic details of violence.
Two Edmonton men charged in connection with a violent, drug-related attack in Yellowknife in 2021 have pleaded guilty to all of the charges against them.
Abdulrasaq Yousif, 19, pleaded guilty to robbery with a restricted firearm, illegally possessing a loaded firearm, and conspiring to traffic cocaine. Co-accused Akok Aken pleaded guilty to robbery with a restricted firearm and two drug trafficking charges.
The mandatory minimum sentence for robbery using a restricted firearm is five years in prison.
According to search warrant documents, Yousif, Aken and another man, Yahya Musa Abdullahi, were waiting for a woman when she arrived home to her apartment on Oct. 31, 2021. They insisted she had taken some of their cocaine and demanded she pay them $6,000.
When she denied taking the cocaine, they beat her with a bat, a pistol and a machete and cut her hair off. They threatened to kill her if she did not pay the money or if she went to the police. According to the search warrant documents, the men took the woman's phone and some of her ID.
The attack was captured on film, possibly by one of the assailants.
The video has been entered as evidence for the sentencing of the two men. The prosecutor is applying to have those videos sealed, saying that's necessary to protect the privacy rights of the victim. The prosecutor has also applied for a publication ban on any information that could identify the victim.
The drug trafficking charges were laid six months after the attack. According to an April 2022 news release issued by the RCMP, Yousif, Aken and three other men were operating a cocaine-dealing ring in the city. Police said they seized $70,535 in cash, 20 pieces of crack cocaine, powdered cocaine and drug trafficking equipment.
The third man charged in connection with the attack, Yahya Musa Abdullahi, is scheduled to go on trial on robbery, firearms and drug trafficking charges in August. Charges that were laid against a woman, Dawn Gosselin, in connection with the attack were withdrawn earlier.
Yousif is scheduled to be sentenced in N.W.T. Territorial Court on Feb. 9. Aken's sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place in N.W.T. Supreme Court on Feb. 20.