Former UN gang leader Doug Vanalstine should be given triple credit for time spent in solitary confinement awaiting trial for cocaine trafficking, his lawyer argued Wednesday.

Vanalstine, 52, and accomplice Daryl Robert Johnson, 33, both pleaded guilty to the charge in July, three years after they were caught buying fake packages of the drug from an undercover cop for $100,000.

Crown counsel is asking for a 10-year prison term for Vanalstine, who became de facto head of the UN after Clayton Rouche was nabbed by American authorities in 2007.

But his lawyer told the B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday that Vanalstine deserves double time for most of his years in custody, and triple for the period he was kept in segregation.

That could leave him serving just three more years in custody.

The two-for-one credit has been phased out in Canada, but can be considered in Vanalstine’s case because the offence was committed before the law was changed.

He and Johnson are scheduled to be sentenced on the cocaine trafficking charges next month.

Whatever sentence Vanalstine receives in B.C., he still faces extradition to Washington State in connection with the same bust that put away Rouche.

If convicted south of the border, he could be put in prison for life.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington