Two men arrested in connection with a chain of events that started with a botched robbery and included a high-risk police takedown at a Cambridge hotel were sentenced Wednesday.

David Vu was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail for robbery with a firearm, while Nicholas Perron was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for weapons trafficking and robbery charges.

In July 2011, court heard, Perron recruited three of his friends from Calgary – the city he had recently left for Waterloo Region – to fly to Ontario and help him rob an acquaintance.

That acquaintance was a drug dealer who Perron had purchased marijuana from, and the group planned to meet him under the guise of another drug transaction.

The group met at the corner Northfield and Davenport roads in Waterloo, where the attempted robbery didn’t go off as planned, but did draw the attention of police.

Three of the four were arrested the next day at a Cambridge hotel after a phone call was traced back to the hotel.

Vu was able to escape at that time, but was arrested in Calgary three weeks later.

Both Vu and Perron were initially charged with more serious crimes – including an attempted murder charge against Vu – before agreeing to plead guilty to lesser offences even though their trial had already begun.

“Certain things happen in the middle of a trial and deals are made,” Yoni Rahamim, Perron’s lawyer, told CTV News.

Rahamim said evidence relating to tests done on bullets recovered from the scene of the robbery was lost, jeopardizing the Crown’s case.

During the sentencing, both Vu and Perron stood up and spoke in court, apologizing to the court and the community for their actions.