Drug dealer gets house arrest

drug_dealer_gets_house_arrestA 29-year-old man is under house arrest at his Blackie area home after pleading guilty at Okotoks Provincial Court on Sept. 21 to trafficking cocaine.

Federal Crown prosecutor BAxter Lee told Judge R.J. Wilkins that on April 9, 2006, HIgh River RCMP, after a substantial investigation, was issued a search warrant for [the accused’s] residence. At the time [the accused] was living in a residence on Scott Close in the hamlet of Blackie.

Lee said RCMP found 22 grams of cocaine, $4,000 in cash and equipment used for trafficking.

Parick Fagan, [the accused’s] lawyer, said while his client was pleading guilty to a serious offence, a sentence served in the community was in order as the accused had no previous record and the offence was out of character.

“He was involved in a 10-year-common-law relationship that ended,” Fagan said. “He thought he could handle it, but he couldn’t. He became involved with people he shouldn’t have become involved with and things he shouldn’t have been involved with.”

Fagan said [the accused] is a journeyman tradesman working towards his master’s certificate. He added that [the accused] is in a solid new relationship and has strong support from his family.

Lee and Fagan submitted a joint submission to Wilkins for a community sentence of two years.

For the first eight months, [the accused] is restricted to his home (now on a Blackie area acreage) for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for emergencies, getting food and life supplies and work, school and church. For the next eight months, [the accused] faces a curfew of 10p.m. to 5:30 a.m. with court ordered conditions.

For the final eight months, [the accused] must follow court orders such as keeping the peace and other conditions.

Wilkins said the trafficking if cocaine is serious, particularly in Calgary and the surrounding area where the use of the drug is high.

However, he said he accepted the joint submission due in part to [the accused] re-offending being highly unlikely.

“The public needs to be aware that this is a jail term that the person can serve in the community,” Wilkins said.

[the accused] will be regularly checked by the RCMP to make sure he is at home. One of his conditions is he must answer all phone calls from a land-phone at his residence. He is not allowed to have a call forwarding system.

As well, no “good time” is awarded to criminals serving a conditional sentence – they must serve the full term.

Wilkins stressed that if [the accused] deviated from his conditions, he would likely be jailed.