Jail for co­caine traf­fick­ing

Es­capes fed­eral prison sen­tence

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

A Glace Bay man nar­rowly es­caped a fed­eral prison sen­tence Fri­day af­ter plead­ing guilty to a charge of pos­ses­sion for the pur­pose of traf­fick­ing in co­caine.

Tadd James McNeil, 23, of Gre­gor Street, was charged in June 2013 af­ter Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice re­ceived in­for­ma­tion he was selling co­caine from his ve­hi­cle.

At the time of his ar­rest, po­lice seized 3.4 grams of the drug.

Pros­e­cu­tor Theresa O’Leary rec­om­mended a two-year fed­eral sen­tence while de­fence lawyer Ch­eryl Mor­ri­son rec­om­mended a one to two month jail sen­tence fol­lowed by pro­ba­tion.

Un­til re­cent fed­eral amend­ments to sen­tenc­ing on such a charge, a con­di­tional sen­tence was an op­tion for judges which would have al­lowed an ac­cused to serve their time in the com­mu­nity un­der strict con­di­tions.

How­ever, such dis­cre­tion no longer ex­ists and the bench­mark sen­tence for such an of­fence is two years.

In pass­ing sen­tence, pro­vin­cial court Judge David Ryan con­cluded that given McNeil’s co­op­er­a­tion with po­lice, his ef­forts to re­ha­bil­i­tate him­self of a co­caine ad­dic­tion and other mea­sures to im­prove his life, the sen­tenc­ing ob­jec­tives could be achieved by a short jail sen­tence and pro­ba­tion.

He sen­tenced McNeil to serve a 60-day sen­tence, to be served on week­ends, fol­lowed by a 15-month pro­ba­tion pe­riod dur­ing which he is to re­frain from al­co­hol and all drugs not pre­scribed him by a physi­cian. He is also to take all coun­selling as rec­om­mended by his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer.

McNeil is also to sub­mit a DNA sam­ple to the na­tional reg­istry, is banned from pos­sess­ing firearms for 10 years and must com­plete 40 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice work.

“It ap­pears things are turn­ing around in your life,” said Ryan, cau­tion­ing McNeil that any fur­ther of­fences will re­sult in a fed­eral jail term.

McNeil was de­scribed as be­ing a petty re­tailer who ad- mit­ted to po­lice he only started selling co­caine two weeks prior to get­ting caught. Such sales were a way in which to sup­port his own habit.

A high school hon­ours grad­u­ate, McNeil re­cently com­pleted an en­gi­neer­ing pro­gram at com­mu­nity col­lege and has plans to con­tinue his ed­u­ca­tion in that field.

Ryan said while he can’t ig­nore that McNeil brought co- caine into his com­mu­nity, he needed to find a bal­ance in sen­tenc­ing that de­terred McNeil and oth­ers while also fo­cus­ing on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to make McNeil a more pro­duc­tive mem­ber of his com­mu­nity.

“He knows this con­vic­tion will shut some doors to him that he will have to work hard to re­open,” said Mor­ri­son, in her re­marks to the court.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.