Pharmacy technician jailed for trafficking
A nurse who worked as a pharmacy technician in Sarnia has been sent to a penitentiary for three years for trafficking in the painkillers, fentanyl and hydromorphone.
Carrie Ann Hardy, 43, previously pleaded guilty to trafficking the two drugs but sentencing was delayed until Tuesday in Sarnia Superior Court.
On Jan. 27, 2015 Hardy was seen with a bag outside the pharmacy where she worked. Hardy got into a vehicle for a minute; Sarnia police had been watching the vehicle as part of an ongoing drug investigation of another woman.
The vehicle’s occupants, a man and woman, were subsequently arrested. They were sentenced to penitentiary time.
A search found the bag that had been seen in Hardy’s hand. It contained four fentanyl patches and 185 hydromorphone pills.
Hardy had been arrested outside the pharmacy with a $500 bundle of cash.
Her cell phone showed a connection to the other woman.
Calls between the two women showed thinly disguised references to drugs as coffee. Defence lawyer Ken Marley raised the issue of Hardy being pressured to supply the drugs.
The two women had met in jail when Hardy was serving a weekend sentence for driving while disqualified. Her record also included impaired driving but she had no drug addiction.
In response to the issue of pressure federal prosecutor Michael Robb referred the court to a cellphone comment to Hardy from the other woman stating, “if you don’t feel safe, don’t do it.”
Hardy had no record for drug offences and reference letters presented to the court described her crimes as out-of-character.
Hardy’s pre-sentence report indicated she had great remorse for her crime. The crime did not appear to be profit-motivated.
During a prior court appearance Marley described Hardy as the dupe for street-level traffickers. The drugs given to the other woman had a street value of $7,000 and Hardy received $500. That was an excellent indication of her role, said Marley who sought a two-year sentence.
If Hardy had felt pressured she should have gone to the police, said Robb, who called for a five-year sentence due to the drugs being the most dangerous substances in the community.
Hardy was responsible for putting the drugs on the street where they take advantage of the weakest members of society, said Robb.
Although deterrent sentences do not solve the drug problem, it does not mean such sentences should not be imposed, as fentanyl presents a grave danger to the community, said Robb.
In sentencing Hardy, Superior Court Justice John Desotti said the serious crime affects hundreds of people in the community and it was an egregious breach of trust.
The drugs were stolen from Hardy’s employer and, as a nurse, Hardy knew or ought to have known the dire consequences of trafficking in the drugs, said Desotti.
The $500 was forfeited to the Crown and Hardy must give police a DNA sample.