Addict caught with bags of cocaine
An addict caught with eight small bags of cocaine was fined $500 by a judge who said changing his life remains the man’s choice.
Shawn Dennis McCartney, 29, of Lambton County previously pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine but sentencing was delayed until Monday in Sarnia Superior Court.
During an Aug. 28, 2015 Sarnia police raid of a woman’s home McCartney was found with eight bags containing .25 grams of cocaine each for a total weight of two grams.
“He knows he is an addict. . . He has gone cold turkey,” said defence lawyer Nick Cake who sought only probation for McCartney.
Superior Court Justice John Desotti ultimately imposed the fine and 18 months probation when McCartney must take substanceabuse counseling.
The probation terms are imposed to help McCartney but overcoming the addition remains his responsibility and will depend on his determination and beliefs, said Desotti.
A $1,000 fine had been sought by federal prosecutor Michael Robb who described McCartney’s presence in a house with a woman who had a substantial amount of the stimulant methamphetamine and cash as a “dark situation.”
The woman’s child was also in the home.
The woman, a 30-year-old firsttime offender, was sentenced in February to two years in jail for possession of methamphetamine for trafficking.
McCartney had a limited and unrelated criminal record.
A pre-sentence report indicated McCartney believed he had hit rock bottom in early 2015. He had started a residential addiction treatment program and a counseling program but did not complete either one.
The report also indicates he had overdosed on fentanyl prior to the August offence.
“He could have died. . . that’s a grave concern,” said Robb.
Those experiences are part of the lesson that McCartney has learned, said Cake.
It is always a difficult sentencing process when addiction is a significant component of the offence, said Desotti.
“I wish you all the best,” said Desotti as McCartney left the courtroom.