Ad­dict caught with bags of co­caine

The Observer (Sarnia) - - FRONT PAGE - nbowen@post­ NEIL BOWEN

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.

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