Participants in a dial-a-doper cocaine scheme busted in Red Deer more than three years ago will serve their time in the community — providing they behave.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Stephen Hillier passed sentence in Red Deer on Friday to Fawisa Hassan, 24, of Calgary and her former boyfriend, Dursa Mourme Tofik, 28, of Brooks. They were co-accused with Mohammed Ahmen Mohamoud, 29, in a commercial drug trafficking operation that was taken down by Red Deer City RCMP on Christmas Day of 2008.
Mohamoud, pleaded guilty in September 2009 to possession of cocaine for trafficking and was sentenced in a plea bargain to four years imprisonment.
In reiterating the facts related to the case against Tofik and Hassan, Hillier said they and Mohamoud were pulled over in a traffic stop and arrested based on evidence police had gathered over a period of surveillance the previous September.
Investigators were acting on a tip from a confidential informant who described the operation in which the supplier’s car, normally driven by Hassan, would meet buyers in parking lots. While surveillance never showed any actual drug transactions taking place, the car was seen stopped on another occasions, someone would get out of another car and spend a few minutes in the back seat of the supplier’s car and then leave.
Cash, cell phones and commercial quantities of drugs were seized from both Hassan and Tofik when their car was pulled over and additional cash, more cocaine and thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment presumed to be taken in trade for cocaine was seized from a house on Dustin Street, where they had been living with their child.
Tofik and Hassan accepted a deal and pleaded guilty on Sept. 6, 2011, to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
While Crown prosecutor David Inglis argued that a three-year term in prison would be appropriate for Hassan, he said the sentence against Tofik should be lighter because the Crown’s case against him was not as strong.
Tofik’s counsel, Jake Chadi, joined Inglis in a joint submission proposing that his client be sentenced to two years less a day, to be served in the community with strict conditions.
Hassan’s counsel, Tonii Roulston, argued that her client had make significant progress in her efforts to mend her ways, that her guilty plea shows her remorse and there is no proof that Hassan’s’s involvement was in any way more significant than Tofik’s.
Hillier said the sentence passed on Mohamoud in a different courtroom posed an “unfair complication” in his efforts to create a sentence that would be proportional to the crime and equally fair to both Hassan and Tofik.
He noted that, while Tofik and Hassan had been released pending the outcome of proceedings against them, Mahmoud, who had a more extensive criminal record, was held in remand and had been given extra credit for time served.
Hillier did not accept with Inglis’s submission that Hassan be treated differently, ultimately passing identical sentences to her and Tofik.
Hillier said he found no significant difference in the circumstances of their crime, so could not sentence them differently.
Terms of the conditional sentence include 18 months of house arrest followed by a curfew for the remainder of the sentence along with 180 hours of community service to be completed by Oct. 30. Both Tofik and Hassan have been ordered to provide samples of their DNA and probited from possessing weapons for 10 years once their sentences have been completed along with other conditions that severely limit their freedom.
Hillier warned both Tofik and Hassan that a conditional sentence, while served in the community, is a prison term nonetheless and that a longer and harsher sentence will result should they break any of the conditions imposed upon them.