Judge delays sentencing of admitted drug dealer

A teenage Red Deer drug dealer will have to wait a few more days to learn his fate.

A teenage Red Deer drug dealer will have to wait a few more days to learn his fate.

Michael Anthony Turnbull, 19, was scheduled to be sentenced in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to two counts of drug trafficking.

However, after hearing submissions from the Crown prosecutor and a defence lawyer, Judge David Plosz said he wanted more time to consider an appropriate sentence.

“I don’t want to make a snap decision on this,” Plosz said. “It’s not fair to the Crown. It’s not fair to the accused.”

Turnbull will be sentenced on June 22.

The teen was among nine people arrested in late November and early December last year during a police undercover operation targeting street-level cocaine traffickers in the city’s core.

Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis called for a three-year sentence, noting the accused has a criminal record with six or seven convictions.

Defence lawyer Lorne Goddard asked the judge to consider his client’s youth and said Turnbull was a “follower” led astray by other drug dealers. Turnbull has accepted responsibility for his actions and asked to be put in protective custody in the Red Deer Remand Centre to get away from the influence of his former accomplices.

A two-year conditional sentence that would allow Turnbull to stay out of jail while obeying strict conditions would be in everyone’s best interest, he said.

Turnbull, who has been in custody in the remand centre since Dec. 20, told the judge he’s learned from past mistakes and asked for a second chance.

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