Judge rejects agreement

A judge refused to grant a drug dealer with a lengthy criminal record double credit for time served and instead sentenced him to federal jail time on Wednesday.

A judge refused to grant a drug dealer with a lengthy criminal record double credit for time served and instead sentenced him to federal jail time on Wednesday.

William John Crawford, 30, of Regina, was jailed for 29 more months when he pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking in Red Deer provincial court.

Judge Jim Mitchell told Crawford that with his record of 64 previous convictions, including several for breaches and violence, the court couldn’t grant him double credit for the 13 months he spent in pre-trial custody.

Courts generally give two-for-one credit to accused who are detained in custody awaiting disposition of their case.

The Crown and defence lawyers had agreed on a two-for-one arrangement that would have left Crawford with 16 months to serve on a three-and-a-half-year sentence proposed by federal Crown Dave Inglis.

Mitchell said Crawford’s horrendous record was the reason he most likely couldn’t get bail after he was charged on May 14, 2008, with trafficking in crystal meth and ecstasy.

Crawford had numerous failures to appear in court and other breaches of court orders.

Inglis said Crawford was busted when RCMP received a complaint that someone had stolen an expensive pickup, assaulted the owner and was holding him against his will.

Police responded to a downtown hotel and spotted the stolen truck nearby with two occupants, including Crawford.

A search of Crawford uncovered 130 grams of crystal meth, 45 grams of ecstasy and $270 in cash.

Crawford told Mitchell he was just passing through Red Deer.

“You are nothing more than just a merchant of death,” Mitchell said.

“You seek to contaminate our best (young) people.

“If I had it within my power, I’d triple your time,” the judge said.

He said the community wants drug dealers locked up.

Inglis compared crystal meth to cocaine because of its highly addictive properties.

Charges of robbery, theft of more than $5,000 and unlawful confinement were withdrawn in exchange for the guilty pleas.

Crawford is also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and explosives for 10 years after his sentence. He must also surrender a sample of his DNA to authorities.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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