More time behind bars

A man involved in the drug world as both a dealer and an enforcer will spend more time in jail.

A man involved in the drug world as both a dealer and an enforcer will spend more time in jail.

Benjamin Joseph Huhn, 29, of Red Deer, was sentenced to two more years in a federal prison on Monday after pleading to trafficking in cocaine and being in possession of money obtained from the proceeds of crime.

The sentence is consecutive to a two-year term he received in early January after pleading guilty to three charges, all related to debt collection.

Described by the court in January as a “drug enforcer,” Huhn was busted on Feb. 4, 2008, when police executed a warrant to arrest him on the numerous assault charges.

When police entered a Morrisroe residence, they discovered about 480 grams of cocaine valued at between $38,000 to $48,000 and $2,000 in cash.

Monday was expected to be the start of an all-day preliminary hearing. But a deal was struck between federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis and defence lawyer Will Willms.

Huhn didn’t have a criminal record prior to 2009.

But in the January sentencing, court heard that Huhn and two other men went to a residence on April 28, 2007, and severely beat a man. They had come to collect a $2,000 debt the victim owed for not repaying his bail.

At that time, he was placed on probation for two years following his jail sentence and must provide a sample of his DNA.

He’s also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and explosives for 10 years.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting another man last August when he went to a residence and kicked and slapped the victim because he owed a drug debt.

The third guilty plea stemmed from an August incident in which a man had his truck stolen because he owed a drug debt.

On Monday, provincial court Judge Darrell Riemer asked defence lawyer Will Willms how a man with a steady job for seven years who met family obligations would end up with a criminal record.

Willms said Huhn became involved in drugs as a user, then he didn’t use good judgment after that.

Both lawyers said the sentence reflects the guilty plea and the fact the plea spares a potentially lengthy trial after the preliminary.

Huhn’s lack of a record prior to this year was also considered.

Riemer said cocaine causes great danger, harm and expense to the community.

“It also perpetrates other violence-related offences,” the judge said.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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