Pot dealer avoids jail

A college student busted with 1.5 kg of marijuana was handed a community-based sentence on Wednesday.

A college student busted with 1.5 kg of marijuana was handed a community-based sentence on Wednesday.

Timothy James Phillips, 22, was sentenced to 12 months, to be served in the community when he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking in Red Deer provincial court.

Phillips will serve the first six months under house arrest, followed by six months of a curfew.

A similar charge against Michael Jason Psikla, 22, of Red Deer was withdrawn by federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis.

Judge Jim Mitchell heard that city RCMP, acting on a tip, started surveillance of a residence on Lancaster Drive near two Red Deer high schools about Nov. 20, 2007.

Police noticed people would enter the residence carrying an empty backpack or duffle bag and emerge with the bag apparently full.

On Nov. 20, they followed Phillips to a parking lot about a kilometre away from the house and stopped he and the driver.

A search of the vehicle found 1.5 kg of marijuana neatly wrapped in six packages.

Police raided the residence about a week later, following additional scrutiny, and arrested the occupant.

Daniel Adam Peterson, 24, of Red Deer will be sentenced in June after he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and being in the possession of the proceeds of crime, which was $53,800 in cash, in late February.

They also discovered about two kg of marijuana.

Mitchell told Phillips, who had a previous conviction for possession of a narcotic resulting in a $400 fine, that a conditional sentence is like a jail term but served at home.

“You are allowed to serve it in the community because the sentencing precedents support a sentence of less than two years,” Mitchell said.

“The order has severe and immediate consequences if you violate it. You could be arrested and held in a cell if you violate it.”

Phillips is also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition for 10 years.

He can only leave his house for the first six months to work, attend school and the necessities of life, including medical appointments.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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