Drug dealer sentenced to 45 months

Man was running a large drug operation out of his Lancaster home

A Red Deer father who was dealing drugs out of a home he shared with his wife and two young children was sentenced to 45 months in prison on Monday.

The 52-year-old man pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and possession of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. Charges against his wife were dropped by the Crown prosecutor.

Releasing the man’s name is prohibited under a court order to protect the identity of the children, now aged 10 and 13. The couple also have an adult son.

The husband and wife were arrested in November 2014 following an Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) investigation. Authorities said the kitchen in the Lancaster home was being used to convert cocaine into crack.

About $80,000 worth of cocaine, crack cocaine, meth and marijuana were seized along drug paraphernalia, scales, six cellphones and nearly $40,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency.

A later search of a vehicle turned up a rifle, cash and more drugs.

Federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis and the man’s defence lawyer made a joint submission of 45 months.

“It is a wholesale trafficking situation,” Inglis told Justice Glen Poelman.

Inglis said it was an aggravating factor that the man was dealing drugs within two blocks of St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, although it is not known if the deals happened during school hours.

In the drug dealer’s favour was that he pleaded guilty and saved his wife from going to trial and potentially being convicted, said Inglis.

“At least he’s come forward and excused her from the whole process.”

Justice Poelman said it was a “remarkable thing” that the man, who had been employed for 25 years and seemingly led an exemplary life would get involved in the drug trade, which destroys other people’s lives.

“This kind of conduct must be denounced.”

Besides the prison sentence, the man is prohibited from owning firearms for 10 years and must provide a sample of his DNA to a national crime database.

The court heard that civil forfeiture proceedings related to the couple’s house and other assets are underway.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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