Man used date rape drug as alcohol substitute

Avoiding the caloric intake of alcohol, a Red Deer body builder used a watered-down date-rape drug socially to get the same feeling as consuming alcohol.

Avoiding the caloric intake of alcohol, a Red Deer body builder used a watered-down date-rape drug socially to get the same feeling as consuming alcohol.

Aaron Bodnaruk, 28, of Red Deer pleaded guilty to possession of 4-gama hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), known as a date-rape drug. He pleaded not guilty to the more substantive charge of trafficking the substance in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday before Justice Kirk Sisson.

In May 2012, acting on a tip, Red Deer RCMP began surveillance on Bodnaruk as part of a drug investigation. On May 16, 2012, they executed a search warrant on his residence on Oak Drive. Police found an item they believed to be GHB in liquid form.

In a statement made to police, Bodnaruk admitted it was GHB.

Crown prosecutor John Lee said while police recovered one 750 ml bottle containing GHB, an analysis of the bottle was unable to determine how much of the bottle’s contents was GHB and how much was water.

“There is no way to analyze how much GHB was in the container,” said Lee, adding all the analysis could determine was that there was GHB in the bottle.

Defence counsel Will Willms said his client was using GHB personally, as a low-caloric substitute for alcohol and that in small doses it could give a similar experience to drinking alcohol.

Lee and Willms filed a joint submission on sentence, asking for a fine between $750 and $1,000 and the forfeiture of offence-related items that were found on scene.

At the time of the arrest, police seized two vehicles from Bodnaruk, a truck and a car. Both have been held since his arrest. Willms said they provided Crown counsel with the proper documentation showing legal ownership of the vehicles as well as Bodnaruk’s T4s showing he was earning enough money to afford these vehicles and his mortgage payment.

These documents were also provided to prove that Bodnaruk was not living off the proceeds of selling GHB.

However, the vehicles have been impounded since and towing and storage fees have piled up. Lee said the Crown would foot the bill.

Willms said Bodnaruk lost his job after news broke of his arrest, which included more substantive charges that were withdrawn on Tuesday — including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of the proceeds of a crime and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Sisson agreed with the joint submission and fined Bodnaruk $875.

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