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Red Deer man sentenced to 27 months for role in “dial-a-dope” operation

RCMP Priority Crimes Task Force broke up drug operation in April 2016 after four-month investigation

A Red Deer man was sentenced to 27 months in prison Thursday for his role in a dial-a-dope operation.

Clay Crombie, 25, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and marijuana. A number of other drug and weapons charges were dropped by the Crown prosecutor.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Jane Fagnan accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence lawyer Rod Clark in sentencing Crombie, who was one of four people, including his brother Cody James Crombie, arrested in April 2016 following a four-month RCMP operation in Red Deer.

Cody Crombie was previously sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement.

In sentencing, Fagnan told Clay Crombie that “no one gets through life without making mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes had very grave consequences.”

She noted Crombie, who was arrested with 6.6 grams of cocaine in his possession, had no prior criminal record.

A pre-sentence report said he did not consider the consequences of his drug involvement at a time when he was “trapped in a negative cycle.”

Since he was released on bail, he has not had any trouble with the law and has been working in the paving business. He has been told his job will be waiting for him when he gets out of prison.

Crombie emotionally expressed his remorse.

“I just want to let you know that every day since this has happened has affected my life,” he said.

Clark said Crombie was almost relieved when he was caught and readily co-operated with police.

Crombie was described as a “runner” in the drug operation and Clark said he was not involved in trying to expand the illegal business.

“He was simply responding to calls.”

The bust by the RCMP’s priority crimes task force netted more than eight kilograms of marijuana, 240 Oxycontin pills, 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, .35 kilograms of ecstasy powder and 388 ecstasy pills, almost 1.4 kilograms of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), one litre of hash oil, 88 grams of hash and 44 hash tablets.

Police also seized $37,800 in Canadian currency, drug paraphernalia, two shotguns and 21 cellphones after a Garden Heights duplex and a Timberlands home were raided.

Matthew Rose, who was described as a mid-level drug player, pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffic in drugs, possession of the proceeds of crime and breach of recognizance for his role and was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in April 2018.

Most of the drugs and property were recovered after RCMP raided Rose’s Red Deer house in April 2016.

Two weeks later, police returned and seized his $700,000 home and two vehicles, along with furniture and $20,000 in cash. In all, nearly $900,000 was forfeited.

Rose’s wife was also arrested. All charges were later dropped against her.

Clay Crombie must provide a sample of his DNA to a national database and has a lifetime ban on possessing restricted weapons and a 10-year prohibition for unrestricted weapons.

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