A convicted drug dealer must wait another week to find out how long he will serve in prison after questions arose about whether he should be credited for previous jail time.
Majed Ali Sultan, 27, of Calgary was in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench for sentencing on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime.
Sultan was charged on April 22, 2009, after he was stopped by RCMP for speeding on Hwy 2 near Olds. Alerted by a strong chemical smell coming from Sultan’s vehicle, RCMP called in a sniffer dog.
After a search, about 275 grams of crack cocaine and just over $45,000 in cash, folded in bundles, was recovered from a padlocked computer case. The drugs were worth $18,000 to $40,000.
Justice Doreen Sulyma gave Sultan four years for his crimes. However, she noted the Correctional Service of Canada needs to know how much time in custody, if any, Sultan can be credited for as part of his sentence.
That’s when things got complicated.
Defence lawyer Jake Chadi argued that as much as a year that Sultan spent in custody between July 2009 and June 2010 after his bail was revoked could be considered as time served. He would also be eligible for double time under a two-for-one system then in place for those serving jail time before sentencing.
Federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis argued the jail time was served because Sultan was charged for a new offence following his initial arrest on the drug charges.
Further complicating the issue was that the June 2009 charge that led to Sultan’s bail being revoked was later dropped. It was unclear when that happened or how it might factor into deciding on the amount of time served.
Sulyma said she was reluctant to make a decision on the “novel” arguments put forward by the defence until she could review case law and further submissions.
Sentencing was adjourned until Dec. 16.