Pot dealer pleads guilty, avoids jail

A Red Deer man who had been selling pot from the seat of his pickup truck was handed a conditional sentence while giving up the vehicle, his right to use a cellphone and a large amount of cash in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday.

A Red Deer man who had been selling pot from the seat of his pickup truck was handed a conditional sentence while giving up the vehicle, his right to use a cellphone and a large amount of cash in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday.

Shayden Kyle Constable, 21, pleaded guilty earlier on the day his trial was to start to possessing marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, possessing property obtained by crime and possessing of a prohibited weapon after a police sting operation that included surveillance of his vehicle and a subsequent search of his home.

Constable was 19 years old when he was arrested in a traffic stop on Sept. 22, 2009, after an investigation by the Red Deer City RCMP street team, Crown Prosecutor David Inglis said in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer before Justice Joanne Goss.

Goss heard the sentencing submissions from Edmonton via closed-circuit TV.

Police found enough evidence at the scene to obtain a warrant for a search of his home, where they found 2.92 kg of marijuana (6.6 pounds) divided into 21 packages of different sizes, 134 grams of hash, two vials of resin and $25,760 in cash, said Inglis.

Constable’s lawyer, Kim Ross of Calgary, submitted that his client started selling pot as a means of support for himself and his mother, who was suffering a debilitating and chronic disease.

In weighing submissions from Crown and defence, Goss noted that Constable had no prior criminal record, had been convicted of only one breach of his release conditions and had been working at three different part-time jobs while working up upgrading his education.

Goss said she could not weigh new charges laid in December of possession of marijuana and breach of his release conditions because he has not yet been tried on those charges and is therefore presumed innocent.

Aggravating factors include the amount of marijuana involved, which Goss acknowledged as a mid-level trafficking operation.

She ordered a 16-month conditional sentence, to start with eight months of house arrest and to including forfeiture of his 2001 Dodge Ram truck, the cash and all other goods seized during the investigation except for a watch Constable had purchased with his inheritance upon the death of his grandfather.

He was also prohibited from all forms of electronic communications, including cellphones and pagers and will be held to a curfew once the term of his house arrest has expired.

Constable is to be tried in March on the new charges.

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