In early March 2021, the JIT received credible information of a large amount of marijuana being transported to the district of Kawenoke. During a planned take-down operation, Mark was observed driving one of the target vehicles suspected to be transporting the marijuana, while his co-accused was driving the second target vehicle. When both vehicles were backed up to the residence and the co-accused was inside, the takedown was executed. Mark and the co-accused were arrested without incident or resistance, and both were charged with possession of marihuana for the purpose of distribution. The police located several hundred pounds of cultivated marijuana in Mark’s vehicle and almost that amount in the co-accused’s vehicle.
Result: Mark pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana under the Cannabis Act. He was a Mohawk living in Akwesasne. As such, the Gladue principles applied to his sentencing hearing. He had been raised by drug traffickers and witnessed countless displays of abuse throughout his childhood. He was now a father and worked as a cleaner. The Crown had sought a one-year to eighteen month jail sentence. The judge, recognizing his guilty plea and aboriginal heritage, imposed a conditional sentence (house arrest) for almost two years.
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