Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 31, 2007
YELLOWKNIFE - A 30-year-old man was convicted of trafficking an illegal substance after he sold crumbled drywall to two undercover police officers in March.
Trevor Dunlop pleaded guilty in territorial court on Aug. 28 to charges of trafficking, failing to show up for his first court appearance and failing to report to the RCMP as per the terms of his initial release and was sentenced to five months in jail.
"Maybe what you actually sold was not cocaine, but you were still carrying out this crime for profit," said territorial court judge Robert Gorin during sentencing, adding that "trafficking of illegal substances is far too common in this city."
According to the statement of facts, Dunlop was arrested by an undercover police operation during Caribou Carnival, after being put in contact with the undercover agents by an accomplice known as "Junior," of whom the police later lost track.
Crown attorney Maureen McGuire said in court that Dunlop met with Junior and the undercover police and made a transaction, exchanging $240 for what Dunlop indicated was an "eight ball" of crack cocaine.
Police later caught up with and arrested Dunlop after advising him that he had sold an illegal drug to undercover police.
According to police records, when he was informed of this, Dunlop said, "That was drywall, you idiot. You're one stupid cop."
Dunlop's defense lawyer Pat Cashman had asked for a conditional sentence. He told the court Dunlop was an addict, and that he had taken steps towards rehabilitation and was "determined to put these matters behind him."
"This is not a man who was poisoning the street with drugs," Cashman said, making the point that his client was not a sophisticated drug dealer.
"This is a man who tried to sell drywall as crack cocaine," Cashman said, adding there was a "pathetic nature" to Dunlop's crime, which was a fraudulent transaction to feed his habit.
Dunlop read a letter he had prepared which detailed his will to rehabilitate, as well as some recent deaths in his family that had caused him to re-evaluate his direction in life.
Dunlop's trafficking conviction also comes with a mandatory 10-year firearms prohibition.