Pubdate: Wed, 01 Sep 2004
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2004 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Kevin O'Connor


A Regina man who worked in a drug house that dispensed narcotics like
fast-food meals is headed for jail.

On Tuesday, Provincial Court Judge Carole Snell sentenced Arthur
Clinton Hagen to 18 months behind bars after he pleaded guilty to
trafficking in the street drugs Talwin and Ritalin.

Federal agent for the Crown Hal Wellsch said Hagen was one of a number
of individuals working in the drug organization headed by Allie Gader.

In 2003, Gader was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison
after he pleaded guilty to 11 offences related to drug dealing.

Wellsch said one of the houses where Hagen worked on the 700 block of
Montague St. was set up like a drive-through fast-food restaurant --
customers would walk up to a window at the specially fortified house,
hand over some cash and get their drugs.

Over roughly five months -- from November, 2001 to March, 2002 -- an
estimated $157,000 worth of Talwin and Ritalin went through the
houses, court heard.

People who worked in the houses typically received a percentage of the
income from the drugs sold, Wellsch said.

The drug houses had been specially fitted with locks and bars on the
windows to keep them secure.

Police learned about what was going on in the houses through wiretaps
as part of an investigation dubbed "Fleaflicker."

Wellsch said Hagen was heard to carry on a number of phone
conversation with Gader dealing with drug supplies, orders, and how
much cash was being taken in.

Hagen also pleaded guilty to a variety of other charges, including
possession property obtained through crime, possession of two capsules
of cannabis resin, stealing meat and cheese from a supermarket and
breaching his probation conditions.

Defence lawyer Tim Brown said Hagen has been struggling with drug and
alcohol problems for years.

He started taking needle drugs, including morphine, cocaine and Talwin
and Ritalin, about four years ago.

"His addiction problem became so massive, he ended up working for Mr.
Gader to support it," Brown said.

For the offences not related to drugs, Snell gave Hagen an additional
six months, bringing the total sentence to two years.

Talwin and Ritalin are the trade names of two prescription drugs that
can be combined and injected for a heroin-like high.

Four years ago, Regina police considered "Ts & Rs" a major drug
problem in the city, linking the trade to gang activity, property
crime and prostitution.

Since the Fleaflicker arrests, the Talwin and Ritalin trade has
declined, but there have been more cocaine-related charges appearing
in Regina courts.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin