Pubdate: Sat, 08 May 2004
Source: Beacon Herald, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Beacon Herald
Author:  Paul Cluff
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


A Stratford man spent more than four months in jail, only to have drug 
related charges against him dropped, while three other acquantinces charged 
in one of the city's first meth lab busts received hefty jail sentences.

Stephane Marinier, senior counsel/supervisor for the federal prosecution 
service, asked the court to drop charges against William Morrison, 24, last 
month but at the time of request, was unaware Mr. Morrison was in custody 
on those charges.

Grant Ward, 24, the last to be processed through the courts, was sentenced 
to nine months in jail earlier this week. Mr. Ward pleaded guilty on an 
earlier date to two charges of drug production. Dennis Schleuter, 19, and 
Keith Saville, 20, pleaded guilty to similar charges and received similar 

During court proceedings for the four men, it was revealed the value of 
meth seized by city police was far less than the $357,000 estimate that was 
read in by the Crown attorney during bail hearings. Facts read in court 
indicated a police officer on general patrol Dec. 3 saw smoke coming from 
an apartment at 475 Ontario St. and went to the residence to investigate.

The police officer, suspecting a fire, hammered on the door several times. 
The officer heard someone inside say, "the cops are here" and continued to 
knock. One of the men answered the door and amonia and smoke vapours seeped 

The fire department and other police officers arrived and occupants of the 
building's other three apartments were evacuated. Chemicals consistent with 
producing speed were found in the apartment

Cannabis, with a value tagged at $75,000, was also found.

Testing on drugs and materials used to make the drugs, conducted by Health 
Canada, however, revealed the expected yield of meth to be significantly 

Facts read during Mr. Ward's sentencing, quoting an expert's report, found 
an expected yield of just 2.5 grams of meth. Using the street value system 
police used to reach the $357,000 figure, that would account for $250 worth.

The four were originally charged with two counts of possession for the 
purpose of trafficking but those charges were later dropped.

Methamphetamine was produced, but when analyzed was found to be 
contaminated with unreacted pseudoephedrine starting material, one of a 
number of agents used to make the drug found by police at the apartment, 
according to information The Beacon Herald obtained from Health Canada. 
There were bulk substances seized by police that had the appearance or look 
of meth and were reasonably believed to be meth.

There was also a container of marijuana plant material soaking in isopropyl 
alcohol. The cannabinoids present were in low concentration, indicating 
that either the plant material was of poor quality, or that the material 
had been previously extracted, Health Canada said. "The process of 
manufacturing wasn't complete or otherwise potentially unsuccessful," said 
Mr. Marinier of the opposing numbers.

Working on his first meth lab case in 12 years as a prosecutor, Mr. 
Marinier said he was shocked by the lab results. "We had the analyst check 
it again."

Justice Kathryn McKerlie, presiding over Mr. Ward's case Monday, said 
although it was not deemed to be a commercial operation, drug production is 
still a clear crime.
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