Pubdate: Mon, 15 Oct 2007
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Brantford Expositor
Author: Vincent Ball


Pauline Beaulne has something to say to the police officers who 
raided her home and busted her for drug trafficking - thanks.

"They busted into my home... and charged me with several counts of 
trafficking," Beaulne, 40, says. "I spent a couple of days in jail 
and, when I was there, I prayed to God that if I could ever get out 
of this mess I'd never go back to using again."

That was in February. Now, more than eight months later, Beaulne is 
still clean and determined not to go back to the life of a 
crack-cocaine user. And she believes she has the Brantford police 
street crimes unit to thank for it.

"I don't know that I would have said this then, when they arrested 
me. But now, I look at it and think, 'That wasn't a bust, that was a 
blessing,' " Beaulne says. "I wasn't arrested, I was rescued and I 
want to thank them for doing it."

During the raid, police confiscated $2,000 worth of cocaine, a large 
quantity of cash and arrested one other person, a 45-year-old man.

When Beaulne came before the courts, she pleaded guilty to two counts 
of trafficking and received eight months of house arrest and two 
years' probation. It was the first time she had been arrested, and 
she had already started taking steps toward sobriety.

"Judge (Ken) Lenz made it clear. If I get arrested again, the 
sentence will go up, not down."

Born and raised in Brantford, Beaulne has two children.

Prior to her arrest, she had been using cocaine and crack on and off 
for about four years. She has been through a couple of rehabilitation 
programs and has had extended periods of being drug free. But it's a 
tough addiction to beat and in the past, she had gone back to using drugs.

"I was always able to get it through a boyfriend," Beaulne says. "I 
never had to steal, sell my body or get down on my knees to get it." 
This time she is determined to stay clean and has a lot of support. 
"I've changed the people, the places and the things" in my life, 
Beaulne says. "I see my kids and my daughter-in-law and they tell me 
they love me.

"I always say, 'It was my choice to use and my choice not to use.' 
I'm choosing not to use."

She is working with an addictions counsellor and attends group 
therapy sessions. She also has a sponsor whom she can call at any 
time for support.

Beaulne also reads a great deal and thinks a lot about her choices, 
making changes and colours. "I always think of the colour green and 
when I look outward I see trees, bushes and grass. I don't see a 
cloud of smoke anymore."

Beaulne is also trying to create a new future for herself, one that 
includes completing her education, with the goal of becoming an 
addictions counsellor.

"I love my life right now. But I always take it one day at a time, 
and today I am well."

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Expositor reporter Vincent Ball spent a week with the Brantford 
Police street crimes unit to produce a special series - Undercover, 
an inside look at Brantford's drug trade. The three-part series 
concludes today.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman