Pubdate: Tue, 05 Feb 2008
Source: Now, The (Surrey, CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 South Fraser Publishing Ltd.
Author: Tom Zytaruk
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Racial Issues)


The Crown Has Lost An Appeal Of An 18-Month Conditional Sentence 
Given To A Cocaine Dealer.

The appeal was launched on the grounds that the sentencing judge 
placed "undue weight" on the man's aboriginal background.

Martin Patrick Charlie, of Cloverdale, had pleaded guilty to 
possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking after an RCMP 
officer caught him with 30 packages of cocaine and 16 packages of 
heroin worth about $1,200.

On the day he was arrested, Charlie was already serving nine-months' 
house arrest in respect to three drug charges arising out of another 
dial-a-dope operation he was involved in.

The Crown had argued for an actual prison term of 18 months to two 
years less a day, given this was his second dial-a-dope operation. 
The fact that his latest crime occurred while serving a sentence 
should have been seen as an aggravating factor, the Crown maintained.

But the sentencing judge, Peder Gulbransen, saw promise in Charlie's 
rehabilitation and decided to give him a break.

"Judges sometimes have to take chances," he said.

Justice David Frankel noted, in his reasons for decision, that more 
than two years have passed since Charlie was involved in the drug 
trade. "Why this case has taken this long to reach this point is not 
entirely clear," Frankel noted.

"However, it is a fact that during this period Mr. Charlie has been 
subject to stringent conditions, and is a much different person today 
than he was in October, 2005."

"It would be unjust," Frankel added, "and counterproductive not only 
to Mr. Charlie's interests, but those of society at large, to 
interfere with his successful efforts at rehabilitation by sentencing 
him to a period of incarceration at this time."
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