Pubdate: Tue, 31 Jan 2017
Source: Cape Breton Post (CN NS)
Copyright: 2017 Cape Breton Post
Page: A3


Former corrections employee sentenced on drug trafficking

A Sydney Mines woman was given a two-year federal jail sentence Monday
after pleading guilty to drug trafficking at the Cape Breton
Correctional Centre.

Special federal prosecutor David Iannetti told the court that Nicole
Marie Smith, 46, came to the attention of jail officials when a letter
was found in which an inmate thanked Smith for bringing marijuana into
the facility.

Smith worked part time in the kitchen at the provincial jail and had
struck up a friendship with a male inmate who also worked in the kitchen.

While there was no evidence to suggest they had shared an intimate
relationship, Iannetti said Smith told police the inmate was a friend
of her brother's and that she felt sorry for him.

He repeatedly asked Smith, said Iannetti, to pick up packages for him
and bring them to the jail. After the inmate was released, Smith found
herself being directed by another person who continued to arrange for
packages to be delivered.

The offences occurred between August and September 2016 in Gardiner

Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of possession for the purpose of
trafficking in marijuana and hashish. She was found in possession of a
combined total of 107 grams.

Authorities at the jail alerted Cape Breton Regional Police to the
letter and police set up surveillance on Smith.

Iannetti said while Smith claims she never knew what was inside the
packages, she did acknowledge to bringing the items into the jail.

Smith turned over her cellphone to police who tracked a number of
calls from the correctional centre to Smith.

Also, police found numerous letters from the inmate to Smith in which
the inmate professed his love for her.

Defence lawyer TJ McKeough said the inmate really played on the
emotions of Smith.

"She was played upon," he said, adding she now wants to put the
incident behind her and move forward.

"You feel into a trap," said provincial court Judge Brian Williston,
adding Smith was in a position of trust as an employee of the facility.

Williston accepted the joint recommendation for a two-year federal
jail sentence along with a 10-year ban on possessing firearms or
explosives. Smith is also to submit a DNA sample to the national registry.

Opened in 1975, the correctional centre is a medium-security facility
with a maximum capacity for 96 adult male offenders and a staff of 102
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