Pubdate: Sat, 04 Feb 2017
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Paige Parsons
Page: 10


Man who pleads guilty to selling drug-laced goods gets 15 months

A man who pleaded guilty to running an operation that included selling
drug-laced baked goods out of a west Edmonton music venue will spend
15 months behind bars, a judge ruled Friday.

Mitchell Scott Ennis, 49, appeared crestfallen when Court of Queen's
Bench Justice Ken Nielsen announced a sentence of 25 months, before
adding that such a sentence would be "unduly harsh," and reduced it to
15 months.

In June 2016, Ennis admitted to four counts of possession of a
controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of
proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and breach of a
recognizance. Ennis was arrested after police began a drug
investigation in July 2014 involving surveillance at The Studio Music
Foundation, 10940 166A St., and at Ennis' nearby home.

At an earlier hearing, court heard that when police raided the music
venue in September 2014, officers seized significant quantities of
drugs, including marijuana, magic mushrooms, LSD, hashish, shatter and
marijuana oil, with a total street value of well over $100,000. At
Ennis' home, investigators seized more than $150,000 worth of drugs,
as well as cash.

Police also found baked goods at the home containing marijuana,
hashish and magic mushrooms, an air-soft pistol, a Taser and a drug
ledger. Ennis was released, but arrested again in 2015 when a search
of his home turned up more drugs and cash.

Ennis' lawyer, Benjamin Lotery, had argued his client, who suffers
from Crohn's disease and found relief in self-medicating with
marijuana products, should pay a $5,000 fine and be allowed to serve
his sentence in the community. Lotery proposed a twoyear conditional
sentence, to be followed by two years of probation.

According to a pre-sentencing report, Ennis believed he was helping
people who struggled with various health conditions by selling them
the products. The judge was handed 55 letters of reference written to
vouch for Ennis' character.

Federal prosecutor Jared Bialowas argued that Ennis should serve two-
to 2 1/2 years behind bars.

Nielsen acknowledged the report's finding that Ennis believed his
activities were in part "compassionate," but found there was a
"significant commercial aspect" to the operation.

Nielsen said that while Canada's drug laws may be on the verge of
change, he had to base his sentence on present laws.

Ennis has three children, and the youngest is only five years old.
When given an opportunity to address the court, he pleaded with the
judge for a community sentence. "Separating me and my little girl
would really affect us," Ennis said.

When Nielsen delivered his sentence, Ennis' supporters, who filled the
benches in the courtroom, shook their heads. One woman wiped away tears.

Speaking outside the courthouse after the hearing, Ennis' older son,
Tyler Ennis, said he was "shocked" by the sentence.

"It just seems like a waste of time," he said. "As the judge said,
he's not going to look at where society is going, which really floors
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt