HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Man Convicted in Drug Case Plans to Appeal
Pubdate: Thu, 10 Apr 2008
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2008 The StarPhoenix
Author: Barb Pacholik, Saskatchewan News Network
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


REGINA -- While he awaits sentencing in Saskatchewan's largest
marijuana grow-op bust, Lawrence Hubert Agecoutay has been busy laying
the groundwork for his appeal.

"This document will show 'the errors' of such magnitude that the
out-come (sic) of this case would not have been the same," Agecoutay
states in a 19-page paper filed with the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

Agecoutay, 52, his brother Robert Stanley Agecoutay, 49, and business
partner Chester Fernand Girard, 59, are potentially facing -- if the
prosecution gets its way -- the highest sentences ever handed out in a
marijuana case. In sentencing submissions last Friday, Crown
prosecutor Darrell Blais sought 15-year prison terms for Lawrence and
Girard, and eight years for Robert. The defence countered with a
proposal for conditional sentences in the community. Court of Queen's
Bench Justice Frank Gerein will give his decision April 21.

In February, a jury found the three guilty of unlawfully producing
marijuana and possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking.
Three other men were acquitted.

The convictions stem from an Aug. 21, 2005 RCMP raid near Robert's
home on the Pasqua First Nation. The Mounties discovered more than
6,000 nearly mature marijuana plants growing in greenhouses and
outdoor plots.

According to an RCMP expert, the crop had a potential value between $2
million and $7.5 million.

Lawrence Agecoutay has repeatedly defended his actions by arguing he
was instructed by the "creator" to grow hemp "medicine" to cure his
people of diabetes and cancer. He also identifies himself as the
ancestral, inherent chief of the "Anishinabe Nation of Turtle Island,"
and says he believed, based on legal precedent involving one of his
relatives, he was growing the plants on sovereign land, immune from
Canadian drug laws. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake