Federal prison sentence despite drug dealer's public relations move
By Glynn Brothen
Image Credit: youtube.com
March 18, 2015 - 2:29 PM
KAMLOOPS – A Kamloops judge said she recognized the efforts a convicted cocaine trafficker made to teach young people about the dangers of the industry he was caught up in, but still gave him a four-year federal prison sentence in Kamloops Supreme Court Wednesday morning.
Last May, Jean-Claude Auger, 39, pleaded guilty to his involvement as a cocaine supplier in the Kamloops drug trade. Police surveyed Auger by tracking his movements and tapping phone conversations with a dealer he usually supplied to. After police witnessed a drug transfer, Auger was arrested and a search warrant was executed on his North Shore home.
In her decision, Justice Hope Hyslop noted the search turned up 11 cell phones, 1.2 kilograms of cocaine stored in a Lululemon bag, a scale and $137,220 in cash. Hyslop said the cocaine in Auger’s home was worth between $45,000 and $60,000.
In his sentencing submissions, Auger’s lawyer Chris Thompson called his client, a “chemist” and said the main focus of his role as supplier was to cut the cocaine.
“I cannot be certain as to what this means,” Hyslop said.
She disagreed with Auger’s argument that he was only a worker for the kingpin and said Auger had the freedom to work for whomever he chose. She noted the level of money Auger generated and made a point to reference what the court heard through evidence.
“Money was Mr. Auger’s addiction,” she said.
Hyslop said Auger’s mitigating factors were letters of support submitted to the court, his completion of counselling and a $20,000 video project published on YouTube where he spoke at length about the pitfalls of his decision to enter the drug trade. She referenced his work as a personal trainer, which he trained in before becoming a supplier.
“Mr. Auger lived a double life in a sense,” she said, but noted “he has come a long way in his rehabilitation.”
Hyslop said she’s convinced the media coverage on his YouTube videos will significantly decrease the likelihood of Auger coming into contact with the drug trade again.
She handed Auger a four-year jail sentence for conspiracy to commit an indictable offence plus a two-year concurrent sentence for possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Federal Crown prosecutor John Walker was seeking a six-year federal sentence, while Thompson requested a two-year conditional sentence to be served in the community.
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