If you’re selling coke, selling it to a cop is going to land you in the slammer. And that’s exactly where Ryan John Dubois, 31, of Weyburn, will be spending the next 3 1/2 years, minus time served.
On Nov. 2, Dubois appeared before Judge Lane Wiegers in Estevan Provincial Court. Guilty pleas and a joint submission resulted in his heading off to the pen. But just which level of security was of great concern for Dubois, as he had previously been a Crown witness in a double homicide case, and he did not want to end up in prison with the those he helped convict.
Dubois pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine and possession for the purpose of trafficking. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of a recognizance, reduced from four counts.
Federal Crown prosecutor Scott Moffat said that on Feb. 13, 2017, Weyburn police targeted a dial-a-dope operation in that city, with an undercover police officer ordering one gram of cocaine for $100 from Dubois. On March 3, 2017, another individual delivered 3 1/2 grams of cocaine for $300 to an undercover officer.
Moffat filed to seek minimum punishment in this case. Dubios had a prior, but dated, conviction for drug trafficking. Thus Moffat noted the appropriate range for a second offence is three to six years.
The joint submission was for a 3 1/2-year sentence. Since Dubois had been remanded in custody since June 17, he had served 138 days. With enhanced credit at 1 1/2 times time served, that equated 207 days.
Moffat broke down the sentence as 20 months with respect to the Feb. 13 charge and 22 months for the March 3 charge. The sentence also included a DNA sample order and a weapons prohibition for life. Several items were seized, including a Dodge 300 sedan car, but he was allowed to keep a laptop and Samsung phone.
Defence attorney Jonathan Goby said, “He does have a record that is significant,” but added that the most recent offence was in 2010.
“The record is the reason for the joint submission,” Goby added.
As for the breach matter, which prohibited Dubois from using a cellphone, Goby said he had used one to call a tow truck when his vehicle had broken down.
Dubois told the judge, “I just want to say I’m sorry for what I did. I undertood the impact on the community.”
Wiegers responded, “Those comments serve you well,” and spoke of how cocaine destroys a lot of lives.
He gave credit to Dubois for his plea, comments and taking responsibility.
When it came to imposing sentence, the judge went along with the suggestion of the joint submission, but chose to use days instead of months and years, noting there can be some discrepancy between the length of individual months. Stating that he would use 30 days as the basis for a month, he sentenced Dubois to 600 days minus 207 days credit for times served, resulting in 393 days in custody for the trafficking charge. For the possession for the purpose of trafficking charge, he sentenced Dubois for a consecutive 660 days. A victim impact surcharge of $600 was imposed, with four years to pay.
The breach charges netted a concurrent sentence of three months.
Goby requested a minimum security facility for Dubois, noting that two individuals are currently serving in a federal institution and they are not in minimum security.
Dubois personally told the judge he had helped out with two Crown cases, and he was not violent.
Wiegers spent some time discussing that, but, ultimately decided it wasn’t his place, nor did he have jurisdiction, to make such an order that was binding.
“I don’t feel that I am in a position to make a fully informed order with respect to that,” Wiegers said, noting corrections staff have the option to put Dubois in a different facility. “I’m not saying it’s not a legitimate concern. They’re the specialists.”