By Delon Shurtz on March 2, 2021.
A Lethbridge man who was given a three-year prison sentence for weapon and drug-related offences, is lucky he didn’t receive a longer sentence, a judge suggested during a hearing in Lethbridge provincial court.
Judge Erin Olsen told Eldon Jon Myers he was fortunate to receive the sentence, given the serious nature of his offences and his criminal record, but she acceded to a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence for three years in a federal penitentiary.
Myers, pleaded guilty last week in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of possession of a prohibited weapon and three counts of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. And although the Crown suggested the offences could have attracted a sentence of four or four-and-a-half years, he gave Myers credit for his guilty plea and the difficulties the Crown would have faced had the charges gone to trial.
Federal Crown Prosecutor Mark Klassen explained police were investigating complaints in January 2020 that drug trafficking was being conducted from a home in the 1800 block of 1 Avenue North. Police watched Myers for several days as he sold drugs to numerous people, and on Feb. 21 searched the residence and found Myers and another individual sitting on a couch in the garage, and two other people inside a camper parked in the backyard.
Meyers was caught in possession of a pair of brass knuckles and cash, and inside the couch police found 43 grams of cocaine and 18 grams of fentanyl.
Nearly five months later police, who were again investigating Myers for drug trafficking, saw him selling drugs from his residence. They also followed him as he drove around the city and met with various people, and when he pulled up to restaurant police arrested him and found inside a bag he was carrying 64 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and cash.
Klassen told court Myers has a criminal record, which includes a conviction in 2014 for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Olsen expressed concern that Myers had already served a three-year sentence, yet the Crown was not suggesting a longer sentence for his recent drug offences.
Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz explained there were issues with the Crown’s case relating to the police search and seizure and what the Crown would be able to prove at trial. Shurtz told court his client suffers from some mental health issues, and has struggled with addictions most of his life.
“Hopefully Mr. Myers can move on and get the help and treatment he needs,” Shurtz said.
Olsen agreed with the recommended sentence, and told Myers his lawyer had “done a good job” for him. But he warned Myers to expect longer sentences should he commit similar offences in the future, and not to expect as much credit for a guilty plea.
“You will not get the benefit of this kind of sentence again,” Olsen said.
She also reprimanded Myers for selling drugs that are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
“And you, Mr. Myers, are a big part of the problem.”
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