June 18th, 2024

Man could face jail for drug offences

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 10, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 48-year-old Standoff man who hopes he will only be placed under house arrest for drug offences, could be sent to prison if a judge agrees with a recommendation by the Crown.

Lloyd Avery Good Rider will have to wait until April 3 before he is sentenced, however, and before he learns if he’ll receive a conditional sentence recommended by defence, or a sentence of two and a half years in a federal penitentiary, suggested by the Crown.

Good Rider, who pleaded guilty last year to two charges of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, was in Lethbridge provincial court last week for a sentencing hearing where the Crown told court his charges stem from an incident in November of 2020 when police were called to a hotel in Cardston where individuals were reportedly in medical distress.

Good Rider and several others were in one of the rooms, where police found Good Rider in possession of methamphetamine and Fentanyl. They also found a small quantity of the drugs on a nearby table.

“He admitted that he provided these substances in exchange for goods, in addition to fuelling his own addiction,” Crown Prosecutor Alisa Webber explained.

Webber said the gravity of drug offences is high because of the significant harm they cause, particularly from fentanyl, which is a highly addictive opioid. That harm was evident at the hotel where individuals had overdosed and required emergency medical help.

Webber said that even though trafficking-related offences often warrant sentences of three or more years in prison, she recommended a sentence of two and a half years, given the mitigating factors in the case.

“While Mr. Goodrider was engaged in commercial trafficking, in the Crown’s view, it was minimal, and bordering on social trafficking.”

Webber also noted that while Good Rider may still not accept full responsibility for his offences, he pleaded guilty and saved the time and cost of running a trial. He is also a suitable candidate for rehabilitation given his efforts to change since he was arrested.

However, Webber pointed out Good Rider has a lengthy criminal record, and the “toxic cocktail” he provided at the hotel resulted in overdoses.

Duty counsel lawyer Brett Carlson told court Good Rider grew up around alcohol and violence in his home until he was about 21 years old, then his parents stopped drinking and became a significant support for their son, especially when he entered drug treatment court. However, he lost that support when his parents died.

Carlson recommended handing Good Rider an 18-month conditional sentence, the first nine months of which he would be under house arrest, followed by nine months of curfew. He could also be placed on probation and be required to take grief counselling and treatment for his addictions.

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