April 24th, 2024

Man in recovery gets house arrest for drug charges


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 23, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 49-year-old Standoff man who was set to be sentenced nearly a year ago for drug offences, but failed to attend his sentencing hearing, will spend the next four months under house arrest.

Lloyd Avery Good Rider was handed a 12-month conditional sentence Friday in Lethbridge court of justice, where he was sentenced on two counts of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. As part of his sentence, he must also observe a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. day for eight months after he has completed his house arrest.

Good Rider pleaded guilty to the charges in 2020, but failed to attend his sentencing hearing last April and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

At the time the Crown was seeking a sentence of two and a half years in a federal prison, while duty counsel had suggested an 18-month conditional sentence with nine months of house arrest and nine months of curfew.

Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz explained Friday that Good Rider was not trafficking drugs but had shared his drugs with friends, who offered him items in return.

“It wasn’t a situation where he was suspected of trafficking and making profits of money and obtaining financial benefit from doing that,” Shurtz said. “It was a situation where his friends came and asked for drugs and he shared his drugs with them and got some property in return.”

In November of 2020 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.

Shurtz pointed out Good Rider has been sober since 2021. He entered drug treatment court, but left two months later to be with his family after his father died. Six months later his mother died, and while that caused additional challenges for Good Rider, he remained sober and later enrolled in detox and ultimately completed treatment late last year.

He also turned himself in to police last October, and while he was in custody his son overdosed and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Good Rider was released from custody so he could be with his son and ultimately direct doctors to take his son off life support.

Shurtz said Good Rider has lost a number of spouses and children to overdoses, and he has struggled with alcohol and drugs throughout his life, as have his parents and grandparents, who suffered abuses at residential schools.

“It’s clear that Mr. Good Rider came into these offences and came into this situation due to that history throughout his life, but he’s taking the steps needed now to remain sober since 2021.”

Good Rider has been on house arrest since November when he was released from custody, and is currently residing at the Kainai Transition Centre in Standoff, where he will remain under house arrest resulting from his conviction Friday until he is accepted into residential treatment, court was told.

Given Good Rider’s circumstances and efforts to rehabilitate himself, and despite the Crown’s previous recommendation recommendation for a prison sentence, the Crown did not oppose the defence recommendation for the conditional sentence, during which Good Rider will be subject to numerous conditions, including continued treatment and counselling for trauma and drug abuse.

“You’ve had some very exceptional, extenuating circumstances that arose throughout the course of the last year,” Justice Sylvia Oishi noted moments before sentencing Good Rider. “Despite all of those you were still able to remain in recovery and so I congratulate you for that achievement. I hope things continue to go well for you going forward.”

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buckwheat

Lethbridge lawyer Darcy Shurtz explained Friday that Good Rider was not trafficking drugs but had shared his drugs with friends, who offered him items in return.

Trafficking reduced to a swap meet.



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