Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cocaine seller gets 6 years in prison

A Winnipeg businessman arrested in an undercover police sting targeting organized crime has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Kerry Adam, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in cocaine and possession of proceeds of crime.
He was one 31 people arrested last December as part of a year-long investigation dubbed Project Divide. Nearly all of those arrested were members or associates of the Zig-Zag Crew street gang, the so-called “puppet club” of the Manitoba Hells Angels.
Adam — then owner of the Naughty Apparel clothing store on Main Street and an auto repair business — was not an original target of the investigation, said Crown attorney Chris Mainella. He came to police attention through his friendship with Zig-Zagger turned paid police agent Michael Satsatin.
Police surveillance captured the “greedy haberdasher” agreeing to sell Satsatin half a kilogram of cocaine for $25,000 last August, said Mainella. The cocaine was exchanged days later at a store on Henderson Highway in North Kildonan. Court heard Adam agreed to refund Satsatin $1,500 because the cocaine was not as pure as promised.
“He is clearly an independent dealer,” Mainella said. “He has the ability to earn money from legitimate enterprises but he turned to his own greed and succumbed to it.”
Adam’s conviction is his first for drug trafficking. Justice Brenda Keyser said Adam had clearly been dealing drugs for some time prior to his arrest.
“You don’t start off in your career dealing in half-kilo amounts,” she said. “I think it reflects where you fall in the food chain.”
Keyser ordered Adam to pay $23,500 in restitution, which he is not expected to pay. In lieu of payment, he will serve an additional 12 months in prison.

Shop owner off to prison for dealing on the side
HIS clothing store was called Naughty Apparel but it wasn't the clothes that got Kerry Lorne Adam in trouble with police.
Instead, it was the 37-year-old shop owner's cocaine deals that landed him in the middle of an elaborate police sting that targeted gangs.
Police caught him accepting cash for half a kilogram of cocaine in August 2009, with the help of an undercover biker-turned-informant who recorded the deal.
Adam pleaded guilty Monday to one count of trafficking a controlled substance as well as possessing the proceeds of crime.
"He turned here to his own greed," said Crown prosecutor Chris Mainella, who described Adam as a "greedy haberdasher" and independent dealer.
Police originally designed Project Divide to target the Zig Zag Crew and Hells Angels gang members.
However, Adam is not a member of either group.
Court heard Adam chose to make cash by dealing despite his success running his clothing store and a car repair business.
The undercover agent, then a full-patch member of the Zig Zag crew, set up the deal with Adam. Police recorded the two counting out cash in a bathroom of Adam's Main Street store before the two later traded drugs at a Zellers parking lot on Henderson Highway. When police made dozens of arrests last December as part of Project Divide, Adam was one of them.
Officers have arrested at least 30 people to date.
Adam is the 10th to be sentenced. Mainella and Adam's lawyer, Sarah Inness, submitted a joint recommendation Monday that means Adam will spend five-and-a-half more years in prison on top of the six months he's already served.
Court of Queen's Bench Judge Brenda Keyser said the amount of cocaine Adam sold to the agent indicated he was not a beginner in the drug trade. She approved the sentence and ruled Adam must also pay a $23,500 fine.

I disagree with prison sentences for drug offenders. I would like to know more about this man's background circumstances, mitigating factors and his defence lawyer's statements or arguments. I feel that prison should not be over-relied upon and should always be a last resort. Only the most dangerous individuals should be sentenced to prison. Prison is a negative environment with negative influences and the prison subculture. This man will likely become further involved in gang and drug life, through associates in prison and be released as a more hardened criminal, due to the pro criminal attitudes and behaviours which exist in prisons. I believe that he is not dangerous and should have been sentenced to a provincial prison term, such as 1 year or 2 years less a day along with probation. We should decriminalize drugs. There is no purpose to place this man in prison, besides revenge. He does not need to be incapacitated because he is not dangerous.

Imprisoning drug offenders is a waste of taxpayers' money. Drug prohibition causes crime, not the drugs themselves. We don't hear about anyone robbing stores to pay for their addiction to coffee. If decriminalized or legalized, all drugs could be sold for a cheaper price so they could be affordable. Less people would resort to crime to pay for their addictions. It is nobody else's business if individuals want to do drugs, or get drunk. Let them do it. Addiction is a chosen lifestyle, most of the time. Ending drug prohibition would also end a lot of financially motivated crime. 

The man in this article was not forcing anybody to buy drugs, he was simply providing them. It was consensual. It is victimless crime. Nobody was hurt and nobody was killed. I do not think any jail time is necessary for most drug dealers. If drug dealing involves other crimes such as violence or gun possession, then prison time may be warranted.

I would definitely say a crime intended to hurt someone is far worse than one intended to make money.
although I don't think drug dealing is a particularly honourable choice of work, the intent is generally not to directly hurt this person. It is to provide someone with a subtance they choose to use to hurt themselves.

It's not the drug that causes these problems. It's the people that use them. Also it's not the drug that is addictive. It's the person who uses them who makes the choice to reuse. Same is applied to alcohol. Alcohol can be just as "addictive" as many of these drugs you have mentioned. That being said, why is everyone who does drink alcohol not an alcoholic? This is because it is the certain individual who chooses to keep using/drinking. There is no such thing as addiction. There is only choice. Some people choose not to use/drink everyday, some people do.

Prohibition is what causes the crimes related to drugs. Even this trickle down effect that you speak of is caused by prohibition. If there were no prohibition then these drugs would not only be cheaper, but they would also be cleaner. You would not have people needing to rob/steal/sell in order to pay for it. One gram of coke is around 30$ but if it were legal it would probably be around 5$. Also if it were legal then there would no gun possession/violence that you speak of.

Drug dealers are not forcing drugs onto anyone. They are merely supplying what people want. Prohibition laws are ridiculous and cause many problems. 

Prohibition always has the same dynamics. An underground arises and whatever banned substance makes a lot of money for those who don't believe the lies the authorities tell them.

**some cocaine** are we serious here? The dude bought a half kilo of cocaine. That's 500g. Now, I admit, I don't know when someone makes crack from cocaine, whether or not you need more or less than a 1/4 gram of coke to make a 1/4 gram rock. But for those who don't know, crack is generally sold in quarter grams rocks. So this guy, could very well have had enough for 2000 hits of crack- maybe more, maybe less.

Street level dealers get lower sentences because they're usually poorer, face more dangers, and are most often addicts themselves- selling to support their habit. Mid level or upper level dealers (as this guy was) always get higher sentences because they're not plagued by addiction but greed.

Robberies frequently happen in this city for alcohol. Legalizing drug use isn't going to prevent crack heads from robbing domo's. Anyone suggesting that legalising drug use will solve all the problems, isn't familiar with drug use among the impoverished/marginalised classes.

So whatever guy we're talking about who got less for stabbing someone- he hurt one person. A dealer runs the risk of hurting a hell of a lot more people when his crackhead clients hurt a tonne of people.

For a half kilo of coke, it's a fair sentence. Inness doesn't sell out her clients.

all drug addiction should be manage alternately. prohibition has only added to the problem.

Look I'm not saying they should get nothing, I'm just saying six years is a little severe. Maybe if violent and dangerous criminals got the sentence they deserved I might feel slightly different, but I don't think much. Like I said, it depends on the situation. If they are prostituting women, carrying guns, and doing numerous other illegal and more hurtful things, then I fully support jail time. However, this guy seemed like a smart and respectable guy otherwise (I know, I know, here comes the lecture) But listen to why I feel that way. When I used to do drugs I've known many dealers who were good, decent, people. A couple of them got arrested, and just going through the legal process alone was enough for some to change their ways, and house arrest enough for others to do the same. In fact, the only one I do know who went to jail continued to sell drugs after he got out. Of course that's because they were all different people. Most of the ones who just needed a light sentence had legal jobs, even if menial ones, and were good and smart people. (note I'm not saying rich or brought up well, because they were just that way on their own accord). So my point is this. This guy is otherwise a good and hardworking person, who got into a bad scene. I'm not saying he should get nothing, but a lighter punishment will serve that type of person better than a jail sentence. If he does it again, then maybe another punishment.

Not that I am condoning drugs or the use of them...but here is what I saw today.

One man, based on the article written, running a successful clothing business and a successful car repair business is sentenced to 6 years in prison for 1 count of trafficking in cocaine.

Another man, with no visible means of support, is sentenced to 5 years in prison (after the judge disregarded the Crown's recommendation of 40 months) for stabbing an innocent victim in the chest and in the side.

Now, if I have to pick a next door neighbor from these two...I pick the drug dealer every time.

Although I agree that drug dealing is not victimless, people are fully capable of making their own choices. This man wasn't forcing these drugs down anyone's throat, he was only providing them for those who wanted them. I'm not saying that's okay, but I'm comparing his sentence to those who actually intend to hurt others and get way less. That's ridiculous. I don't really think any jail time is necessary for drug dealers, but it depends on the drug and their situation. Generally drug dealing involves other crimes such as gun possession and violence which lead to prison sentences.


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