A former Norman Wells resident has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking in a Yellowknife courtroom.
Kelly Sweeney, 30, will also have to forfeit almost $26 thousand in cash that RCMP seized during a search of his apartment in Norman Wells in June of 2016.
That money has been deemed proceeds of crime.
Court heard that Mounties also seized 112.5 grams of cocaine when they raided the home.
Court heard that Sweeney, who moved to Norman Wells from B.C. not long before he was busted, was part of a small but organized drug selling network in Norman Wells.
Sweeney had no previous criminal record and admitted he was selling drugs purely for the money – he was not addicted to cocaine.
Deputy Judge Brian Bruser says that it appears to be a one-off and that Sweeney has otherwise been a model citizen.
However, Bruser said that hard drugs like cocaine continue to plague the NWT and a message must be sent that parasitic behaviour like drug dealing will not be treated lightly in the territory.
Sweeney’s lawyer Paul Falvo says that Sweeney was a productive member of society working in the construction industry when he developed an allergy to some chemicals used in that business.
Falvo says one Sweeney was forced to quit his job he turned to trafficking to support himself in what was described as a get rich quick scheme.
Falvo says Sweeney has been a good inmate at the North Slave Correctional Complex where he is a member of the inmate advisory committee – helping other prisoners.
Before sentencing, Sweeney apologized to the court, reading from a prepared statement.
After taking into account his pre-trial custody, Sweeney will have about 15 months left to serve.