Crown calls for seven year sentence for Edmonton man found with cocaine and assault rifle in Fort Providence

Cassiuis Paradis from his Facebook page

A Crown prosecutor is calling for a seven-year prison term for an Edmonton man who pleaded guilty to weapons and drug trafficking charges following a traffic stop in Fort Providence last fall.

Morgan Fane said in court Thursday that Cassiuis Paradis, 30, deserves the lengthy sentence because he was selling cocaine in the community while he had a loaded AR-15 assault rifle in his trunk, even though the firearm was inoperable.

Paradis initially fought the charges laid last October with his lawyer arguing his Canadian Charter rights were violated by RCMP officers who stopped the vehicle Paradis was driving and searched it without a warrant.

Mounties also failed to inform him that he was pulled over as part of a drug investigation after police received a tip from the public.

In a hearing, Supreme Court Judge Shannon Smallwood ruled his rights were violated but the transgression by police was not so egregious that the evidence seized could not be submitted in court.

That decision eventually led to Paradis pleading guilty to a dozen separate charges.

Court heard Thursday that Paradis was prohibited from possessing any firearm after a loaded handgun was seized from the glove box of his vehicle in Edmonton in 2014.

A hunting knife was also seized from Paradis’ rented vehicle when it was pulled over on the outskirts of Fort Providence in October of last year.

Mounties also seized from the car about 4.5 ounces of cocaine wrapped in small pieces for sale.

A 15-year-old boy who was in the vehicle at the time has already been found guilty and sentenced for simple possession of cocaine.

Benjamin Lotery, an Edmonton lawyer who represented Paradis, called for a three-year sentence, noting the Charter violations and the fact the AR-15 could not be fired when police seized it.

He said that Paradis identifies as a non-status Metis and has led a trauma-filled life.

Lotery also said that seven years is closer to the sentences handed out for manslaughter in the NWT.

Indeed, last November, Frank Elanik Jr. received a six year sentence for killing his domestic partner partner May Elanik in Aklavik in 2015.

Paradis, who has been in custody since his arrest last October, said nothing to the judge when given the opportunity Thursday.

Smallwood is to pass sentence on May 24.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.