An Edmonton man has been sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a loaded AR-15 assault rifle found in his car in Fort Providence last fall.
Cassiuis Paradis, 30, showed little reaction when he was handed his punishment by Judge Shannon Smallwood in Supreme Court in Yellowknife on Friday.
The judge split the difference after the Crown prosecutor called for a seven-year sentence while the lawyer for Paradis argued three years would be sufficient.
Following a hearing earlier this year, Smallwood ruled that Paradis’ constitutional rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated by Mounties in Fort Providence when they pulled over his vehicle on the hamlet outskirts last October.
Court heard police failed to tell Paradis why he was stopped, searched his vehicle without a warrant and didn’t advise him of his right to consult with a lawyer.
Smallwood had already ruled however that the RCMP transgressions were not so egregious that the drugs and gun had to be excluded as evidence.
Once the charter challenge by Paradis failed, he pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Court heard that the assault rifle was not operable when police seized it from the trunk of his rented car despite being loaded with 40 rounds of ammunition.
Mounties also seized from the car 130 grams or about 4.5 ounces of cocaine, a hunting knife and almost $5,000, deemed to be the proceeds of crime.
Paradis was prohibited from possessing any weapon at the time after he was convicted in Edmonton in 2017 of having a loaded handgun in the glove box of his vehicle.
He was fined but received no jail time for that offence.
A 15-year-old boy who was in the vehicle with Paradis in Fort Providence has already been found guilty and sentenced for simple possession of cocaine.
Smallwood said she took into account Paradis’ self-identification as Metis and his trauma-plagued life when handing down the sentence.
She gave Paradis the chance to address her before sentencing but he declined.
The judge also extended his 10-year firearms prohibition to 12 years and ordered that he give a sample of his DNA for the national registry.
Paradis has been in jail since his arrest last October.
Taking into account his pre-sentence custody, he will have just over four years and a month left to serve.
It is not clear where he will serve the sentence.