Fentanyl dealer found hiding in basement

·2 min read

A Sarnia man will serve a multi-year stint behind bars for his role in the fentanyl trade.

But despite losing his freedom, like so many dealers of the deadly drug Todd Campbell is fortunate to even be alive.

“He’s very lucky, quite frankly, that he’s not dead,” says Defence Lawyer Sarah Donohue during Campbell’s sentencing Mar. 22. “Mr. Campbell has overdosed many times, and has been brought back. He realizes that this is something that he needs to really look at if he wants to survive going forward.”

Going forward will involve two years and five months prison after Campbell, 32, plead guilty to fentanyl trafficking and possession. Following a three month investigation of Campbell by the Sarnia Police’s Vice Unit, a raid was conducted the evening of Feb. 27, 2020.

Police busted down a locked door leading to the basement of a Kathleen Ave. home where they found Campbell hiding with two other people. Along with them was 2.65 grams of fentanyl in Campbell’s pocket.

“It appears to be a small quantity of fentanyl,” says Crown Attorney Brian Higgins, but added “2.65 grams is actually rather significant because of the potency of fentanyl and the value that even a small quantity holds.”

Asking for nearly 2.5 years jail, Higgins felt Campbell’s sentence needed to drive a point home. Justice Anne McFadyen agreed. “Despite being charged with trafficking in fentanyl in February 2019, Mr. Campbell continued to involve himself with such substances… A significant period of incarceration is warranted,” she says.

“Substance abuse is a menace that has invaded our society,” says McFadyen. “Trafficking in such substances is to knowingly participate in this devastation. A sentence for such activity must reflect the insidious consequences.”

Campbell, appearing from the Sarnia Jail’s video suite, thanked Donohue during his turn to speak. She offered some parting encouragement to her client before he was led away, saying he’d shown “moments of insight into his offending pattern, and was honestly able to identify relationships and negative behaviour patterns.”

Campbell’s past year in jail means more than half his sentence is already served. He received further credit for time spent in COVID-19 lockdown conditions, leaving him 332 days remaining. McFadyen recommended the balance be served at a facility offering substance abuse treatment, likely meaning a move away from Sarnia.

Campbell is also banned from firearms for life and will submit a DNA sample.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent