A 17-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and to unlawful possession of firearms was sentenced Friday to 15 months of custody.
The young offender, who cannot be identified, will be given credit for time spent in custody since his arrest in September and will serve part of his sentence under community supervision.
Provincial court Judge Mary Jane Richards also ordered him to attend school and follow the rules there, respect a curfew, take part in community service, stay with his mother and take advantage of counselling.
Richards said the teen's lack of empathy was a major problem.
The 17-year-old was arrested after the Fredericton Fire Department and provincial electrical inspector carried out a safety check at a residential complex on the city's north side.
After inspectors went inside a unit to check into holes in the walls, which the teen had been using to hide drugs and travel between apartments, they called the Fredericton police.
Police obtained a search warrant for the property, discovered the drugs and arrested the teenager.
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Warning from the judge
On Friday, Richards spoke with the teen's mother and father, who were both in court.
His mother talked about how her son was a good boy but completely different when using drugs. His problems stemmed from drugs and otherwise he was bright, with promising athletic abilities, especially in wrestling, she said.
Richards warned the offender that if he had been a year older, the punishment would have been much more severe. And if he doesn't change, things will get a lot worse for him, she said.
The judge suggested the teen do some soul-searching, because he needed to understand the impact his actions have on those who care about him.
But Richards also gave weight to a letter the offender wrote and read to her, in which he noted the challenges he's created for his younger siblings.
The teen said he didn't like having made his younger sister think he didn't want to be her brother.
He also said he understood he made bad choices and got involved with the wrong people. As his mother said, he is two different people when on drugs.
Richards said that because he is a young offender the goal is rehabilitation, and that he has everything he needs to make it work.