A Sarnia courtroom carried out a two-for-one sentencing as a pair of men were fined for the illegal sale of cannabis.
David Bruce and Arnold Mayers appeared to answer for a sweeping drug raid last December that turned up tens of thousands of dollars in cannabis products and cash. The joint operation was carried out at a Corunna home and the Pot Of Gold cannabis shop on Aamjiwnaang land.
This was the third police raid on Pot Of Gold in two years and followed a lengthy investigation into the store and its owner. Sarnia Police, along with OPP, were granted a pair of search warrants. They proceeded with raids on the cannabis store and the owner’s house at 9 am Dec. 8, simultaneously so no tip-offs could be made to either location.
Mayers, 64, was one of four people arrested at the house on Secretariate Drive in Corunna. Inside officers discovered 577 grams of cannabis, more than $22,000 cash and more than $5,500 in VISA gift cards.
Defence Lawyer Bobby Russon says Mayers, from Corunna, had “joint possession, though certainly not sole possession” of the drugs and was “not necessarily ‘head of household’, so to speak.”
Crown Attorney Brian Higgins says the 577 grams are “not enormous” by trafficking standards. A joint submission of a $2,000 fine, 10 years weapons ban and item forfeiture was approved by Justice Krista Leszczynski.
It was a different story at the dispensary though. The total haul was a whopping 64 kilograms of cannabis bud alone, in addition to numerous other cannabis products. Nearly $3,000 cash along with debt and price lists and other drug paraphernalia was also seized.
Bruce, 36, was the man behind the counter and, along with a security man in the parking lot, arrested and charged with the illegal sales. Fortunately for his prospects of freedom, Bruce was not blamed for the entire amount.
Higgins says while “that quantity was extremely significant... the Crown does note that he is an employee and that was his role there that day.”
Bruce was fined a bit extra though for the higher amount, $2,500 total. Like Mayers he received a 10 year weapons ban and forfeiture of all items seized.
Following the sentencing charges against three other people arrested during the raid were withdrawn by the Crown. One man arrested at the house still faces charges.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent