The sentencing for a man charged with trafficking fentanyl has been delayed.
On Friday morning, Subeer Jama was slated to have a sentencing hearing on his Oct. 28 conviction on a charge of possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking.
Jama was one of three men charged by St. Albert RCMP in 2018 after a two-month investigation led to a search warrant being executed at a home in Edmonton on Jan. 24, 2018. RCMP said at the time that they seized enough fentanyl to cause up to 7,500 lethal doses.
Jama is from Edmonton, but the St. Albert RCMP said they were involved in the bust because of drug activity that was happening in St. Albert.
Jama wasn't able to appear in court for his sentencing as he is at home quarantining due to COVID-19. He also disagrees with some of the facts in the pre-sentencing report, which will require more time for the Crown and defence to look into. Jama is also going to try to file a Jordan application – an application to get his charges overturned based on the length of time it took to get his case to trial.
A Jordan application is filed based on the Supreme Court of Canada's 2016 R. v. Jordan decision, which establishes timelines that trial must be heard by. Applicants can apply to have their cases dismissed based on the required timelines set out in the decision.
If an accused is charged through the provincial courts and lower courts, trials must be heard within 18 months after the charges are laid in the case.
If an accused's main entry point into the court system is through the superior court, like Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, the accused must have their trial heard no later than 30 months after charges are laid.
Jama was first charged in January of 2018, and his case wasn't heard in court until October 2020, 34 months after he was first charged. The delays were due to limited availability of time in courtrooms to have his case heard.
Jama will have to have his case heard by a judge to determine if his case will be overturned.
There were 306 Jordan applications filed in Alberta courts between Oct. 25, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2020.
Nine applications are currently pending, 94 were dismissed by the court, 36 were granted, 56 were abandoned by the defence, 45 were proactively stayed by the Crown on the basis that they wouldn't survive a Jordan application and 66 were resolved unrelated to Jordan.
Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette