St. John's man pleads guilty to offering police officer a bribe

A man facing a slew of charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, has pleaded guilty to trying to bribe a police officer in an unrelated incident two years ago.

Dustin Etheridge, 27, appeared at Supreme Court in St. John's on Thursday by video from a courtroom in Corner Brook.

He had originally pleaded not guilty to four charges, but has now changed his plea on two — attempting to bribe an officer with money, and a breach of probation, stemming from an incident in December 2017.

The Crown is expected to withdraw the remaining charges.

Both lawyers said they anticipate an agreed statement of facts will be presented to the court at a later date.

When Justice Carl Thompson read the charges out to the accused, Etheridge said he understands that the maximum sentence for offering money to an officer is 14 years' imprisonment, while a breach is up to four years in jail.

Charged in other cases

Etheridge is currently dealing with two other indictments. 

Jen White/CBC

In 2018, he and another man, John Squires, were charged with conspiring to murder Bradley Summers.

An extensive police investigation then led to further charges for Etheridge, related to cocaine trafficking.

As part of Operation Tarantula, four other men were also charged, and police seized seven kilograms of cocaine, about $240,000 in cash, and 20 firearms, among other items.

Thursday in court, Breen said she needs more information from the federal and provincial Crowns involved in those cases before they proceed.

The bribery matter is due back in court for an update on Oct. 11.

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