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Albertan convicted in drug bust jailed

Lauren McKeon
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 7, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A 29-year-old Alberta man charged in connection with the RCMP drug operation "Project Germane" was sentenced in court Wednesday to two years in jail.

Adrian Graves, one of three men arrested under "Project Germane," was given two years for possession for the purpose of trafficking but was credited one year for time served while in custody awaiting sentencing.

Graves, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him, has been in jail since Nov. 25, 2008, the day of his arrest.

Judge Robert Gorin told Graves it was only his early guilty plea that kept the sentence from being three years instead of two.

Gorin added the drug trade "results in devastating effects on (our) country's social fabric, in particular the social fabric of the NWT.

"Those that prey on the addictions of others must be denounced," he said.

Graves has 14 previous convictions on his criminal record, which dates back to 1997, but has a gap between February 2003 and his most recent charges in 2008. His previous convictions include arson, assault, uttering threats, possession of property obtained by crime and an earlier conviction for possession for the purpose of trafficking in 2003.

Graves was charged as part "Project Germane," RCMP G Division's investigation into the drug trade, after a search warrant was executed Nov. 24, 2008 at his Fraser Arms residence.

During the course of the search police found "various items associated with the drug trade," said Crown prosecutor Glen Boyd.

Police later located Graves and found $1,940 in "various small bills" on him, which Graves admitted was the proceeds from crime, said Boyd.

Graves' Ford Taurus was also searched. Police found 69.7 grams of crack cocaine in the centre console of the vehicle. It was packaged into 11 separate baggies and had a street value between $7,000 and $7,500, said Boyd. At the time, Graves admitted the drugs were for the purpose of trafficking, added Boyd.

Boyd's words on the effects of drug trafficking in the NWT were similar to those of Gorin: "This type of behaviour needs to be denounced."

Defence attorney Stephen Shabala told the court Graves has two daughters, ages five and seven, who live with Graves's ex-spouse in Ontario. Graves has a Grade 12 education and has spent the past couple of years living in Alberta as an oil rig worker and a roofer.

Shabala initially asked for Graves to receive two-for-one credit for time served in custody, adding Graves had a hard time while there, spending 15 consecutive weeks in 20-hour lockup and 20 days in solitary confinement. The request was denied.

"His drug days are over," said Shabala.

Asked if he had anything to say, Graves responded: "I'm sorry on behalf of wasting your time ... I'd just like to move on with my life," to which Gorin responded: "You're not wasting my time; this is my job."

Graves was also sentenced to eight months concurrent for possession of property - the $1,940 obtained by crime.