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3.5-year sentence for man busted with coke, sawed-off shotgun

A Montreal-born man busted with guns and drugs during police raids last year was handed a hefty prison sentence in NWT territorial court Friday.

Mamadou Gueye, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a substance for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possessing a prohibited firearm and one count of failing to comply with recognizance conditions.

In August 2017, the court heard, RCMP G Division’s federal investigation unit launched an investigation into cocaine trafficking in the city of Yellowknife. Mounties began monitoring several people, including Gueye, who lived at a Gitzel Street residence.

After monitoring the home and its residents, RCMP took action on Sept. 8, 2017, executing a search warrant. Inside the home, police seized digital scales and cell phones, items police associate with drug trafficking activity.

A safe located in a bedroom yielded 24 individually wrapped “spitballs” of cocaine, amounting to 9.4 grams in total.

The safe also contained $2,795 in cash.

A total of seven people were arrested during the raid, but only Gueye and another accused, 27-year-old Farhan Hussein, were prosecuted. On June 11, Hussein was sentenced to 10-months in custody after being convicted on one count of trafficking a substance.

After recovering a receipt for a rental unit inside the home, Mounties executed a second search warrant at a storage unit located in the city.

Inside the unit, officers found four firearms, including a 16 gauge shotgun that had been sawed off, making it a prohibited weapon. Other seized guns included a Remington model 870 pump action 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 semi-automatic rifle.

Along with three 12 gauge shotgun shells and two 16 gauge shotgun shells, Gueye’s fingerprints were also located at the scene.

The Crown and Gueye’s lawyer presented a joint submission, asking the court to consider a 42-month sentence, or   three and a half years behind bars.

Crown prosecutor Brendan Green emphasized  the “very serious” combination of guns and drugs, but Gueye’s lawyer said her client accepts responsibility for his actions.

Defence noted Gueye didn’t have a significant criminal record, admitting this sentence would be a “massive jump,” from previous sentences.

Before handing down his decision, Judge Robert  Gorin addressed Gueye.

“The effect that hard drugs have on fabric of society are well known. It can be particularly disastrous in the North,” said Gorin.

For Gueye’s trafficking conviction, he was sentenced to 18 months, earning another 24 months for possessing the prohibited firearm. Gorin handed Gueye a one day concurrent jail sentence for his breach conviction. All together, he received the suggested 3.5-year sentence.

“You should be able to put this behind you, but it may take work,” concluded Gorin.

Gueye, who has been in custody since his arrest in September, received 438 days credit for time already served, meaning he’ll serve 21 more months behind bars.