A Yellowknife man, sentenced last Thursday to nine years in prison for drug trafficking, will not have to serve any more time after being convicted of several other, less serious drug-related offences.
Todd Dube, 22, who was described by crown prosecutors in court as a ‘drug kingpin,’ was given a concurrent sentence by territorial court judge Christine Gagnon on Friday. That means Dube’s additional days in custody are not tacked on to his current nine-year sentence.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Dube was driving in a borrowed vehicle with another man in northern Alberta on a snowy Feb. 12, 2015 when he passed an RCMP officer while doing 135 kilometres an hour. Police attempted the stop Dube but called off the pursuit because of the weather conditions.
Dube eventually lost control and ditched the vehicle near High Level. Police responded to the scene, searched the vehicle and seized cocaine, marijuana and several cellphones. They also recovered $20,000 in cash from Dube’s passenger who had the money concealed in his waistband. Police also recovered five grams of cocaine that was found inside a toilet paper roll in a bathroom of a home where Dube and his passenger had gone for help after the vehicle ended up stuck in the ditch.
Dube pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and cocaine, driving while disqualified and failure to stop for police. Those convictions will appear on Dube’s criminal record despite receiving no additional prison time.
Crown prosecutor Duane Praught had argued for a six month sentence, to be added to Dube’s nine year sentence handed down the day before.
“Our position was that because all of those offences had occurred prior to the offences for which he was sentenced the day before – that it should be consecutive,” Praught. said. “We accept the court’s position however and will not be appealing it.”
Dube’s Vancouver-based lawyer David Baker said the concurrent sentence was a small victory. He had said the day before that he was considering appealing the length of the nine-year sentence.
Woman pleads guilty to fentanyl, cocaine charges
A Yellowknife woman will be back in court on Dec. 11 to set a date for a sentencing hearing after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic fentanyl and cocaine. Bonita Bohnet, 39, entered her pleas in Supreme Court in front of judge Louise Charbonneau on Monday.
She was arrested in April of 2016 as part of the RCMP’s anti-drug initiative called ‘Project Green Manalishi.’ That was the same sweep that took down Todd Dube and Norman Hache who were both described in court as the bosses of two separate illegal drug rings. Bohnet did not enter pleas to at least two other drug charges. Crown prosecutor Maren Zimmer said those charges will be likely dealt with when Bohnet is in court again.
Bohnet appeared in court with her lawyer Peter Harte, who requested a pre-sentence report be prepared prior to her December court appearance.
Courtrooms shut down after blackout
Courtrooms were plunged into darkness Monday morning due to a power outage. In Supreme Court, judge Louise Charbonneau commented that it was her understanding that there is supposed to be backup power. She had to be led from the courtroom using the flashlight on a court sheriff’s cellphone. Charbonneau’s court resumed about 10 minutes later once the power came back on. However, a trial taking place in another Supreme Court, one flight above, was adjourned for the day, minutes after the blackout.
Sue Glowach, spokesperson for the Dept. of Justice, which oversees the courthouse, stated in an email that they are aware that the emergency lighting failed in that courtroom.
“The building landlord (Northview Apartment Reit, commercial division) is currently investigating the cause and will be taking corrective action as required,” stated Glowach.
According to a NWT Power Corporation spokesperson, the cause of the outage remained under investigation as of press time.