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Cavendish woman sentenced for trafficking mother’s cancer pain medication

Harbour Grace provincial courthouse.
Harbour Grace provincial courthouse. - File photo

HARBOUR GRACE, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

Judge Bruce Short said he found it hard to image a situation more selfish than the one he dealt with Tuesday, Aug. 14, in sentencing Emily Marie Williams of Cavendish.

The 40-year-old woman received a sentence of two years plus one day for her role in the plot to sell her mother’s prescription pain medication. Short said it was very disturbing to contemplate that a woman in great pain would be denied relief through her own daughter’s actions. Williams mother was battling cancer.

“It’s beyond unfortunate,” the judge said in Harbour Grace Provincial Court.

Williams pleaded guilty to trafficking a controlled drug or substance. A single-count charge for conspiring to commit an indictable offence was conditionally withdrawn by the Crown.

According to the agreed statement of facts read in court by federal Crown prosecutor Neil Smith, a Harbour Grace RCMP officer received a tip back in the fall of 2016 suggesting Williams was selling her mother’s prescription medication— an opioid called hydromorphone.

That tip initially went nowhere, but a short while later the same officer received a note from a third party that was originally written by Lewis Sooley, the eventual co-accused in the case. The note included instructions for a drug transaction involving a person named Emily and another man.

The officer subsequently interviewed Williams’ mother, who confirmed it was her daughter who picked up the hydromorphone prescription from a local pharmacy. She received 126 one-millimetre vials of the drug each week. The officer conducting the interview confirmed the rubber seals on the vials could be punctured.

Following her arrest, Williams was co-operative with police and confessed to her crimes in a caution statement. She was receiving anywhere from $1,000-$2,700 a week for the drugs. The vials were diluted with water by another person she didn’t name, resulting in half-strength doses. The vials were returned to Williams after they were diluted. Williams told police this had gone on for over a year.

Sooley was sentenced last August to an identical two years plus one day in prison.

Williams did not have a criminal record prior to Tuesday’s conviction and sentencing. The Crown prosecutor also acknowledged that pleading guilty saved Williams’ mother from the ordeal of having to testify in a trial. He also noted a conditional sentence was not an option under the Criminal Code.

“This is a case that should attract federal time,” Smith said.

Williams did not speak in court Tuesday, but defence lawyer Michelle Elliott said her client knew she deserved to be punished and was very remorseful for what she had done.

SEE RELATED:

'Lewis Sooley sentenced as middleman in plot to traffic woman's cancer meds'

'Duo accused of conspiring to traffic hydromorphone in Cavendish'

editor@cbncompass.ca

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