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Marystown man sentenced for cocaine possession

Grand Bank courthouse
Grand Bank courthouse

GRAND BANK, NL – A 37-year-old man from Marystown has been sentenced to two years in custody following trial in Grand Bank provincial court.

Dennis Brake was convicted of possession of a kilogram of cocaine for the purposes of trafficking, Judge Harold Porter wrote in his sentencing decision issued on Monday.

Brake was charged in June 2016 after a police investigation into another person led officers from the RCMP’s Burin detachment, as well as a surveillance team, to the parking lot of the Irving Big Stop in Goobies. They had been following a vehicle when it entered the parking lot. A short time later, Brake was seen getting into the driver’s side of the vehicle. Another man was seen exiting the vehicle, going to the trunk of the car, and then returning.

The vehicle was then driven and parked behind some tractor trailers in the area. The lower portion of the vehicle could still be seen by the officers.

According to information filed with the courts, officers saw the other man’s legs as he got out of the car and walked to the rear. The trunk opened and closed, and the man returned to the driver’s seat. Then the car moved ahead and turned left, then came back to the passenger vehicle parking area, but not to the original position.

When officers stopped the car, the accused was still on the passenger side of the vehicle. A plastic bag containing what was described as a brick of cocaine was discovered in the foot well on the passenger side.

“It is unclear from the evidence whether (the other man) and the accused were equal partners in the cocaine trafficking, or whether one was a courier for the other,” Porter stated in his decision.

“It appears from the circumstances of (Brake’s) meeting with (the other man) at Goobies that he was to take the kilo of cocaine from (the other man) and bring it somewhere else. If true, then (Brake) may have been a courier… Otherwise, he and (the other man) may have been partners, or (the other man) may have been working as a courier for him.”

Referring to past case law, Porter added, “The distinction may not be very important. Absent some evidence to distinguish one from the other, the better course to take is to treat them as equal parties to the offence.”

Brake was sentenced to two years in custody, followed by a two-year probationary period.

He must also pay a victim surcharge fee of $200 and have no contact with the other man. He is also subject to a lifetime firearm ban, a DNA order and forfeiture of the drugs and cell phone seized by police.  

The other man is also facing charges in connection with the bust and will go to trial at a future date.

colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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