June 13th, 2024

B.C. woman found guilty on two counts of possession for purpose to sell

By Peggy Revell on June 13, 2018.


A B.C. woman caught by Medicine Hat police in the midst of transporting marijuana and cocaine to Saskatchewan was found guilty Tuesday on two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Although Judge Eric Brooks stated he believed the accused’s testimony that she didn’t know there was cocaine with the marijuana, as both substances are illegal he made the finding of guilt on both trafficking charges.

Sentencing has been adjourned to Sept. 6, as defence counsel for Allison Stewart of Surrey, B.C. prepares arguments that — like in some other similar cases — the court should stay one of the charges for sentencing.

The trial for Stewart began in August 2017, and wrapped up on April 19, 2018. Two expert witnesses were called, while Stewart also took to the stand.

According to the facts — which Brooks noted were not disputed by either side — Medicine Hat police observed a vehicle from B.C. travelling “significantly below” the speed limit on the Trans-Canada Highway on Oct. 27, 2016.

While conducting a traffic stop, the officer detected a strong smell of unburned marijuana.

Stewart, who was 28 at the time and the sole occupant of the car, told the officer she had a medical marijuana licence.

A police search of the vehicle found 80 pounds in heat-sealed half-pound packages of marijuana, and a heat-sealed package of cocaine weighing approximately a kilogram. A press release from the time of the arrest said the total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $340,000.

Stewart testified she bought and sold horses throughout Western Canada, and had on two previous occasions transported marijuana from B.C. eastward for another individual. The first time it was 30 pounds, the second time, 50.

Judge Brooks found Stewart not guilty on the charge of possessing proceeds of crime, saying he believed her testimony that cash found in the vehicle was from her job, not transporting drugs.

Stewart has been on release and living in B.C. since her arrest.

The sentencing on Sept. 6 will take place at the Lethbridge Provincial Courthouse, due to scheduling availability of the Judge, Crown and defence.

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