Local drug dealer to be sentenced in summer
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Friday, Mar 08, 2013 05:15 pm
A local drug dealer pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of a drug that was found to contain a substance linked to the death of eight Albertans.
Sentencing is expected this summer.
James Douglas Hardy, 22, was first charged in St. Albert provincial court on Feb. 25, 2012 with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Crown prosecutor Kevin Short told Judge Norman Mackie on Thursday that Hardy was arrested as the result of an undercover operation.
On Feb. 9, a police officer met Hardy at his home at 18 Morgan Cres. Previously, the agent had set up a meeting by phone, where Hardy identified himself by his first name.
At the meeting, Hardy got into the agent’s car and sold him marijuana and ecstasy, further giving instructions on the use of the drugs.
He was arrested on Feb. 24 at an Edmonton nightclub.
Short said testing of the drugs by Health Canada showed that the ecstasy was laced with a contaminant called para-Methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).
At the time, PMMA had been linked to eight deaths in Alberta, one of them in the Morinville area.
“There is no evidence that he knew the drugs were contaminated,” Short said.
Short said he wanted to get more expert information on the effects of PMMA before the sentencing.
He told Judge Mackie that he would probably hear that PMMA is known to interact with the ecstasy, delaying the high and making people take more of the drug.
This can cause a rise in body temperature, which can lead to serious medical conditions and possible death.
“The dispute is to decide what effect on the sentence it has that this was laced with PMMA,” he said.
A pre-sentence report is to be filed by May 6. The same day, court will set a date for sentencing.