A St. Albert cocaine dealer who was caught in the act by RCMP will spend the next 30 months in a federal penitentiary.
Michael Royal Dickson, 31, pleaded guilty last month to drug trafficking and obstructing police. On Monday, he was handed a 26-month sentence for trafficking and four months for attempting to destroy evidence.
Federal Crown prosecutor Kevin Short told the court on Oct. 29 that Dickson sold an undercover police officer soft cocaine on two occasions in the summer of 2011.
Dickson was placed under police surveillance following the first sale on July 10 and was seen conducting several drug deals in the days that followed, Short said.
When a marked cruiser pulled over Dickson’s 2002 Ford Explorer on July 11, Dickson began swallowing bags of soft cocaine — a practice that can be fatal.
At the time, Dickson denied the allegation and refused care from paramedics.
St. Albert RCMP took him back to the detachment to perform a strip search, where they found 10 spitballs hidden in his underwear.
Roughly one hour after being apprehended, Dickson confessed to police that he had swallowed a number of spitballs. He subsequently received medical attention.
In total, Dickson was found in possession of 19 spitballs or 13-14 grams of cocaine, two cellphones, two knives, a baseball bat and $491 in cash.
“The accused was not involved in a crime of opportunity,” said Judge Bruce Garriock. “This was commercial trafficking.”
He said while Dickson’s guilty plea and relatively positive pre-sentence report were mitigating factors, they did not override the aggravating factors, which include being uncooperative with police and paramedics and being motivated by greed.
Short was seeking a 30-month prison sentence while Dickson’s lawyer George Isshak thought a two-year conditional sentence order was sufficient.
Dickson was calm as Garriock read his decision and cooperated as a court sheriff escorted him from St. Albert Provincial Court. His parents were present in court and showed little reaction as the judge read his decision.
Dickson was also handed a mandatory 10-year weapon prohibition.
Short withdrew three additional charges for possession of stolen property, possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance on Oct. 29.