People found guilty of trafficking fentanyl will now serve at least nine years behind bars.
The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the new starting point after reviewing two cases from lower courts, one of which happened in Wood Buffalo.
Patrick Felix was given a seven year sentence earlier this year for directing a ‘sophisticated fentanyl and cocaine trafficking operation in Fort McMurray.’
Back in 2015, he was arrested after over $1 million and nearly 3,000 pills of fentanyl was seized by ALERT, Alberta’s Law Enforcement Response Team.
The Crown argued the sentencing judge’s ruling was not tough enough and a minimum of nine-years should be mandatory.
However, the judge noted at the time that similar cases saw rulings between five to seven years.
In a written decision, Justice Jolaine Antonio noted Felix put many people in Wood Buffalo in danger.
“He was responsible for pouring poison into his own community and potentially others, jeopardizing the health and lives of untold numbers of end users.”
Nine years was deemed a reasonable number after a review of similar circumstances and sentences. This also matches Ontario’s starting point.
Meanwhile, Antonio also increased Felix’s sentence to ten years on each fentanyl charge and six years on each cocaine charge which will be served concurrently.