Jordan Matthew Boucher was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking.
Boucher was arrested on Aug. 19, 2015 after weeks of RCMP surveillance lead to the police witnessing Boucher passing something to another man in the parking lot of a convenience store.
According to Judge Ted Gouge’s reasons for judgment document, during the search of Boucher’s person and his vehicle, the police found five grams of cocaine and two grams of heroine divided into 25 “spit balls” as well as three cell phones, $180 in cash, a knife and a can of bear spray.
Though accused by the Crown of engaging in a dial-a-dope operation, Boucher admitted only to possessing heroin and cocaine for trafficking on Aug. 19, 2015, and nothing else.
Ian McFadgen, crown counsel, suggested that Gouge could infer from the presence of cell phones and messages on the cell phones that Boucher was engaged in a dial-a-dope operation, and that from the weapons, drugs and cash found in the vehicle that this was not Boucher’s first day as a drug trafficker.
However, Gouge said that there is no evidence of any connection between Boucher and any of the cell phones and the text messages were not presented as evidence.
“In the absence of evidence, I cannot conclude that the inferences suggested by Mr. McFagden have been established beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Gouge also took into consideration Boucher’s personal circumstances as well as his incident-free 27 months of bail.
Boucher became addicted to heroin, cocaine and fentanyl as a teenager, Gouge said.
“He says that he began trafficking drugs to feed his own addiction, and that the proceeds of his sales were sufficient only to purchase the drugs which he consumed.”
Gouge included a report from Boucher’s doctor and counsellor in his reasons for decision document indicating that Boucher has been receiving counselling for mental health issues as well as addiction and has been making progress with his addiction by taking a methadone dose on a daily basis.
“Mr. Boucher’s efforts at self-rehabilitation are commendable and, given his history, probably represent the best he can do,” Gouge said.
Boucher’s new employer also said that Boucher is a consistent and reliable employee and that he will be gainfully employed for as long as he chooses to be, Gouge said.
Gouge passed down his decision on Jan. 28 a the Campbell River Courthouse.
During his three years probation, Boucher must keep the peace, report to his probation officer, not possess or consume any controlled substance, attend counselling as directed by his probation officer and work full time.