Pusher gets 12 months in jail
Drug dealer haunted by killing

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 21/97) - Taking part in selling $25,000 worth of drugs cost a visitor to the city far more than he bargained for.

Not only did Bryan Howard Simmonds' arrest four days before last Christmas hurt his family, he may end up being detained in a medical institution once he is released from a 12-month sentence for trafficking in narcotics handed down in the NWT Supreme Court last Friday.

Simmonds, 42, was free on an Alberta lieutenant governor's warrant for an Edmonton killing he was charged with but was acquitted of in 1975 by reason of insanity.

He could well be scooped up by authorities once his present sentence is served and returned to an institution, court heard during preliminary hearings.

One of the conditions of Simmonds' freedom, in addition to taking his medication for schizophrenia, is to refrain from using "street" drugs.

Upon his arrest, he asked police to take a urine sample for drug testing which indicated he was free of illegal drugs.

This prompted Justice John Vertes to comment Friday that Simmonds had been responsible enough not to take drugs but not responsible enough to not sell them to somebody else.

Defence lawyer Robert Gorin said Simmonds planned a trip here to visit his wife's family. A friend asked to come with him to look for work and it was he who Simmonds said brought the drugs.

The Crown said that six Mounties, using a warrant, searched an apartment where they found several young children sleeping upstairs and six adults.

Simmonds led a constable upstairs and gave him a duffle bag belonging to the friend. The bag was found to contain 1,708 grams of various size packets of marijuana worth $22,900 and 102 grams of prepackaged one-gram allotments of hashish worth $2,400.

He told the Mountie he was on pension and had a hard time making ends meet.

The judge noted that since Simmonds' arrest, his wife has been unable to cope and their three children have been taken into alternate care.

Those problems were caused by Simmonds' thoughtlessness, Vertes said.

Simmonds told court: "I'm sorry for the problems I've caused my family and the people of Yellowknife."