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Dealer jailed for trafficking cocaine

Emily Ridlington
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 28, 2011

IQALUIT - An Iqaluit man will serve eight and a half months in jail for trafficking cocaine and related offences.

Shaun Compton Sharp, 29, pleaded guilty to possession of 11 grams of the illegal substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime in addition to other charges.

Sharp was sentenced at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on Feb. 21 by Justice Earl Johnson.

"I accept everything I know I've done wrong, I slipped up, it will never happen again and I apologize to the community," Sharp said in court.

Crown prosecutor Susanne Boucher told the court in early September 2010, RCMP suspected Sharp of drug trafficking.

After receiving several tips they got a search warrant and went to search his residence on Sept. 15. As they were waiting to enter, Sharp was seen driving with his girlfriend. Police stopped the car and searched him.

In his jacket they found 11 grams of cocaine divided into three amounts: 6.6 grams, 3.9 grams and 0.6 grams respectively.

RCMP estimate the street value in Iqaluit of these drugs to be $3,700. They also seized $70 in cash and his cell phone.

At his residence they found $1,000 in cash, a second cell phone, elastic bands, a digital scale with white residue, bags and a receipt from Canada Post for a package sent on Sept. 14.

Police made arrangements a few days later and seized the package, which was sent from Iqaluit to Quebec. It contained two hollowed-out books with $5,000 cash inside divided equally in each book.

"There have to be meaningful consequences for cocaine trafficking in Nunavut," Boucher said on Feb. 21, adding the effects of addictive drugs can be devastating on a community.

At 11 a.m. on Feb. 13, 2011 police received a call from Sharp's girlfriend saying he was kicking at the door

of her residence.

Boucher told the court Sharp had been out drinking and was not at home abiding by his curfew of 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. previously set by a judge. He also was not supposed to have contact with his girlfriend.

Smelling of alcohol, he broke the door frame when he entered the residence and grabbed the woman by the sweater. She ended up on the ground and her brother intervened.

Sharp pleaded guilty to the assault, mischief and condition breaches.

Boucher asked for a sentence of nine months in jail plus one year of probation and for the offender to continue not to have contact with his girlfriend.

Defence lawyer Christina Lyons said Sharp moved to Canada from Guyana when he was four years old. He moved to Iqaluit in May 2007 and worked at the Frobisher Inn for two years in various positions. He also worked at the Qikiqtani General Hospital for a short time.

Lyons said Sharp was "in desperate need of money and made a very bad decision."

Lyons also said while Sharp's family is supportive, his client hopes they do not find out about his run-ins with the law.

Sharp had already been held in police custody for 14 days by the day of his sentencing.

In addition to jail time, Johnson told Sharp he was not allowed to have contact with his girlfriend, has to pay for the door at a cost of $1,950 and is under a firearms and weapons prohibition for the next 10 years.

"I hope you will live true to your name, stay sharp and will not act hollow," said Johnson.

Johnson also had other advice for Sharp in an effort to discourage him from selling drugs again.

"In a small place like this the competition will rat you out or the police will catch you."

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