A Minnow Lake father of 11 who described himself as ?the oil king? for his ability to peddle hash oil was given a 26-month sentence in a federal penitentiary Wednesday.
Despite pleading for leniency before sentence was passed, Barrington Pitters, 49, was sentenced to the penitentiary term after police raided his home and found large quantities of drugs, including a huge stash of cannabis resin on Dec. 11, 2002.
If he doesn?t get in trouble inside the penitentiary, Pitters will likely be eligible for parole within six to nine months.
Police seized containers filled with cannabis resin inside and outside Pitters? residence during a raid. One large container of hash oil was found inside the bumper of a truck in his driveway.
The total amount of cannabis resin found was just under 1,000 grams or more than 35 ounces. Police also found another 16 grams of marijuana and a large amount of drug paraphenalia.
Justice William Fitzgerald said anyone who operates a large-scale commercial drug operation out of their home can expect no less than a penitentiary term.
Court heard Pitters had only two previous criminal convictions, both for possession of cannabis, but had graduated to dealing drugs from his home.
Federal Crown prosecutor Robert Topp said, ?This time he?s managed to hit the big time,? and told the court Pitters often described himself as ?the oil king? to people he dealt cannabis resin to.
?This was absolutely commercial trafficking for profit,? said Topp. ?It was also done from home where he was raising his children.?
Considering the large amount of drugs seized and the fact Pitters has previous drug convictions, Topp has asked Fitzgerald to impose a sentence in the range of 30 months.
?The court must send a message to Barrington Pitters and other drug traffickers...that you can?t come to court with 10,000 reasons why they
shouldn?t go to jail...when you operate a large-scale commercial drug operation,? said Topp.
?The message must be...that you will be dealt with firmly...the time has come for Mr. Pitters and others like him to reap the consequences.?
Defence counsel Craig Fleming said Pitters, who emigrated to Canada from Jamaica many years ago, is the father of nine children and two stepchildren and has always been a loving and respected father.
?He?s very close to his kids...they?re a very close family,? said Fleming.
Since his arrest, Pitters has stayed out of trouble and started his own small business doing home repairs and renovations.
If the court is going to send him to jail, a penitentiary term would be preferable as there are programs available, said Fleming, who asked the court to impose a jail sentence of two years.
Before sentence was passed, Pitters read from a statement and told the court ?I?m not a violent man and I know I made many mistakes.?
Pitters? wife briefly addressed the court and said she knows her husband has done wrong, but it will be very difficult for her to raise their children alone. If the court must impose a jail sentence, she urged it to be as short as possible.
Fitzgerald said under all the circumstances, a conditional sentence was ?clearly not appropriate? and imposed the 26-month sentence.