Woman arrested in Operation Clean Sweep jailed for drug trafficking

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Operation clean sweep

A 22-year-old Charlottetown woman was sentenced Wednesday in provincial court to serve eight months in the provincial correctional centre for trafficking in hydromorphone.

Krystal May Ripley sold a dozen hydromorphone pills to an agent of the police for $300.

Ripley was one of approximately 40 people charged earlier this year as part of Operation Clean Sweep, a major undercover drug operation that resulted in the seizure of more than $400,000 worth of illegal drugs.

Upon release from jail she will be placed on probation for two years.

While on probation she must undergo assessment, counselling and treatment, if required, for the use of alcohol or drugs or any other underlying issue that may have contributed to the commission of these offences.

She must pay a $100 victims of crime surcharge and is required to perform 50 hours of community service work.

In passing sentence, Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr referred to a decision by Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Taylor in which he described those who traffic in drugs as being among the worst offenders who come before the courts of this province.

She reiterated a section of that decision in which Taylor expressed the belief that drug traffickers steal the lives of those they sell drugs to, leaving behind just the shells of the people they used to be.

The nature of the drug which Ripley sold was also addressed by the court.

Hydromorphone, Orr noted, is 2.66 times stronger than heroin, making it an extremely potent drug.

The seriousness of trafficking in a schedule one drug like hydromorphone is reflected in the maximum penalty available under law which is life in prison.

Orr spoke to the serious impact the sale of illegal drugs has on the people of this province, noting there is nothing some people won’t do to get the money they need to either buy drugs or pay for drugs they’ve gotten on credit from their drug dealer.

Innocent members of the public pay a huge price for this.

“Homes are broken into. Cars are stolen...They steal from relatives and friends,” said the judge.

Ripley is now subject to a weapons prohibition. She must also provide a sample of her DNA to the national DNA databank.

Two other people charged as part of Operation Clean Sweep were slated to be sentenced Wednesday.

Anthony Patrick Shea, 47, was to have been sentenced for trafficking in hydromorphone but failed to appear for his sentence hearing.

Daniel Ivan Gallant, age 38, was to have been sentenced for trafficking in cocaine but arrived for his sentence hearing under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Orr remanded Gallant in custody until early next week and will sentence him then.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • wake up!
    August 28, 2014 - 19:48

    To Legal Beagle.....give your head a shake.!.....Sleepy Hollow is not free of drugs......this girl will not be "rehabilitated from drugs in there" Drug addiction is an illness that these people need help with.....same as any other illness, e.g. cancer, parkinsons, ms, etc.........granted it was brought on by their own fault....but so is lung cancer from smoking and people don't go to jail for that.......jail is not the place to make these people well....they need treatment which in PEI is sadly lacking. Drug addicts are considered the dregs of society and although I do not agree with the taking or selling of drugs.....this will not cure the problem. They need help ! Until the Island invests some money similar to what they do for other illnesses (heart/stroke, cancer, parkinsons, etc.) it will continue. Spend taxpayers money locking them up and give them no realistic treatment services and things will continue on.....just different names broadcast.....

  • Makes-no-sense
    August 28, 2014 - 14:59

    So legal-beagle, the right way to do things is to let families suffer, let tax payers pay and pay for policing, jailing, foster-care of children taken from addicts, massive costs to health care, and allow businesses and home owners to endure crime, instead of fixing the problem? Yep, makes sense. You must work for the provincial government.

  • my opinion
    August 28, 2014 - 13:20

    not sure what the courts expect to achieve with these short sentences. It is obvious that these druggies have no respect for the law as they either don't show up or arrive all snapped up on drugs at the court house. They really don't give a damn about the laws and sending them away for a few months is just costing the tax payers. A real good sentence would be to make them leave the island and not come back. Let them loose their family ties and homes and property then maybe they would learn a good lesson. Tougher on crime is the way to go and getting rid of the riff-raff is the only answer.

  • Parent
    August 28, 2014 - 12:51

    What has the provincial government done to address the problem of opiate addiction? What about the many studies? The hiring of a Chief Addictions Officer? These people are selling drugs to support their addiction. Anyone can see that ending the addiction is the first step to ending this problem and way, way cheaper in the long run.

  • Parent
    August 28, 2014 - 12:50

    What has the provincial government done to address the problem of opiate addiction? What about the many studies? The hiring of a Chief Addictions Officer? These people are selling drugs to support their addiction. Anyone can see that ending the addiction is the first step to ending this problem and way, way cheaper in the long run.

    • leagle beagle
      August 28, 2014 - 14:01

      well, one thing that the gov't obviously did (via the police) was Operation Cleansweep... ie: get the darn dealers behind bars where they belong. IF this gal has an addiction like you say, then she will dry out in jail, and she will have access to all kinds of court ordered addictions counselling and support. Just what you said that she needs. Every story has a happy ending.