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.