More guilty pleas entered in Operation Clean Sweep drug investigation

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 7, 2014
Operation Clean Sweep

Another two people have entered guilty pleas after their arrests in recent drug busts the Charlottetown police are calling Operation Clean Sweep.

Laurie Joseph Doucette, 58, and Lloyd Wilfred Ellis, 36, appeared before provincial court Judge Nancy Orr Friday morning to enter guilty pleas after the two were scheduled for show cause hearings to determine if they should be kept in custody.

Both have been in custody since their arrest on Jan. 30 when they were picked up as part of the largest operation in the Charlottetown police force’s history.

Doucette pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine and possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The Crown stayed three other charges against him.

Ellis pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking cocaine and hydromorphone, and one count of possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.

The Crown stayed two charges against him.

Both men were released under several conditions, including that they must stay in P.E.I. and they must report to the police every week.

Their next court date is scheduled for Feb. 26 at which time a date will be set for sentencing.

The Crown and defence will be filing agreed statements of the facts in the cases by Feb. 21.

Both men made brief appearances before a justice of the peace Monday for show cause hearings, but asked for adjournments at that time.

Doucette’s release seemed to be a relief for a young woman who was in the courtroom for both of his recent appearances and cried throughout the proceedings both times.

After hearing he would be released, the woman whispered to him from her seat in the gallery.

“Glad you’re coming home,” she said.

She also tried to kiss him on his way out of the courtroom while he was still in handcuffs, but a sheriff stopped them.

Earlier this week, Steven Wallace Frizzell, 40, was the first of the people arrested in Operation Clean Sweep to enter a guilty plea.

Doucette and Ellis bring the number of guilty pleas entered in the case to three.

Charlottetown police arrested about 40 people on Jan. 30 as part of an investigation that saw more than $400,000 in drugs seized.

Most of the accused are scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 26 while the rest will appear March 3.

 

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross