Provincial court judge Orr says P.E.I. has significant drug problem

Published on August 8, 2014

Prince Edward Island provincial court

©Guardian photo

A 53-year-old Charlottetown man who was arrested as part of the Operation Clean Sweep drug raids earlier this year was sentenced Friday to 12 months in jail for drug trafficking.

John Michael Bowlan was charged after he sold Percocet to an agent of the police.

Percocet contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Oxycodone is a powerful opiate usually prescribed for moderate to severe pain.

The court was told Bowlan is remorseful for his actions and is embarrassed by what he’s done.

Speaking through defence counsel the accused indicated he plans to make positive lifestyle changes and disassociate himself from the people he was hanging around with when he committed this offence.

Bowlan was one of almost 40 people charged with drug offences as part of Operation Clean Sweep.

He has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for drug related offences.

In passing sentence Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr spoke to the significant impact schedule 1 drugs like Oxycodone are having on the lives of many people in the community.

Those who engage in the illegal use of these drugs will do virtually anything to get them, she indicated.

As a result, many innocent people are victimized by having their homes broken into, having their property stolen, having their lives turned upside down by people seeking money to buy drugs or pay for drugs they’ve obtained on credit from their drug dealers.

Orr said an incredible number of people in this jurisdiction are misusing prescription drugs they do not have the right to possess.

“We have a very significant drug problem.”

Orr said courts across the country are united in their belief that those who engage in the sale of schedule 1 drugs like this are spreading misery through their communities and should expect a significant jail sentence upon conviction.

The primary considerations in passing sentence in cases like this must be denunciation and deterrence, she said.

Upon completion of the custodial portion of his sentence, Bowlan will be placed on probation for 18 months.

While on probation he must undergo assessment, counselling and treatment, if required, for the use of alcohol or drugs or any other underlying issue which may have contributed to the commission of this offence.