Another convicted drug trafficker sent to prison

A B.C. man is the latest convicted trafficker to be sentenced to federal prison for his part in bringing large amounts of drugs into the territory.

A B.C. man is the latest convicted trafficker to be sentenced to federal prison for his part in bringing large amounts of drugs into the territory.

Matthew Truesdale was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison yesterday in Yukon territorial court.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty last year to one count of cocaine trafficking.

With credit for the time he has already served, Truesdale has two years and 10 months left in his sentence.

Truesdale was part of a group of men arrested in November 2013 following an RCMP investigation dubbed Project Monolith.

With the help of a former drug dealer turned police informant, Yukon RCMP said the investigation, which lasted more than six months, was one of the most significant organized crime investigations in the territory to date.

As part of that investigation Truesdale was seen giving the police agent nearly 1.75 kilograms of cocaine, prosecutor Eric Marcoux told the court.

In earlier hearings involving the Monolith case the wholesale value of cocaine has been pegged at $75,000 a kilogram.

Earlier this month Jesse Ritchie, also from B.C., was sentenced to five years and seven months in prison for his role in the trafficking ring.

Marcoux said Ritchie was higher up in the hierarchy of the organization than Truesdale.

A third man, Kuntoniah Graham, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison earlier this year. In that case his fingerprints were found on a bag wrapped around a kilogram of cocaine.

A fourth man, Asif Aslam, was supposed to be sentenced yesterday as well but his hearing was pushed back to next month because his lawyer had a scheduling conflict.

Truesdale’s sentence was recommended to the court by both lawyers. Judge John Faulkner found that it was within the range for these types of crimes.

Marcoux pointed out that by pleading guilty Truesdale was saving the court from an expensive trial that was scheduled to last six weeks.

Truesdale’s lawyer, Doug Jevning, said his client plans to use his time in prison to complete the course he needs to finish his GED.

Jevning gave several letters of support to the court written by Truesdale’s friends and his employer in B.C.

He said Truesdale has left behind his former life and has been working on rehabilitating himself. His is employed, will have work waiting for him when he is released from prison and has been telling friends and family how remorseful he is, Jevning said.

Faulkner said Truesdale had made more than “poor choices” to land himself where he is today. The judge called the “corrosive effects of drug abuse” a serious problem that faces society.

Along with his prison sentence, Truesdale will be banned from owning a firearm for 10 years after his release.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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