Stating cocaine “destroys lives and makes communities unsafe,” a judge sided with the Crown and sentenced a drug-dealing grandmother to jail for eight months.
Supreme Court Justice Karan Shaner also dismissed Serenus Charlene Bryan’s pleas for leniency due to chronic health problems and her own opioid addiction.
“This is the justice system, not the healthcare system,” Shaner said, as Bryan rested her head in her hands. “Those who sell cocaine here must know it is a crime … and will be prosecuted.”
The 52-year-old grandmother – whose criminal record includes convictions for trafficking, fraud and theft – had asked for her time spent on bail under several conditions, including a nightly curfew, to count partially against a desired six-month sentence.
That would result in her spending no time in jail, her time effectively already being served.
Shaner dismissed that position, stating the bail conditions imposed were not any harsher than imposed on others awaiting trial.
At a sentencing hearing last month, the Crown called for Bryan to spend eight months behind bars and be placed on probation for one year.
That is exactly what Bryan received on Tuesday, with Shaner calling her a “small-scale, low-level” dealer.
At the January 10 sentencing hearing, Bryan admitted she had a decades-long drug habit – both cocaine and prescription opiates – and said she hopes to attend an extended residential treatment program.
“It hasn’t always been this way,” she said at the time. “I didn’t even start using drugs until I was 25 years old.
“It has cost me so much in my life … my family … I still believe I have a lot to offer and want to be there for my grandchildren.”
Bryan was among more than a dozen people arrested in 2016 following an RCMP operation named Green Manalishi.
Evidence at Bryan’s jury trial in November included a wiretap that allowed RCMP to listen in on drug kingpin Todd Dube and others.
Ontario resident Dube, 22, was sentenced in the fall of 2017 to nine years for conspiring to traffic in cocaine, fentanyl, ecstasy, and other drugs.
At her trial, police alleged Bryan was purchasing drugs with the goal of settling a drug debt of her own with Dube.
Bryan hugged a loved one on Tuesday before being taken to the courthouse cells by a Sheriff’s officer.