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Men who played minor roles in drug delivery get jail time

Frederick Charles Walsh at provincial court in St. John's Wednesday.
Frederick Charles Walsh at provincial court in St. John's Wednesday. - Rosie Mullaley

Two men who played minor, but necessary, roles in a drug delivery were given jail time Wednesday in provincial court in St. John's.

Frederick Charles Walsh, 46, was sentenced to two years plus a day, while Dustin Forbes, 32, received an 18-month term from Judge Jim Walsh. Both had been convicted of three counts of possessing drugs — cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana - for the purpose of trafficking.

Dustin Forbes at provincial court in St. John's Wednesday.
Dustin Forbes at provincial court in St. John's Wednesday.

The men were charged in June 2015 after police conducted a controlled delivery of the box of drugs, containing nine pounds of marijuana, just over a pound of cocaine and 250 Percocet tablets.

Having intercepted the package, which was addressed to Walsh at his home address in Conception Bay South, and removed the drugs, police, disguised as delivery employees, delivered a dummy package to Walsh, who signed for it. Forbes arrived at the home shortly after and picked up the box. Police arrested him as he was leaving with it in the trunk of his vehicle.

Walsh told police he had agreed to accept the package at his address, but didn't know there were drugs inside. He said he was told the package contained high-performance computer chips and that he shouldn't open the package because he could damage them.

"I mustn’t have been the sharpest tool," he told police after his arrest.
Walsh also told officers he didn’t know Forbes, with whom he first had contact when Forbes called to say he was on his way to pick up the parcel.
Both men said they had been offered money to do what they did.

Crown prosecutor Brenda Boyd said the men should each be given a 3 1/2-year jail term. Walsh's lawyer, Erin Breen, recommended her client be sentenced to two years plus a day, while Jeff Brace, representing Forbes, said six months behind bars was appropriate for his client.

Judge Jim Walsh said 3 1/2 years was "excessive and unjustified, since (the men) were at the lowest end of the distribution scale." He agreed to Breen's suggestion of two years plus a day for Walsh, but said six months for Forbes was not enough and, instead, imposed an 18-month term.

He said Forbes is a youthful first-offender who showed remorse for what he did and was deemed a "very low risk to reoffend," while Walsh, who has a lengthier but unrelated criminal record, helped police by giving police the names of "Mr. X and Mr. Y," the bigger players in the operation.

Rosie.mullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelyRosie

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