R. v. Ma (H.), (2003) 330 A.R. 142 (CA)

Court:Court of Appeal (Alberta)
Case Date:May 26, 2003
Jurisdiction:Alberta
Citations:(2003), 330 A.R. 142 (CA);2003 ABCA 220;177 CCC (3d) 535;330 AR 142;23 Alta LR (4th) 14
 
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R. v. Ma (H.) (2003), 330 A.R. 142 (CA);

    299 W.A.C. 142

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Temp. Cite: [2003] A.R. TBEd. AU.026

Her Majesty the Queen (appellant) v. Hau Ma (respondent)

(0301-0064-A; 2003 ABCA 220)

Indexed As: R. v. Ma (H.)

Alberta Court of Appeal

Wittmann, J.A., Perras and McIntyre, JJ.(ad hoc)

July 15, 2003.

Summary:

The accused pleaded guilty to pos­session of cocaine for the purpose of traf­ficking. The sentencing judge imposed a conditional sentence of two years less a day. The Crown appealed.

The Alberta Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and substituted a sentence of three years' imprisonment.

Criminal Law - Topic 5850

Sentence - Trafficking in a narcotic - Possession for the purpose of trafficking - The accused, aged 19, was a courier in a wholesale commercial trafficking operation - When he was stopped he had 238.2 grams of crack cocaine valued at $23,823 and $985 in his pocket - The accused pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking - The accused had no prior convictions - His family and his employer were supportive - The Alberta Court of Appeal held that an ap­propriate sentence was three years' impris­onment - The court noted that crack cocaine was an extremely addictive and costly drug usually leading to crime and prostitution - The accused was a integral and critical part of the drug operation - He was a "middle man" - His motivation was greed - The fact that the accused chose not to be paid a lot of money for his services was not a miti­gating factor; it only meant that the oper­ation head's profits were higher.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Trinh (C.G.) (2000), 266 A.R. 180; 228 W.A.C. 180 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Maskill (1981), 29 A.R. 107; 58 C.C.C.(2d) 408 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Maskell - see R. v. Maskill.

R. v. Bengert et al. (No. 4) (1979), 52 C.C.C.(2d) 100 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 5].

R. v. Ostertag (T.K.) (2000), 266 A.R. 57; 228 W.A.C. 57 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 8].

R. v. Rahime (S.) et al. (2001), 286 A.R. 377; 253 W.A.C. 377 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Henderson (J.D.) (2002), 313 A.R. 182 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Honish and Lafrance (1989), 100 A.R. 79 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 13].

R. v. Proulx (J.K.D.), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61; 249 N.R. 201; 142 Man.R.(2d) 161; 212 W.A.C. 161; 140 C.C.C.(3d) 449, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. La (P.K.) (2003), 338 A.R. 39 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. McClelland (R.W.) (2001), 281 A.R. 378; 248 W.A.C. 378 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Skani, [2002] A.J. No. 1579 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Brown, [2002] A.J. No. 1479 (Prov. Ct.), refd to. [para. 19].

Counsel:

Robert A. Sigurdson, for the appellant;

Alias Sanders, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 26, 2003, by Wittmann, J.A., Perras and McIntyre, JJ.(ad hoc), of the Alberta Court of Appeal. The court delivered the following memoran­dum of judgment on July 15, 2003.

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