A woman has been sentenced to five years for a slate of drug charges dating back to 2019.
Mandy Russell appeared via closed circuit television from detention in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, October 21. She entered a number of guilty pleas relating to drug possession.
The court heard in February of 2019, the Southern Alberta Crime Reduction Unit (SACRU) began an investigation into drug distribution and conducted surveillance on a home in Linden.
On June 27, the SACRU, with officers from the Beiseker and Drumheller RCMP Detachments, executed a search warrant at a Linden home. They seized 35.8 grams of cocaine, 49 grams of fentanyl, 14.2 grams of methamphetamine and 420 ml of GHB. She and her husband, Jason Lock, were arrested and charged. Russell pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine for the purposes of trafficking.
On September 30, 2020, SACRU, entered into a trafficking investigation and conducted surveillance. They noted Russell leaving a residence in Linden, travelling to Nacmine where she stopped briefly, and then travelling to Rosedale.
A traffic stop was conducted in Rosedale, and she was found to be in possession of 5.2 grams of cocaine, 28.8 grams of fentanyl, 20 grams of methamphetamine and 11grams of MDMA(Ecstasy). She pleaded guilty to possession of fentanyl for the purposes of trafficking.
In March of 2022, the SACRU was undertaking an investigation of drug trafficking and was again conducting surveillance. On July 4, Russell was observed in her vehicle being driven in an unsafe manner. With assistance from Strathmore RCMP, a traffic stop was conducted, and police seized 24 grams of fentanyl and 21.5 grams of methamphetamine during the investigation. There was also drug paraphernalia and scoresheets in her possession.
She pleaded guilty to possession for the purposes of trafficking
Defence and the Federal prosecutor offered a joint submission for a global sentence of 5 years, noting there were some triable issues. Defence for Russell, Hugh Sommerville, said Russell, 40, has been a victim of the drug crisis and has been fighting addiction most of her life. Her related record dates back to 2006-2007, with a long break before she found herself selling drugs to support her family and her own habit.
She was given credit for pre-trial custody and has four years and two months remaining to serve.
Charges against Lock were withdrawn.