Man faces sentencing on trafficking conviction

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PICTOU – A 61-year-old Stellarton man who pleaded guilty to a trafficking charge has been remanded into custody while he awaits his sentencing. 

Following a statement of facts in the case, Robert Thomas MacPherson was led out of the Pictou Provincial Courtroom by sheriffs Thursday until his next appearance on March 26.

MacPherson is charged with possessing hydromophone for the purpose of trafficking and possession of unstamped tobacco.

He was arrested on April 10, 2013, after the Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit obtained a search warrant after watching his home and seeing him pass a package to a driver of vehicle in exchange for some money.

Police officers searched his Stellarton home and found more than $1,700 in cash, many open and filled hydromophone capsules, filled syringes, a digital scale and 81 unstamped tobacco products.

Crown attorney Bronwyn Duffy said MacPherson was a welder by trade but hasn’t worked in many years because of chronic back pain caused by a car accident.

She said he admits he is addicted to pain medication and has no intention of not taking the pills.

She recommended Atwood consider a one-year jail sentence in addition to a $500 fine for possession of the unstamped tobacco.

Defence lawyer Stephen Robertson said client knew that jail time was a possibility, but he has made a choice that will keep him mobile.

“He says he can not do the pills and be bedridden, or take the pills and achieve some level of functionality.” 

Atwood said abuse of prescription drug medication is a “substantial public safety concern” and a sentence should reflect that, so he asked for more time to consider his decision. 

Organizations: Pictou Provincial Courtroom, Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit

Geographic location: Stellarton

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