A Yorkton couple has pleaded guilty to marijuana trafficking charges.
Jillian Fedun, 22, and Zachary Villeneuve, 24, were arrested March 14 as part of a major police drug operation that resulted in 21 arrests and 88 charges laid.
Each faced an identical list of nine charges, two counts of trafficking, one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of simple possession, two counts of production and three counts of possession of the proceeds of crime.
Prior to pleas being entered, the Crown reduced the possession for the purpose of trafficking charges to simple possession.
Both pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking related to a January 4 incident in which they sold marijuana to undercover RCMP operatives.
They also entered guilty pleas on two counts of possession and one count of production stemming from the execution of an arrest warrant during which police found 4.8 grams of cannabis oil, 768 grams of marijuana and four plants in various stages of cultivation in the couple’s apartment.
The Crown issued stays of proceedings on the rest of the charges.
Federal prosecutor Shane Wagner told the Court the Crown and defence would be making a joint submission for conditional sentence.
Judge Ross Green questioned whether that was a lawful sentence considering changes to the Criminal Code regarding mandatory minimum sentences last year.
Wagner said given the defendants’ lack of record, the amounts and types of drugs involved and the fact there were no aggravating circumstances as prescribed by the new legislation, a conditional sentence was available to the court.
Defence attorney Dave Kreklewich cited mitigating circumstances that Villeneuve has suffered grave health problems and has a licence to produce medical marijuana, although not at the address where the arrest was made.
He said the couple had been evicted from their residence and were now living with their respective parents.
In her own defence, Fedun said she was doing everything in her power not to get in trouble again, but suggested the system had failed them calling their experience a “wild ride.”
Villeneuve simply said he was “a great believer in Karma.”
Following submissions, Green was not ready to sentence the pair and adjourned the hearing until after lunch.
When the Court returned to the case in the afternoon, however, Wagner asked for an adjournment saying on further examination of the statutes, he had found a potential conflict and needed a few days to sort it out with the defence.
The judge adjourned the sentencing until this Friday, July 26.