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Plot to land in jail backfires

Tried to smuggle drugs into Milner Ridge

A Winnipeg man admits he deliberately got himself arrested -- then demanded to be sent to jail as part of a bizarre drug-smuggling scheme.

Yet Matthew Lavallee's poorly thought-out plan quickly imploded when police told him they were going to be releasing him back into the community. "Well, this was all for nothing then," an irritated Lavallee, 19, told city police last January.

When pressed further on what he meant, Lavallee confessed he had a condom filled with $60 worth of marijuana and diazepam pills hidden "inside his body." He said the drugs were destined for Milner Ridge, where he had requested to be sent after turning himself in on several breach charges.

Little did Lavallee know offenders are never taken directly to Milner Ridge, and most accused aren't even detained in custody for the type of minor offences he was facing.

"On a scale of stupidity, this might go right off the edge," provincial court Judge Ray Wyant said last week upon hearing the facts of the case.

He sentenced Lavallee to a year in custody, in addition to his time already served, as part of a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.

"I'm not trying to make fun of it... but I don't find this to be the most sophisticated or intelligent plan I've heard in a while," said Wyant.

"This was a plan doomed to fail. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon, as Don Cherry would say, to figure out there was some alarm bells here."

Lavallee said he was pressured by so-called friends he knew inside Milner Ridge to find a way to get them the drugs, which could either be used or sold within the jail at enhanced value.

He made sure to skip a court appearance last December on a minor outstanding charge, knowing it would trigger a warrant for his arrest. After spending the holidays with his family, he walked into a police station in early January to turn himself in and request his one-way trip to Milner.

"Clearly, he is pretty unsophisticated when it comes to these types of matters," defence lawyer Lori Van Dongen told court. "This was not well thought out, to say the least. He made an extremely poor decision, and it's a very hard lesson now to learn."

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