A man caught with a gun and crack cocaine in his car after he failed to use his turn signal has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Crown attorney Christina Cheater said the sentence sends a message.
"If you’re going to get involved with drugs and guns in Brandon, you’re going to be going to the pen … It seems to becoming a habit around here to have drug dealers carrying weapons, and it’s very concerning to all those involved,"
Cheater said during sentencing in Brandon provincial court on Thursday.
Marlon Brent Hotain, 39, took responsibility for the gun and drugs found in his car on the evening of Sept. 23.
Crown attorney Grant Hughes said a constable was patrolling downtown on Princess Avenue when a red Dodge Charger turned onto Sixth Street without signalling.
The officer followed and the suspect driver failed to signal again when the car turned onto Rosser Avenue, where it was pulled over on the 500 block.
Police found out that the driver, Hotain, was banned for life from driving in Manitoba, so they prepared to have the Charger towed.
To prepare for the tow, police began to take inventory of what was inside the vehicle. During that inspection, they found a shotgun and 59 shells in the trunk, and Hotain said it was his.
The search continued and police found a black leather case under the front passenger seat that contained 17 grams of crack cocaine, a scale that appeared to be contaminated with drugs and $740 cash.
Another 3.5 grams of crack and one gram of marijuana were found in baggies in the trunk.
While there were other people in the car with him, Hotain told police that everything they found belonged to him.
This case isn’t directly linked, but the arrest came around the time of a string of shootings in Brandon that appear to be connected to the drug trade and possibly gang related.
Hotain, who is from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, has a lengthy record — Cheater said he has more than 40 convictions and a history of violence.
In the past, Hotain has been linked to gangs such as the Manitoba Warriors and Native Syndicate and was a member of the former Spartans motorcycle gang.
On Thursday, he told court that he walked away from gang life — a claim supported at one point by a probation officer — but got sucked back in.
When pulled over, he was acting as the designated driver as others in the vehicle were intoxicated. Again, he said he’s taking responsibility for what was found.
For possession of crack cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, unauthorized possession of the gun and possession of a firearm while prohibited, Hotain received two years in prison.
That’s on top of the time he already spent in custody since the incident for which he was denied bail.
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