A man found in a house with more than $10,000 worth of cocaine has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Tyler Brent Cairns admitted that he knew there was cocaine in the home, and that it was being sold, although his lawyer said Cairns wasn’t the main “mover and shaker” in the drug-dealing operation.
“I was just helping out,” Cairns told Justice John Menzies in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday as he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Crown attorney Rob Gosman said Brandon police raided a Regent Crescent home on April 23, 2010.
Cairns was found in an upstairs bedroom with his friend and co-accused, 19-year-old Jennifer Ashley Berg.
Berg lived at the home and Cairns, who lived elsewhere, would visit.
Two main stashes of packaged cocaine were found in the home — about 74 grams tucked inside a woman’s shoe on a top shelf in the master bedroom closet.
There was also a small amount of cocaine in the pocket of Cairns’ shorts, which were found in the bedroom.
Following the raid, Berg’s mom was cleaning a shelf in the basement when she found another 25.75 grams of cocaine. She turned it over to police.
In total, there was about 106 grams of cocaine which Gosman said had an estimated street value of $10,500 (although an earlier estimate placed the value at $6,000).
In a gym bag in the basement was a cutting agent — police initially identified it as benzocaine, an anesthetic typically used by drug dealers to dilute cocaine and increase the amount for sale.
There was also an electric grinder tainted with cocaine, six pieces of metal believed to be parts of a cocaine press, and a scale marked with cocaine residue.
In addition, a cellphone was found with text messages in it that included, “Some friends need ... need a ball,” and “Do you know anyone who can help me out.”
Gosman described the messages as requests for cocaine.
More info came to light from Berg, who ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, Gosman said.
She’d claimed the cocaine wasn’t hers, but was aware of what was going on, Gosman said and she, in turn, told police what was going on.
She said Cairns and his friend, who would spend a considerable amount of time at the home, would go to Winnipeg and retrieve drugs, which would then be sold in Brandon bars.
Cairns, however, disagreed with Berg’s account. He said he didn’t know much about the cocaine or other items in the home as he was just helping out a friend.
However, he admitted that he knew there was cocaine in the house and that it was being sold. That was enough to convict him of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking charge.
Defence lawyer Danny Gunn said the man who was the main player in the operation was never charged.
That man, Gunn said, had paid Berg a visit and severely beat her to dissuade her from naming him. The beating was bad enough to put her in hospital.
Cairns, 31, has previous convictions for possessing an illegal drug for the purpose of trafficking. Gunn said Cairns got involved in drug trafficking as a way to feed a drug addiction.
Cairns was in custody for his sentencing, and Gunn said his client had already spent six months in pretrial custody.
Justice John Menzies sentenced Cairns to another 18 months and warned him that, with his record, he’d likely be heading for prison if he’s caught with cocaine again.
“You’re in the big times now,” Menzies said.
Berg awaits sentencing for her charge.