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This article was published 21/3/2013 (2564 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A longtime criminal and drug “courier” who got caught in a car with cocaine vows to stay out of trouble from now on.
Warren Brett Oswald said he plans to pursue his education while in prison and to get a job when he gets out.
“I’m going to get out of this criminal lifestyle,” Oswald told Justice John Menzies in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.
Oswald, 30, pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Crown attorney Patrick Flynn said that on Jan. 7, 2012, Oswald was the passenger in a car that was pulled over by an RCMP officer.
The car had made an illegal U-turn along the Trans-Canada Highway in Brandon near the McDonald’s restaurant.
The vehicle also didn’t have licence plates, the officer noted, although it was later learned that Oswald had bought the car only a few days before and he had a permit that allowed the car to be driven.
At the time it was pulled over, the car was being driven by a another man and it was while the officer was checking the driver’s licence that he spotted “marijuana flake” in the vehicle.
Oswald and the driver were arrested and a search of the car turned up four ounces (113 grams) of cocaine in the trunk.
Oswald also pleaded guilty to breaching his bail conditions by walking away from a Winnipeg addictions treatment centre on Nov. 5, 2012. Police found him a few days later in Brandon.
Menzies accepted a plea bargain struck by Flynn and Oswald’s lawyer, Barry Sinder.
Flynn described Oswald as the drug “courier” in this case, as opposed to a dealer and said that case law put the prison term for such couriers at three to six years.
He and Sinder jointly asked for a four-year prison term for Oswald, minus some presentence custody.
Oswald has a lengthy criminal record with a previous conviction for possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
However, Sinder said Oswald plans to study precalculus math and then work on a civil engineering degree.
Menzies said that, based on his record, Oswald has a lot to work to do if he’s going to make good on his vow to be a law-abiding citizen.
“You appear in court more often than most lawyers,” Menzies quipped.
With a more serious tone, Menzies said he’s concerned by the jump in cocaine trafficking cases he’s seen in recent years, a trade fuelled by a desire to make money.
“I guess we’ve got to let people know the cost of doing business,” he said.
Menzies sentenced Oswald to a total of four years in prison for the drug charge, tacked on four months for the bail breach and subtracted 16 months pre-sentence custody.
That leaves Oswald with a sentence of 36 months.