OSHAWA — A prosecutor has called for a prison sentence of at least a decade for a woman convicted of importing fentanyl, citing the “explosion” of overdoses and deaths attributed to the powerful opioid.
“There’s a fentanyl epidemic that’s exploding across the country,” federal prosecutor Josh Frost said during a sentencing hearing Tuesday for Jacinda Hudson. “And it’s killing folks.”
Frost recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years for Hudson, who was convicted in August of importing fentanyl and possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking. The court was told that Hudson, 35, of Pickering, received 323 grams of the drug via mail and was subsequently arrested by the RCMP in 2016.
During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in Oshawa, Frost said a significant penitentiary term is necessary to show society’s condemnation for the trafficking of a drug that has been blamed for a mounting number of deaths in Durham Region and across Canada.
“It’s a national emergency,” he told Superior Court Justice Robert Charney. “There needs to be a message sent to the community that the courts will not tolerate importing this poison.”
Defence lawyer Sam Goldstein suggested a sentence in the range of six to eight years, citing the duty of the court to strike a balance between punishment and rehabilitation for Hudson, a mother of three who maintains her innocence.
“We can never lose sight of the possibility of rehabilitation, no matter how horrendous the crime or its consequences,” he said following the hearing. “Ms. Hudson certainly understands the case law indicates significant prison time. She is merely asking the court to bear in mind that one day, she has to return to society.”
Charney is to deliver his sentence Jan. 14.
This article was originally published at Durham Region on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | By Jeff Mitchell.