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For hiding 60 fentanyl patches in her bedroom closet for someone else, Brittany Taylor will spend one year in jail.

“In my view, this represents a significant sentence given the extent of her involvement and will provide denunciation and deterrence,” said Superior Court Justice Robbie Gordon in his sentencing decision Friday.”Miss Taylor: you got a pretty good break today. You understand that?”

Taylor, 24, had pleaded guilty to fentanyl possession for the purpose of trafficking. A pre sentence report and Gladue report were ordered. A Gladue report assists a judge with sentencing options for people of Aboriginal heritage.

The sentence was half of what the Crown was seeking (a two year penitentiary term), but at the high range of the nine to 12 months sought by defence lawyer Michael Haraschuk, who also sought one year of probation for Taylor.

The 60 Fentanyl patches had an estimated street value of $15,000 to $30,000, according to the Crown.

Greater Sudbury Police officers arrested Taylor at her home on May 26, 2015, after they received a tip. The Fentanyl patches were found hidden in a bedroom closet.

In his ruling, Gordon also noted that Taylor did not play a key role in getting the Fentanyl on the street.

“This is not a case where Miss Taylor was actively engaged in the trafficking of drugs,” said the judge, and she was also “naive as to the nature of the drug.”

Gordon also referred to the Gladue report, which indicated Taylor has always suffered from a negative self image.

“I have no doubt that part of the reason she felt this way was because she was observing how Aboriginals are treated in our society,” he said.

In a short statement read by Haraschuk prior to the issuing of the sentence, Taylor told Gordon, “I am more than prepared to accept the consequences for my actions and use this experience to move on with my life . I have received the help I needed for my mental health (issues). I feel it probably was a factor. I do want to sincerely apologize for my behaviour.”

In his sentencing submissions, Haraschuk said Taylor is a trusting, good hearted person who was not dealing with drug addiction at the time of the offence.

“Brittany Taylor’s involvement in the case is holding Fentanyl patches for a third party,” he said. “There was no monetary benefit received for Miss Taylor . She has a very difficult time saying no and asking questions. In this case, she should have.”

Haraschuk said Taylor, who is working, has a Grade 12 diploma and is taking adult education courses for her own interest. He added Taylor has been dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, irregular sleep and paranoia due to the court case.

The lawyer also presented several character reference letters.

Federal prosecutor Denys Bradley, in asking for a penitentiary term, said the drug Taylor hid in her closet kills.

“She may not have understood the devastating effects of Fentanyl at the time,” he said. “The substance is so dangerous it can cause a user death . It’s clear she knew it was Fentanyl. She knew it was illegal. If she didn’t know it was illegal, she wouldn’t have hit it so well in her closet . Keeping drugs for someone else is still being involved.”

Bradley said the two year sentence he was seeking is on the low end of the range for Fentanyl convictions and “it’s a sentence I would submit, has been individualized for Miss Taylor given the mitigating and aggravating factors.”

Bradley also sought a 10 year weapons ban and an order that Taylor provide a genetic sample to the national DNA databank.

Gordon granted both requests.

However, while Taylor is now done with her Greater Sudbury drug matter, she still has outstanding drug charges in Toronto to resolve.

Last June, Taylor was one of 11 Greater Sudbury area residents charged in a major Toronto area drug bust entitled Project Kronic.

Taylor is facing charges of conspiracy to traffic in crack cocaine, conspiracy to traffic in amphetamine, Fentanyl possession for the purpose of trafficking, and two counts of breach of recognizance.
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