NEWS: Iqaluit March 09, 2018 - 9:30 am

Iqaluit man pleads guilty to drug trafficking, proceeds of crime

Deal reached to drop remaining charges

STEVE DUCHARME

An Iqaluit drug dealer who was arrested nearly two years ago in a police raid, along with four other people, has pleaded guilty in court to drug trafficking, after reaching a deal with Crown lawyers to drop his remaining charges.

William Allen Pierce, now 28, entered guilty pleas on Monday, March 5 before Justice Beverley Brown at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on one count of drug trafficking and another count of possessing over $5,000 in proceeds gained from criminal activity.

Crown lawyer Christian Lyons said Pierce’s five remaining offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act would be stayed after an agreed-upon statement of facts is submitted to the court prior to his sentencing.

Pierce, wearing a black suit and tie with slicked back medium-length hair and a beard, quietly responded, “no,” when asked by Brown if he had any hesitation about entering his pleas.

Pierce was arrested on Aug. 5, 2016, after a police drug bust at his home discovered nearly a pound of cocaine, unspecified amounts of hash, marijuana and ecstasy, as well as $9,000 in cash and an unlicensed revolver.

Four other people were also arrested in connection to the raid, some of whom were teenagers. Pierce was the only person charged with drug trafficking.

Late last year, a judge denied a suit by Pierce’s lawyers claiming that police did not meet the necessary burden of proof when they sought a search warrant from a justice of the peace to raid Pierce’s residence, and violated his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The dismissal of that application paved the way for either a trial or a plea deal.

Brown told lawyers to return to the court on May 4 to deliver the facts of the offences, prior to Pierce’s sentencing.

Before his sentencing in May, Brown gave Pierce permission to leave Nunavut and visit his family in Manitoba, on the recommendation of lawyers.

Pierce was released on court-ordered conditions after posting $15,000 bail on Aug. 10, 2016, about five days after he was arrested.