Legal aid worker accused of selling hash

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

D

WANE WILKIN

Police have charged a legal aid worker from Iqaluit with drug trafficking after intercepting a shipment of hashish they believe was destined for sale in Igloolik.

Police say they were led to the shipment by an Igloolik man who RCMP in Igloolik had previously charged with simple possession.

Cpl. Glen Siegersma of the RCMP’s drug section in Iqaluit said police believe that an Iqaluit man was using the Igloolik man to transport the drugs to Igloolik.

Two ounces of hashish, worth between $1,200 and $1,500 dollars in Iqaluit, would command at least twice that price in Igloolik, Siegersma estimated.

“Taking $3,000 or $4,000 out of a community the size of Igloolik is a fairly large economic bruise to the community,” he added.

Francis Piugattuk was charged last Friday with trafficking in a narcotic. He is scheduled to appear in territorial court on August 25 to enter a plea.

Piugattuk is a long-time employee of Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik, Iqaluit’s legal aid centre.

Under Canada’s new Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the maximum sentence for a trafficking in a narcotic is 15 years in prison.

Piugattuk is on an undertaking to notify the RCMP before he leaves the community.

Jose Awa of Igloolik, who is charged with simple possession of a narcotic, will have a court appearance in Igloolik at a date that’s yet to be determined.

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