Nunavik kingpin gets 26 months after massive drug bust

Time served means Daniel Kasudluak free in three and a half months

By JANE GEORGE

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UUJJUAQ — Quebec court judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré handed out sentences last Friday in Montreal to Isaac Amitook, Bobby Eyaituq and Daniel Kasudluak, who were arrested last May when police in Montreal, Nunavut and Nunavik broke up a drug pipeline to the North.

Among the more than 40 people arrested during the operation were Kasudluak, 28, of Inukjuak, Eyaituq, 30, and Amitook, 26, of Sanikiluaq, who were charged with a variety of drug trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Earlier this summer, Judge Céline Pelletier turned down a request for their release from preventive detention as well as that of another accused, Myva Quarak, 41, of Kuujjuaraapik.

Her judgment said that, according to evidence presented by the Crown, Kasudluak was the middleman and chief associate, or l’homme de confiance, of the man who ran the Montreal-based drug network.

For seven years, Kasudluak sold drugs and coordinated contacts with sellers in other communities in Nunavik and Nunavut. During one month last winter, he transferred $43,412 to the South and sent another $63,000 to Montreal via a relative who acted as a courier.

A hidden stash of $10,000, drugs and telephone bills linking him to a man alleged to be the kingpin of the network, “Mike” Marcello Ruggiero, were found at Kasudluak’s residence during a search in last April.

Between Feb. 22 and March 22, 2005, Amitook and Eyaituk, unemployed roommates in Sanikiluaq, transferred $28,800 to the South.

Last Friday, Amitook was sentenced to 24 months, plus probation of one year, while Eyaituq and Kasudluak were sentenced to 26 months, plus probation of one year.

The judge gave the men more than the usual amount of credit for time they already spent in pre-sentence custody (multiplying the time they served by 2.5 instead of by two).

This means Amitook has only six weeks more to serve in jail, while Eyaituq and Kasudluak face only another three and half months in jail.

Earlier this year, Quarak received a sentence of 36 months, with probation, minus the credit he accumulated for time spent in preventive custody. Between Feb. 22 and March 22, 2005, Quarak transferred $23,500 from Kuujjuaraapik and was one of the “best sellers” in the drug network.

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