Court Report

First-time offender receives 4.5 years for drug trafficking

Slave Lake
Provincial Court
February 12, 2020
Judge R. Marceau

Mark Andrew Flierl appeared via closed circuit camera from Edmonton Remand Centre for sentencing. He was sentenced for eight crimes, committed from March 9, 2018 to November 13, 2019.

The crimes were two counts of possession of a controlled substance for trafficking, two counts of trafficking a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon in a motor vehicle, uttering threats to destroy property, and failure to appear. Five charges were withdrawn.

On May 29, 2019, Flierl pled guilty to four drug charges. These were from March 2018 and February 2019.

On March 9, 2018, Flierl was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and 15 grams of cocaine for trafficking.

Twice in February 2019, Flierl sold fentanyl to an undercover RCMP officer in Slave Lake.

In February 2019, an RCMP report said four Slave Lake residents were charged with trafficking and it was “Slave Lake’s largest drug seizure in quite some time.”

Flierl was the first to plead guilty, but the second sentenced.

At the time, a joint submission for 4.5 years, with six months credit was submitted.

On August 21, 2019, Flierl pled guilty to uttering threats and possession of prohibited weapons.

On June 29, 2018 shortly after noon, Flierl got in an argument with the victim about where his dog was going to the bathroom, said the Crown. Flierl told the victim his dog could defecate where ever it wanted to and if she said anything else he’d burn her house down.

On July 15, 2018 at 1:50 a.m., an RCMP officer saw a Dodge Ram leave a Slave Lake bar, said the Crown. Flierl was driving, and his driving suggested that he was impaired. The officer pulled him over.

At first Flierl, claimed there were no drugs, weapons or alcohol in the vehicle. The officer saw a can of pepper spray, a prohibited weapon, in the drivers door within easy reach of Flierl. Flierl then acknowledged that he also had brass knuckles, another prohibited weapon.

Bear spray can be purchased for protection against bears, but not be carried for defense against people, say legal advice websites.

Sentencing was to be on September 11.

On September 11, Flierl got an extension to November 13. On November 13, he couldn’t get a ride to court. His lawyer asked for an extension, but a warrant was issued and the charge of failure to attend court was laid.

“I’d lost faith in your willingness to come to court,” said Judge Marceau.
Flierl had no criminal record.

Flierl was hurt at work on February 1, 2018, he said. He then became addicted to cocaine. He’d never heard of fentanyl until he moved to Slave Lake.

Regarding fentanyl, “I was trafficking it before I was using it,” he said.

The law doesn’t distinguish between trafficking in drugs and possessing drugs for trafficking, said Judge R. Marceau. “Trafficking in drugs is a scourge on society. It leads to so much other crime.”

Flierl was sentenced to 12 months in prison for possession of meth for trafficking and 24 months for possession of cocaine for trafficking. These are concurrent to each other, but consecutive to other charges.

Flierl was sentenced to 30 months consecutive for the first count of trafficking in fentanyl and 30 months concurrent for the second. His six months of presentence custody were applied against this.

On all four charges, Flierl was ordered to submit DNA and banned from possessing legal weapons immediately and for 10 years after his release and illegal ones for life.

Flierl was fined for the remaining crimes. The fines were converted into concurrent prison time, equal to Flierl’s recently acquired 12 days of custody. For failure to appear, he was fined $300 (two days in prison). He received fines of $1,500 (12 days) for pepper spray, $1,000 for brass knuckles, and $500 (four days) for uttering threats.

“Nobody should have to put up with that (being threatened),” said Judge Marceau.

The global sentence was 4.5 years, less six months, so four years left to serve.

Jamie Taylor Mitchell pled guilty to assault.

On November 22, 2019, the victim was the designated driver for his brother, the Crown said. While he was waiting for his brother, he set up plans to meet with a girl. He met her and a group of women at a turnout. While they were hanging out in one of the girls’ vehicles, one of the girls got a phone call. She looked upset and told him to run and hide.

The victim was confused, said the Crown. A vehicle pulled up and Mitchell got up and ran toward the vehicle. The victim escaped the vehicle out the other side and tried to get to his own vehicle.

He didn’t make it, said the Crown. Mitchell grabbed the victim by the shirt and tripped him to the ground and punched him a few times. The victim fell down a hill. Mitchell tried to stomp on him. Mitchell wasn’t able to make contact, because the girls kept pulling him away.

A presentence report was ordered. There are Gladue factors, but Mitchell waived the right to a Gladue Report. Sentencing will be in Red Earth Creek on May 19, 2020.

Gregory Roy Payne (27) pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level 0.08 or over. Two other charges were withdrawn.

During a routine patrol at night an RCMP officer in a marked car was driving in downtown Slave Lake, said the Crown. It was snowing and there were no tracks in the snow or vehicles on the road. The officer noticed a lone vehicle in a parking lot. It seemed odd, so the officer drove toward it. As he approached, the vehicle sped away. The officer tracked the vehicle through the snow and found it in front of a residence. There was a bottle of whiskey on the ground by the driver’s door.

Payne was in the driver’s seat, said the Crown. The odor of alcohol was evident. Payne failed a breath test. His lowest blood alcohol reading was 0.08 grams, the lowest possible reading for an impaired. A substance believed to be cocaine was found on Payne’s person.

Payne had no related criminal record.

“There are times when good people do stupid criminal things,” said Judge Marceau.

Payne received the minimum penalty of a $1,000-fine, plus a victim fine surcharge of $300, and a one-year driving prohibition.

Payne is eligible to apply for Interlock.

Time to pay was given until June 30, 2020. All items seized were forfeited for distructution.

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