SASKATOON – A former University of Saskatchewan football player is guilty of drug trafficking charges in relation to a police bust that uncovered 14 pounds of marijuana in 2014. Seamus John Neary was convicted of four charges in a Saskatoon courtroom Monday, including possession of marijuana over three kilograms with the intent to traffic.
In February 2014, police found the marijuana after searching Neary’s home and a storage locker in his name.
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“I think it was a cogent case from beginning to end,” said prosecutor Wade McBride, after the judgment was given.
“It was relatively straight forward and the judge tended to see it that way as well.”
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During final arguments, Neary’s defence lawyer Chris Lavier stated that a friend of Neary’s came to Saskatoon with 18 pounds of marijuana and Neary was storing it in the locker for him. Lavier said Neary took five pounds of the weed from the locker because he thought his friend possessed more than he was allowed to by his medical marijuana license.
Neary admitted he sold four pounds, kept one himself, but didn’t intend to sell the rest. However, the judge said Monday that he rejected the defence’s evidence and described the Crown’s case as “coherent” and “copious.”
The prosecution had argued that the storage locker was a stash spot and that $1,000 cash found in Neary’s apartment was connected to the drugs. The judge said even though there was no direct evidence that the money came from a drug deal, there was an “overwhelming inference” that it was connected in some way.
Because Neary is convicted of intending to traffic more than three kilograms of marijuana, a conditional sentence cannot be administered in his case.
“We have to basically guide ourselves by what the court of appeal has said in the past in terms of sentencing ranges,” said McBride when asked about the type of sentence he would pursue.
“Ordinarily speaking, when we’re dealing with quantities of this sort there’s a presumption in favour of a jail sentence.”
Sentencing will take place on Jan. 29. Neary will remain out of prison on specific bail conditions until then.