Cornwall man gets 90 days on drug trafficking charge

The Ontario Court of Justice building at 110 Main Street North in Alexandria, Ont. on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. A Cornwall man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail to be served on weekends for trafficking in speed. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

ALEXANDRIA – A Cornwall man will serve a 90 jail sentence on weekends for a drug trafficking conviction.

Jeffrey Berube was sentenced Wednesday morning in the Alexandria Ontario Court of Justice after pleading guilty on March 23 to charges, including drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Berube was arrested in October 2016 after Cornwall police conducted a traffic stop and found a quantity of speed pills in his possession. He was also charged with violating a court-ordered curfew, being in possession of a weapon and having drugs in his possession.

He was accused of having a knife when police searched him after his arrest.

Today, Judge Franco Giamberardino said a jail sentence was warranted given the amount of drugs was “not an insignificant amount” and that “speed is not a soft drug.”

But the judge took Berube’s life history into account, which he characterized as “complicated.”

The 53-year-old Berube did not have any problems with the law until the “last few years” when “something happened” due to “stressers” in his life surrounding family and his health, Giamberardino said.

That’s when, as the judge described it, the “wheels came off” and the drug activity was “completely inconsistent with his pro-social living.”

The judge also credited Berube for his 151 days of house arrest and his 400 day curfew. The 90 day sentence is after the court gave 180 days credit for the house arrest and curfew.

In addition to the 90 days at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Center, Berube will have to abstain from drugs and alcohol and also has a no-contact order for Rodney Helmer and Jennifer Helmer – two co-accused in another drug case from June 2016.

“This weekend is fine,” Berube said to the judge as the court was scheduling his intermittent sentence.

Berube was also given a “modest” probation of one year where the no-contact order continues, he has to keep the peace and be of good behaviour and not possess any weapons or drugs except for prescriptions. He also has to submit a DNA sample and is under a weapons ban for 10 years.

The balance of the other charges, with the exception of three court breach charges, were withdrawn by Crown attorney Tilton Donihee.

Those breach charges will be heard May 1 in a Cornwall court.