A Victoria man’s effort to appeal a 90 day jail sentence for trafficking methamphetamine — which would be served intermittently, on weekends — because it was “too harsh,” has been quashed.
According to a ruling posted online Tuesday morning, Godofredo Narboneta Ruiz was the owner and driver of a vehicle used to transport drugs. On Aug. 7, 2016 police observed three vehicles, one of which was Ruiz’s, in Saanichton. Three people were near the trunk of his vehicle, apparently engaging in a drug transaction. The three people, along with Ruiz, were arrested.
Police found 54 grams of methamphetamine in Ruiz’s vehicle, under the driver’s seat in a knapsack. Ruiz says his only role in the transaction was to drive an acquaintance, who was selling the drugs, to the location and back after the deal was done. He admits he knew the drugs were there and of his acquaintance’s intention to sell the drugs.
Ruiz lives in Victoria with his wife and three children. Working as a resident care attendant for 19 years, Ruiz lost his job about a year before trial due to the outstanding charge. After losing his job Ruiz was on employment insurance for a period of time, but did not take steps to look for further employment, according to the ruling.
Ruiz had no criminal record at the time of his arrest, but admits to using methamphetamine although not frequently nor habitually. At the time of sentencing, while denying he was a user of illicit drugs, Ruiz told the court he was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings every week over a period of several months, although Crown noted there was no verifiable evidence provided that would confirm his attendance.
The Crown sought a six month sentence with 12 months of probation to follow, while Ruiz asked for a suspended sentence, meaning he would not be sent to jail but would have to comply with certain conditions.
Hindering his appeal was the fact that Ruiz had not taken steps to seek employment, along with engaging in any concrete action that would demonstrate remorse or consciousness of the seriousness of the trafficking offence. The appeal was dismissed on Sept. 11.
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