P.E.I. woman gets more than one year in jail for trafficking

Could have been longer, were it not for efforts to rehabilitate


Published on May 19, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – A 33-year-old Charlottetown woman was sentenced to 18 months in jail for possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr told Ashley Nova Saunders, 33, of Charlottetown a lengthier sentence would have been imposed if Saunders had not made a laudable effort to address her drug addiction.

Saunders pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, first on Sept. 27, 2016, and then just one week later.

Orr imposed 18-month sentences on both convictions to be served concurrently.

Saunders was also sentenced to one month for possessing an illegal weapon - brass knuckles found during a search of her home on Sept. 28 – also to be served concurrently.

Orr told the woman that being caught on Sept. 27 with a large quantity and variety of drugs, including speed pills and marijuana, should have served as a wake-up call.

It did not.

The woman was again found in possession of a large amount of drugs on Oct. 5.

Orr said if people decide they are going to be in the drug business, they must be prepared to face “significant consequences’’ if caught.

The court heard that Saunders started using drugs at age 24, was sober for a couple years, but started using again at 30.

She became a mother at a “very young age’’ and did not complete high school.

Her drug addiction was a key factor in losing custody of her son.

Orr noted it is “always regrettable’’ when a person puts herself or himself in a position when she or he is unable to be a parent.

Saunders will be on probation for two years following her release from jail.

She must also provide a DNA sample to the National DNA Data Bank.

Orr urged Saunders to continue to work on her addiction issues.