A 51-year-old man who was arrested after one of the biggest drug investigations in the Charlottetown police force’s history was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.
Kendall David Buell appeared before Justice Wayne Cheverie in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to trafficking cocaine.
During the proceedings, federal Crown attorney Sean Seviour read from an agreed statement of facts detailing three sales of cocaine to a police agent who was part of the Operation Clean Sweep investigation.
That investigation started on Sept. 9, 2013, as the Charlottetown police force’s street crime unit targeted 10 groups.
Operation Clean Sweep spanned four months and used a police agent who bought drugs from people in the groups the investigators were targeting.
Seviour told the court Buell met with the police agent three times in Bethel to sell him cocaine in September 2013.
The agent gave Buell a total of $6,000 for almost 117 grams of cocaine spread over three separate exchanges.
Buell left the country soon after, and three Canada-wide warrants were issued for his arrest on Jan. 29, 2014.
Almost 40 people were arrested in January 2014 as part of the investigation, and the police said they seized more than $400,000 in drugs that included cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The police also seized several weapons that included handguns, a rifle, a sword, a machete and a collapsible baton.
Seviour told the court Buell was at large until the Canada Border Services Agency arrested him on March 25, 2019, when he tried to re-enter Canada from Jamaica.
Buell had a prior record that included a six-year sentence in 1995 for conspiracy to commit drug trafficking and more than five years in 2006 for the same offence.
Before hearing his sentence, Buell briefly addressed the court to say addictions have been an ongoing problem on and off in his life.
In sentencing Buell, Cheverie followed a joint recommendation from the Crown and Buell, who was self-represented.
Cheverie said the sentence was in the acceptable range.
With the sentence, Cheverie gave Buell credit of 344 days for time spent in custody since his arrest leaving him five years and 21 days still to serve.
Buell must also provide a DNA sample for the national databank and will be under a lifetime weapons prohibition.