Importation of narcotics is considered to be the most serious drug offence in Canada. It is especially so if the substance is not produced in Canada otherwise. For example, cocaine and heroin are considered to be “not indigenous to Canada”, meaning that the only way for these drugs to get to Canada is via import. These cases attract long jail sentences for all participants in a contraband scheme, including “mules”, i.e. “normal” people without criminal records who were recruited to transport drugs through the border due mostly to their difficult financial situation.
HAVE YOU OR ONE OF YOUR RELATIVES BEEN CHARGED WITH IMPORTING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE?
HOW MUCH JAIL DOES ONE GET IF CONVICTED OF IMPORTING ONE KILO OF COCAINE?
Importation of “one kilo, more or less” attracts three to five years in federal prison according to the guidance of Ontario Court of Appeal.
WHAT IS THE WORST DRUG FOR THE PURPOSE OF SENTENCING?
Heroin will net you the longest sentence. Crack Cocaine is a close second, and Powder Cocaine is third. Synthetic drugs are lagging behind as they are not “not indigenous to Canada”, because they can be manufactured right here in Canada and it is of somewhat less importance to send out a message that its import would not be tolerated.
WHAT IF I DID NOT KNOW THAT I HAD COCAINE IN MY LUGGAGE?
This is the most common defence in importation cases. This is also why these cases most often go to the jury trial. In order to convict, the jury has to believe beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused either knew that he was transporting drugs, or was willfully blind to it. Wilful blindness in this case means that a person had suspicions that she has narcotics in her luggage, but preferred not to ask questions about it as she wanted to be able to deny knowledge if she were to be investigated by authorities.