Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Drug dealer goes back behind bars

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HE was spared a jail term by a sympathetic judge convinced he'd turned his troubled life around.

But now a convicted drug dealer is back behind bars after allegedly breaching terms of his conditional sentence.

Richard Marchioni, 33, was arrested last weekend. Court documents show he is accused of violating his nightly curfew along with an order to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

He is in custody, where he will likely stay until the expiration of his conditional penalty. A hearing on the breaches will be conducted later this summer.

Marchioni was given the two-year community-based sentence in November 2011 after pleading guilty to possession of meth and ecstasy for the purpose of trafficking. The Crown had sought a three-year prison term, citing Marchioni's 10 prior drug-related convictions between 1999 and 2006.

But Marchioni was given what the judge called a "major break" due largely to the fact he was arrested in early 2007 and remained on bail for more than five years without incident while the case dragged through the courts.

During that time, Marchioni kicked his addiction, obtained full-time employment and become a caring, responsible father, court was told.

That prompted Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar to allow Marchioni to remain free in the community. He warned the sentence should not be used as a precedent for others, citing the "exceptional" circumstances.

Dewar said Marchioni would have gone to prison had the case been resolved within a proper time frame, but credited the man with using the "fortuitous" delay to his advantage and proving he can be a law-abiding citizen.

Marchioni had been arrested by police in possession of more than $1,000 worth of meth and ecstasy. Police received a tip he had brought the drugs with him to the Patal Vocational School on Portage Avenue, where he was attending adult educational classes.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2014 B3

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