Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Three years in prison for hiding pal's drugs

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HE had a family to feed and he and his wife had been laid off.

So Florante Cemania resorted to desperate measures by allowing an acquaintance to stash drugs inside his North End home.

The decision has cost Cemania, 51, his freedom.

The Winnipeg father of four, who had no criminal record, pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He was sentenced to three years in prison under a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.

Cemania was arrested in June 2011 after police were tipped off by an informant illegal activity was going on inside his home.

Officers obtained a search warrant and found seven ounces of cocaine inside Cemania's garage, along with $27,000, alleged to be proceeds of crime, stuffed behind a ceiling tile.

Defence lawyer Iain Macnair told court Cemania hadn't even had a speeding ticket since coming to Canada from the Philippines in the 1990s. But the situation grew dire when he was laid from his job at Western Glove Works in 2010, and his wife lost her job at Nygard International.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 A5

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