Sentence appeal   Importing cocaine

Sentence determined by trial court was within the established sentencing range for first offenders who smuggle in excess of 1 kilogram of cocaine.

The sentencing judge identified the correct sentencing principles, referred to the mitigating and aggravating factors and determined that 5 years and 3.9 months, less pre-sentence custody credited at 1.5:1, was the appropriate sentence. In particular, she referred to the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s decision in R. v. Cunningham (1996), 27 O.R. (3d) 786, at p. 790:

[A]s a general rule, absent exceptional or extenuating circumstances, a sentence in the range of three to five years is warranted for first time offender couriers found guilty of importing a kilogram, more or less, of cocaine for personal gain.  … [T]he range of sentence for first offender couriers who smuggle large amounts of cocaine into Canada should be six to eight years in the penitentiary.

R. v. Zeisig, 2016 ONCA 845