(THUNDER BAY, ON) – On October 24th, 2018 the Thunder Bay Police Service along with help from other police forces executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant in the 100 block of Dease Street at the “Perreault” residence earlier this year. The residence was being used by Toronto Crips gang members to traffick crack cocaine out of. Multiple people were arrested and charged with multiple offences.
The heart of this investigation was to arrest out of town drug dealers, thus attempting to rid the city of this recent scourge. Police seized about 3 grams of crack cocaine along with $25,640 in Canadian currency.
27-year-old Walter Baxter, from Marten Falls First Nation, appeared in the prisoner’s box of courtroom 102 today to answer to the charges resulting from his part in the drug operation on Dease street. Her Honour, Justice Brochu was presiding along with Federal Crown Attorney Ron Poirier and criminal defence lawyer Ryan Greene.
Baxter is facing the following charges:
- Possession for the purpose of trafficking (Crack cocaine)
- Possession of proceeds of crime (Cash)
- Breach of probation
Once the operation targeting out of town drugs dealers had secured enough information to get a Controlled Drugs and Substances search warrant, teams rolled out and headed to the residence. Upon arriving at the home police notice that Baxter was in the role of “doorman”, meaning he was allowing people in and out that were there to purchase drugs.
During the search of the home, police only located 3 grams of crack cocaine but did find $25,640 in Canadian currency.
The defence states that these facts are substantially true.
The Crown tells the court that Baxter contributed to that cash by operating as a doorman, thus being in possession of that cash.
Baxter has a record, there are three entries and they are from recent history.
The other people that were charged along with Baxter during this raid have all been sentenced except for one. Their sentences are:
- Yoqub Mohamed (Toronto Crips Gang Member) (12 months suspended sentence)
- Walter Baxter
- Lorraine Perrault aka Chief (Outstanding still)
- Anthony Gillespie (Toronto Crips Gang Member) (6 months house arrest and 12 months probation)
- Jeff Perreault (Homeowner) (6 Months house arrest and 12 months probation)
The Crown is only prosecuting on the possession of proceeds of crime charge and is withdrawing the other charge of trafficking and breach of probation. All of the people involved that have been sentenced already have also only been prosecuted on the proceeds of crime charge.
Baxter has already done 55 days in jail, waiting for his criminal case to conclude. The Crown recommends that Baxter’s 55 days be enhanced to 80 days, and that would be his final sentence. Baxter would walk out a free man today if the Justice agrees to this joint submission. The Crown tells the court that Baxter is still on his probation from a previous conviction and that those conditions on the existing probation would be sufficient.
Criminal defence lawyer Ryan Greene tells the court that Baxter has grown up living throughout the north and in Thunder Bay. He has 3 children and one stepchild. Alcohol and substance abuse issues are connected to his criminal behaviour. He says he started using drugs and alcohol around 12 years old and that substance abuse is a way to deal with trauma. Both of his grandparents are survivors of residential schools and he realizes how that impacted his parents and himself. He was the subject of significant abuse and trauma as a child.
His previous criminal record entries are recent, and that was the result of Dilico telling him that they were going to take his kids away from him. Baxter wants to change his behaviour to better the next 20 years of his life so he can be a better parent to his 4 children.
Baxter addresses the court directly and says that he wants to do better for his kids, and that he does not want to be on the “wrong side of town” again. Baxter tells the court that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he wasn’t aware of what was going on in the house at the time. He sounds convincing.
Justice Brochu accepts the joint submission, Baxter will walk a free man today. She further tells the court that she doesn’t believe that Baxter’s idea that he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, and that he must have known what was going on, considering his role. Baxter is the only one out of all his co-accused that will recieve a real jail sentence.
Baxter already has an existing probation order, and it is going to be continued for some time. Justice Brochu does not see a need to issue another probation order, the existing one will suffice.
Gladu factors have been considered, and are a mitigating factor in this circumstance.
Baxter is released from the prisoner’s box, unhandcuffed, and is free to go.
HISTORY ON BAXTER
MAN GUILTY OF THREE ROBBERIES SENTENCED. (By Thunder Bay Courthouse – Inside Edition)
Robbery is so common that local media won’t even report most of it anymore.
On February 5, 2018, a 26-year-old WALTER BRETT KEVIN BAXTER appeared handcuffed before Judge Dino DiGiuseppe to be sentenced. He’s represented by local lawyer George Joseph.
Baxter stands about 5’5” tall, average build wearing dark clothing, has a small ponytail and his eyes are set apart more than average. He’s not too attentive to the proceedings before him. Baxter plead guilty on January 29,2018
Admitted facts before the court are that Baxter used violence against a young woman to steal her purse on July 2, 2016. He was arrested and released on bail.
On August 23, 2016, he failed to appear for court.
On September 10, 2016, Baxter appeared at the Barb’s Laundromat on May Street to threaten the store clerk with violence and steal the clerk’s iPhone 6 and some money. He forced the clerk in the washroom and threatened him to stay there
On October 5, 2016, Baxter stole a grey Chevrolet Equinox. He drove it to Essie Gas Bar on John Street. He then used uncapped syringes to threaten the clerk. After this robbery, Baxter drove the stolen Chevrolet down John Street Road in a dangerous manner and hit a power pole causing 20 000$ damage.
Court hears that Baxter has children and wants to be part of their lives. He has a limited criminal record.
Gladue factors are that he has FASD and is from a northern Ontario Indian Reserve.
Judge DiGiuseppe tells him that he targeted vulnerable victims in vulnerable circumstances and that a message needs to be sent. Mitigating factors are a limited record, relative youth and pleas of guilt.
He spent a total of 8 months presentence custody in jail which is enhanced to 12 months.
He’s sentenced to an additional 12 months (he’ll be released in 8 months).
T here is a DNA order and 10 year weapon ban. He gets 24 months probation and a 1 year driving prohibition. There is a 500$ victim surcharge which he’s allowed 24 months to pay.
T he judge recommends he serve his time at Algoma Treatment and Remand Center.