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Drug trafficking trial puts senior couple behind bars

A London, Ont. courtroom heard Friday that from a so-called “hobby farm” near Newbury, drugs were being housed and trafficked.

In December of 2016, the OPP searched the property and seized fentanyl, morphine, and Oxycodone.

In addition to the drugs, police said they also seized nearly $50,000 in cash.

In April, 68-year-old Floriano Daponte and 69-year-old Vivian Lee Hamilton were each found guilty of five counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Justice Michael McArthur told the courtroom that when officers arrived, “Ms. Hamilton was located by police alone in a bathroom and searched. She possessed 32 fentanyl patches in a plastic bag in her underwear.”

He continued, “This was a commercial operation in a rural setting,” adding, “The defendants were operating an illicit pharmacy and commercial gain was the obvious motive.”

Justice McArthur told the court that the message needs to be clear to the community, “All of the substances involved were serious and highly addictive hard drugs and included fentanyl.”

“These drugs individually and collectively continue to wreak harm to individuals in society,” he added.

The court heard that Daponte has a lengthy criminal record and has spent a lot of time in and out of jail. However, this is Hamilton’s first conviction. The court heard that she’s always been employed and she has fostered over 200 children.

When Justice McArthur reviewed the case, he said there needed to be prison time because of the types of drugs involved.

The Crown asked for a 4-6 year sentence for Daponte, and a 3-5 year sentence for Hamilton.

The defense asked for conditional sentences.

As a result, Justice McArthur sentenced Daponte, who is already serving time on another matter, to five years in prison. He gave Hamilton a three-year sentence.

However, this case may be far from over. Even though Hamilton was taken into custody, she was released on bail pending an appeal of the whole case. Top Stories


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