EDMONTON — An Edmonton man who sold a mix of fentanyl and meth to a man who later died of an overdose says he is a victim of drug addiction himself.
Jamie Michael Dixon pleaded guilty last fall to criminal negligence and drug trafficking in the death of the 39-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., in February 2017.
Dixon, who was initially charged with manslaughter, apologized to his and the victim's family and friends at a sentencing hearing Monday.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," Dixon told the court.
"When you're addicted to heroin, you're number 1 objective is to keep getting more," Dixon said about his own addiction issues.
He said circumstances in his life, including a lack of a steady income, pushed him into selling drugs and his addiction forced him to behave recklessly and selfishly.
Dixon, who has been to rehab while out on bail since the fatal overdose, thanked the court for allowing him to change his life.
The defence asked that Dixon, 36, be sentenced to two years in jail followed by three years of probation.
The Crown, while asking for a seven-year prison term, argued that there is no evidence to support the assertion that Dixon's own drug addiction drove him to selling drugs.
Crown lawyer James Stewart argued that Dixon knew the dangers of selling fentanyl and other drugs. He called Dixon a sophisticated dealer who "understands desperation of addicts."
"Commercial drug trafficking covers a wide range of behaviour," Stewart said.
After the death of the victim, Stewart said undercover police purchased three different kinds of drugs from Dixon, and that shows he was participating in a commercial drug trafficking operation.
Dixon's lawyer, Paul Moreau, said that after his client sold the drugs to the victim, he texted and called the man multiple times to warn him of the dangers and to ask if he was alright.
That night, police received a call about a body found in a car parked at a south Edmonton strip mall.
Dixon is to be back in Court of Queen's Bench on Oct. 30 to set a date for his sentencing.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press