Ex Edmonton police officer fined $7K for selling steroids
A former member of the Edmonton police drug and gang unit has been fined $7,000 and sentenced to one year of probation after he sold steroids to fellow police officers.
Det. Greg Lewis was convicted in February of two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. Between 2007 and 2012, Lewis sold Winstrol and testosterone on multiple occasions.
Both the Crown prosecutor and Lewis’ lawyer agreed on the proposed sentence but Dino Bottos said Lewis is upset.
“He’s understandably saddened by the turn of events.
“He’s lost his career. It’s a terrible thing when you lose your career. He’s adjusting.”
During the sentencing hearing, both the Crown and the judge noted the fact that Lewis was a police officer. His crimes were committed on the job and that made them worse.
“Some of the transactions of Mr. Lewis occurred while he was a member of the drug and gang unit,” said Crown prosecutor Anita Chan. “He broke the law that he had sworn to uphold.”
In his decision, Justice Scott Brooker said: “Police officers are expected to maintain and uphold the law, not break it.”
Lewis is the second officer to be sentenced for trafficking in steroids.
In June of 2016, Darren French pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking. He was handed a $1,500 fine and was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 240 hours of community service.
Watch: Two Edmonton police officers have been charged with trafficking steroids. Eric Szeto is at EPS headquarters with more.
These two cases stemmed from an ASIRT investigation that started April of 2013 when the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) received information that between 2006 and 2010, one EPS police officer sold anabolic steroids to other officers of the police service.
At the time of the arrests, Edmonton police said the accusations gave the service a black eye.
“Edmontonians expect their police officers to be honest and ethical and to answer to a higher standard,” said EPS Chief Rod Knecht.
“Behaviour contrary to these expectations brings reputational damage to your police service and violates the public trust.”
In his decision, Justice Brooker noted there was no evidence suggesting Lewis profited from selling steroids.
He said Lewis was “not pushing the steroids. He was helping out fellow officers who came to him.”
Bottos is considering filing an appeal on behalf of his client.
After court, Bottos said Lewis was convicted of offering the drugs to officers but there was no evidence he actually offered them anything. Even the judge said the officers came to him.
It’s a distinction that Bottos says has not been argued before the Court of Appeal before and he would like the higher court to provide a ruling on it.
Bottos also feels Lewis’ privacy rights were breached. He says ASIRT and EPS investigators went through more than 40,000 of Lewis’ personal emails.
The court ruled that was a charter violation but rejected Bottos’ request to order a stay of proceedings. Bottos disagrees with that decision and may argue for a stay in the Court of Appeal.
Lewis now sells cars at a dealership. He is still technically employed by the EPS. He has been suspended without pay since his arrest but Bottos told court Lewis expects to be fired and the whole process has been difficult on him.
“He’s a pariah, according to the Chief and the Edmonton Police Service, but he’s not a pariah according to the rank and file and the people who know him,” Bottos said.
Lewis was also ordered to pay a $2,100 victim fine surcharge.
He has 30 days to decide if he wishes to appeal the case.
Watch: The investigation that resulted in a pair of police officers being charged with trafficking steroids is now uncovering more information. Fletcher Kent reports.
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