For her part in a sizeable drug dealing scheme, a pregnant West Kelowna woman was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison.
Nicole Hubek, 33, muffled cries throughout sentencing hearing for a the charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
A sizeable contingent of friends and family who were also at the hearing were similarly shaken by the Judge Ellen Burdett’s decision.
That strong support network, along with the fact that Hubek was a first time offender, were mitigating factors inBurdett’s sentencing.
But, the judge said, that they, nor Hubek’s pregnancy, didn’t significantly offset the crimes committed.
“The prevalence of drugs in the Okanagan and the eternal destruction and heartbreak those drugs cause to our community cannot be underestimate,” said Burdett.
“Any involvement that facilitates the entry of a large amount of dangerous drugs into our community must be dealt with seriously.”
Hubek was convicted late last year for her role in importing 15 kg of methylone, or ‘bath salts,’ from China in 2013, worth an estimated $1 million.
She had been arrested in September of 2013, when an undercover cop who posed as a Canada Post employee delivered three boxes of the drug.
Hubek signed for the drugs, claiming the contents were related to a snow removal business for her friend.
During the trial, the court heard that Hubek was arrested not long after the delivery, walking down the street, hands covered in blue dye that spread when the packages were opened.
The dye was also in a partially filled bathtub with the boxes.
“Her involvement was not brief, peripheral or impulsive,” said Burdett.
“I can not agree with (defence lawyer Dave Johnson’s) characterization that Hubek was a dupe in this enterprise,” said Burdett.
“I accept that she was not the mastermind, but her role was integral in the drug trafficking operation.”