A Sussex Corner man and woman charged with illegally owning several firearms and possessing methamphetamine for trafficking have changed their pleas to guilty — with the woman facing only one charge in the end.
Elizabeth Debow, 42, and Edward Debow, 42, were originally charged with matching sets of six offences after a search warrant was executed Jan. 7, 2017, at their Sussex Corner residence.
RCMP discovered 139 methamphetamine tablets along with two scales, baking powder, six unsecured rifles, one unsecured shotgun, one restricted 38-calibre revolver and one unsecured, prohibited 32-calibre pistol with the ammunition stored in the same nightstand.
The former husband and wife did not have a licence for any of the firearms.
Cannabis and cocaine were also discovered on the premises and another 13 methamphetamine tablets were found in Elizabeth Debow's purse.
"Pretty serious circumstances that led to her arrest," Crown prosecutor Jillian Jordan said. "Hopefully, she appreciates the break she's getting."
Charged with possession only
The couple had been scheduled to go on trial Friday on charges of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, contravention of storage regulations and four counts related to possessing unauthorized firearms.
But after the Crown and the defence came to an agreement, the charges against Elizabeth Debow were dropped and she was instead charged with the indictable offence of possession, because of the pills in her purse.
Uses meth to self-medicate
Jordan said Edward Debow told an officer he uses meth to self-medicate. He doesn't sell drugs, but he said he will help other people find the substances they're seeking.
Debow said the weapons were left to him by his father.
His lawyer and the Crown recommended a sentence of 30 months, which Judge Andrew LeMesurier warned he's not bound to accept. He'll deliver his decision March 7.
Debow's defence lawyer, Brian Ferguson, said he would be requesting a pre-sentencing report.
Elizabeth Debow's lawyer, Lisa Keenan, asked for a lighter sentence, pointing to her client's lack of a criminal record and the strides she's made to turn her life around, including separating from Edward.
Keenan and Jordan recommended probation of 12 months, and an order that Elizabeth keep the peace, take any counselling her probation officer suggests and refrain from possessing or consuming non-prescribed drugs.
The judge granted this request, offering the woman a suspended sentence with those conditions.
"Is there anything you want to say?" LeMesurier asked the mother of three.
"I'm not the type that does drugs," she said. "I just thought if I stooped to my ex-husband's level, things between us might be better."