New Brunswick

2 more pot shop employees get discharges on drug charges laid after raids

Two people charged after police raided King Canna, the unsanctioned marijuana dispensary in uptown Saint John, have pleaded guilty to possessing the drug for the purpose of trafficking.

Kyle Vizino, Michael Scheerschmidt plead guilty to possessing cannabis for purpose of trafficking

Kyle Vizino, one of the employees of the King Canna medical dispensary who appeared in court Wednesday, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking. (Joseph Tunney/CBC)

Two people charged after police raided King Canna, the unsanctioned marijuana dispensary in uptown Saint John, have pleaded guilty to possessing the drug for the purpose of trafficking.

Kyle Vizino and Michael Scheerschmidt, both 29, became the ninth and 10th employees of medical marijuana dispensaries to receive discharges on charges laid after the police raids in the winter of 2017.

Scheerschmidt also pleaded guilty to trafficking. 

The raids on six medical dispensaries led to charges against 12 owners and employees.

Sentencing goes forward

Court was told that after undercover work by the Saint John police, Vizino and Scheerschmidt got caught up in the two days of raids.

Vizino, who originally pleaded not guilty to the charge, was working at King Canna during the Jan. 24, 2017, raid, while Scheerschmidt was working during the one that occurred March 21.

Scheerschmidt, who is serving jail time on another matter, walked into the courtroom in his orange jail garb and waved to his former co-workers. 

Vizino and Scheerschmidt were given conditional discharges on the drug charges and a year of unsupervised probation.

The two men were also ordered to keep the peace, behave and pay a $200 victim fine surcharge.  

Hampton-based lawyer Carley Parish acted for the defence as an agent for Victoria-based lawyer Kirk Tousaw. (Joseph Tunney/CBC)

Neither man can go near a dispensary that deals with the illegal sale of cannabis or participate in the preparation of THC products.

They were also banned from using firearms for 10 years, something Vizino was concerned about.

"That means I can't hunt for 10 years?" he could be heard asking Hampton-based lawyer Carley Parish, acting as an agent for Victoria-based lawyer Kirk Tousaw.

Others await trial dates

Lance Kangos, 45, Sarah Kirbyson, 27, two other dispensary employees, were also present in provincial court to get dates for their trials.  

Both Kangos and Kirbyson are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Kangos is also charged with one charge of trafficking.

Both charges are considered indictable offences.

Court was told Kirbyson may change her plea to guilty but is waiting for her lawyer to come to the Maritimes to argue for a conditional discharge.   

Parish asked for more time on behalf of Kangos.

"So he will not change his plea?" asked Judge Marco Cloutier.

"Not today," Parish responded.

Both matters were adjourned until the afternoon of Sept. 6.   

About the Author

Joe Tunney reports for CBC News in Ottawa. He can be reached at joe.tunney@cbc.ca

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