Prosecutor calls for 2.5-year sentence for man found with almost $70,000 in Inuvik

Prosecutors are seeking a 2.5-year sentence for a first-time offender who was found with the proceeds of crime, amounting to nearly $70,000. The man's defense lawyer says he should be sentenced to house arrest with conditions.

Ali Ahmed Omar’s lawyer argues jail is not necessary

Prosecutors asked for a 2.5-year sentence for a 27-year-old man who was convicted of possessing money as proceeds of a crime. (David Thurton/CBC)

There was a wide gap between what the prosecutor is calling for and what the defense recommended during the sentencing hearing for a man found with $66,830 in drug money in Inuvik.

Ali Ahmed Omar, 27, was convicted of possessing the money as proceeds of crime. Three years ago, police found the cash in a room he was renting from the Arctic Chalet. In executing the search warrant, police also found a scale with cocaine residue on it, a knife and cell phones.

In court on Tuesday, the prosecutor called for Omar to be sentenced to 30 months in prison, plus a 10-year firearm ban. Omar's lawyer, Lonnie Allen, argued jail time is not necessary.

This is Omar's first criminal conviction, according to court documents.

Allen suggested a suspended sentence, including house arrest of six to 12 months followed by a year under curfew, three years probation and 150 hours of community service.

A suspended sentence allows a person to serve their time outside of jail as long as they abide by conditions imposed on them, such as a curfew.

A background report prepared for Omar's sentencing indicated he came from a good home, though he moved often.

His family moved from Kenya to Vancouver when he was an infant. He grew up in Vancouver, Fort McMurray and Edmonton.

Omar, who is out on bail, is currently working as a barber in Victoria, according to the pre-sentence report.

Chief Justice Louise Charbonneau is scheduled to give her decision May 26.