A Victoria drug dealer, who was convicted of three counts of trafficking in 2017, appealed the decision claiming he took the wrong pouch of drugs after getting out of another drug dealer’s truck. That appeal was dismissed.
Rande Michael Brown told the courts he had bought drugs for personal use, but had left the pouch in an associate’s truck when he was dropped off at home. Brown rushed back to the truck to get his drugs but in his haste took the wrong pouch, which contained a much greater quantity of drugs.
Brown self-identified as a person struggling with drug addiction, and estimated he was spending approximately $1,000 per day to support his habit at the time of his sentencing in 2018.
“It is stretching credulity almost to the breaking point to imagine that a confessed drug addict would leave [the] vehicle to go into his own house without taking any of the drugs which he had allegedly just that moment purchased. This was not a bag of groceries from the corner store, after all,” wrote the trial judge.
Brown has battled with alcohol and drug addiction since he was very young, and had a short stint of sobriety before his infant son was killed in an accident.
Brown also reported an abusive upbringing and a problem in finding his own identity. Brown’s stepfather, who he said was abusive, was Aboriginal, and Brown believed until he was 16 that he was also Aboriginal, which was incorrect.
“He is not an Aboriginal person biologically, but it may well be true that some of the abuse that he suffered as a boy occurred because his stepfather lacked basic parenting skills due to the trauma which he endured as a result of his own Aboriginal status,” the trial judge wrote. However, sentencing principals usually reserved to reduce Aboriginal representation in the correctional facilities were not applied to Brown.
Brown received 34 months and 15 days for possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, 30 months for methamphetamine and 24 months for cocaine.
— With files from Nicole Crescenzi