House arrest for student

Youko Leclerc-Desjardins charged with drug posession and disturbance of the peace

On March 29, Queen’s student Youko Leclerc-Desjardins, ArtSci ’07, pleaded guilty to charges of marijuana possession with the purposes of trafficking and possession of psilocybin, or magic mushrooms.

Justice Rommel Masse sentenced him to a 12-month conditional sentence, nine months of which he will spend under house arrest.

Leclerc-Desjardins, 21, can leave for school, work or therapy with only 30 minutes of travel time.

He’s allowed to attend the remainder of his classes, hand in assignments and sit for exams. He’s not allowed to have any visitors in his house.

For the entire week, Leclerc-Desjardins has three hours to get groceries and run other errands.

At the same hearing, he also pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of causing public disturbance and possession of a weapon.

Leclerc-Desjardins was found not guilty of charges of possessing morphine tablets and cannabis resin.

On May 26, 2006, along with $925 in cash, police seized 1,847.6 grams of marijuana, 87 grams of magic mushrooms, morphine pills, digital scales and a marijuana grinder at his apartment on Albert Street.

Leclerc-Desjardins said it came as a shock to him when cops appeared at his house with a search warrant.

“They knocked on my door, presented me with a search warrant and then just literally walked in,” he told the Journal.

“I was really cocky and didn’t care too much about hiding it because I never thought I would get busted. I thought I didn’t have enough for them to care.”

Following the search, the Kingston Police charged Leclerc-Desjardins and he promised to appear in court.

In a phone interview from his house, Leclerc-Desjardins said he’s trying to make the best of his circumstances.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I was a little disappointed but it could have been somewhat worse.”

The lucrative nature of drug dealing and the environment he was in lured Leclerc-Desjardins into selling drugs.

“Knowing the people that I did, the temptation was always there,” he said.

“It made more sense to do it than not to do it. It was such a tight-knit group that the risks were seen as minimal.”

According to court documents, an incident on Sept. 30, 2006 resulted in Leclerc-Desjardins being charged with causing public disturbances and possessing a weapon—a bent coat hanger.

He spent six days in Quinte Detention Centre.

“It was enlightening,” he said. “Everyone in there told me I didn’t belong there. I kind of took the hint.

“I figured I could do something with my life. I was squandering my life and I felt guilty about that.”

Right now, Leclerc-Desjardins said he’s focusing on school and hoping to graduate at the end of April.

“I wish none of it had happened, but other than that I’m doing the best out of the situation,” he said.

“I’m making it a positive opportunity for myself, because otherwise I’m screwed.

“I’ve learned a lot from this. Basically, if anything, it started me working on my personal issues that I was putting off. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past year.”

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