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General Principles


The quantity of drugs involved is relevant to the sentencing process: R v Sidhu, 2009 ONCA 81 at para 14; R v Kusi, 2015 ONCA 639 at para 14




First offender couriers who import large amounts of high-grade heroin into Canada for personal gain should expect to receive jail sentences in the 12 to 17-year range. Lesser amounts will often attract similar, if slightly lower, penalties: R v Sidhu, 2009 ONCA 81 at paras 14, 20; R v Deol, 2017 ONCA 221 at para 48



The appropriate range for first time offenders convicted of trafficking one kilogram of heroin is 9-11/12 years: R v Pannu, 2015 ONCA 677 at para 192; R v Kusi, 2015 ONCA 639 at paras 14-15



The appropriate range for offences involving trafficking of between approximately 0.5 to 1 kilograms of heroin is 6 to 12 years. A sentence of three years in such circumstancs is demonstrably unfit: R v DiBenedetto, 2016 ONCA 16 at paras 7-9





For couriers who are first time offenders and smuggle large quantities of cocaine (upwards of 3kg) into Canada, the appropriate sentence falls within the range of  six- to eight-years: R v Jackman, 2016 ONCA 121 [reference to Cunningham] at para 57

While the range for importers of multi-kilograms of cocaine is generally 6-8 years, a sentence for a youthful, first-time offender, convicted of importing close to 2kg of cocaine, of 5 years and 3.9 months, less credit for pre-sentence custody, is not unfit: R v Zeisig, 2016 ONCA 845 at para 13


The accepted range for conspiracy to traffic in cocaine for mid-level dealers trafficking in quantities that include the kilogram level is eight to fourteen years, but five years may suffice in appropriate circumstances: R v McGregor, 2017 ONCA 399 at para 13

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