Carlton man gets suspended sentence for allegedly dealing methadoneA Carlton man was given a suspended sentence of nearly five years Wednesday for second-degree felony possession of 100 methadone pills – but not before Carlton County District Court Judge Dale Wolf expressed reservations about it.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Carlton man was given a suspended sentence of nearly five years Wednesday for second-degree felony possession of 100 methadone pills – but not before Carlton County District Court Judge Dale Wolf expressed reservations about it.
Wolf’s concerns referred to the alleged fact that Robert James Vaillancourt, 48, was more than a man in possession of illegal drugs.
“[Vaillancourt] was caught with substantial amount of product and the complaint says he was the dealer,” Wolf said. “He has a very good plea agreement here.”
Wolf then said in addition to the agreement’s provisions, he’d like to add one, giving probation and law enforcement officers full access to enter Vaillancourt’s home at all reasonable times to check on him.
“I want them to be able to just walk in and say ‘how are you doing?’” he said.
In March, Vaillancourt pleaded guilty to the second-degree charge and had a charge of fifth-degree felony possession of marijuana dismissed as part of a plea agreement. He was arrested by Cloquet officers in late January.
In court, Carlton County Assistant Attorney Michael Boese said Vaillancourt could have gone to prison for this offense, but that it was his “first offense.”
Wolf disagreed, citing a drug charge for which Vaillancourt was convicted in 1985.
“He was moving quite a bit of drugs in our county and with prior offenses,” he said.
Wolf sentenced Vaillancourt to 57 months in prison, which was the top of the sentencing range. All 57 months were suspended and Vaillancourt will spend one year in treatment programs at Northeast Regional Corrections Center, five years on formal probation and will pay a $500 fine.
Vaillancourt, who has a criminal history including convictions for disorderly conduct, misdemeanor domestic assault and DWI, declined to speak at the sentencing.