Mauro actually got his unwitting mother involved in hiding drugs. Photo:iStock.
Some children are a trial. Others become the trial.
The latter is the case in a recent B.C. Provincial Court sentencing hearing.
The child referred to is now 29-year old Christopher Mauro, who was convicted of possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to s. 5(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
What makes this case unlike other drug-trafficking cases is that Mauro actually got his unwitting mother involved in hiding drugs.
The circumstances of the case go something like this: on February 3, 2013, Mauro rear-ended a pickup truck in Port Moody, B.C. Shortly thereafter, Mauro called his mother to come to the scene of the accident.
When she arrived at the scene, he moved a grocery bag with about 1.3 kilograms of cocaine – worth around $100,000 – from his car to his mother’s car without saying anything to her about what was in the bag.
Not surprisingly, there was a hiccup. The pickup truck driver thought that Mauro’s behaviour was strange and snapped a picture of Mauro transferring the grocery bag to his mother’s car and then informed the police at the scene that something suspicious was going on.
Although Mauro’s mother had no idea about what was going on, she was arrested together with her son and charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Eventually the charges were dropped against her but the sentencing judge in her son’s case saw what happened to her as revolting.
Before judges in Canada hand down criminal sentences, they are required by section 718(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada to take mitigating (compassionate) and aggravating factors into account.
Judge Thomas S. Woods found Mauro’s involvement of his innocent mother a “significantly aggravating” factor.
Woods was so disturbed by what happened to Mauro’s mother that he scolded him by pointing out that: “he created a new form of jeopardy for the woman who gave birth to him, nurtured him as an infant, raised him as a child, celebrated his accomplishments, and his achievements, worried and fretted over his mistakes, and who has, since he committed his most recent and very serious mistake, been at his side.”
Woods went on to say: “Being the mother of a wayward child can be a very thankless experience…. Mr. Mauro’s actions on the day of the offence in seeking to improve his position at the expense of endangering his mother's position was a cowardly, self-serving, ungrateful act.…”
Woods then sentenced Mauro to two years and ten months in prison.
Mauro is appealing the conviction.