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Sentencing for N.S. sailboat captain caught smuggling cocaine delayed again


HALIFAX — The sentencing hearing for a sailboat captain caught smuggling 250 kilograms of cocaine from the Caribbean to a Nova Scotia boatyard has been delayed yet again.

Jacques John Grenier, facing charges of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and importing cocaine, appeared briefly in Halifax provincial court Tuesday.

Grenier had informed the court last month that he was changing lawyers, and defence lawyer Patrick MacEwen told Judge Michael Sherar Tuesday that he is now officially representing Grenier.

But MacEwen says he needs more time to review case materials, and the sentencing was delayed until April 10.

The hearing has been postponed several times, including when Grenier underwent surgery and was still recovering.

Federal Crown lawyer Glen Scheuer said he's not concerned by the repeated delays in Grenier's case.

"It's always preferable to have things proceed as quickly as possible," said Scheuer outside of court.

"This has been adjourned on a number of occasions, so we do have an interest in having this matter progress as quickly as possible, but sometimes these things do happen."

Scheuer said the Crown and defence are working towards an agreed statement of facts.

The Hubbards, N.S., man entered guilty pleas last November after the Canada Border Services Agency boarded the boat in September at a marina near Halifax.

A third charge against Grenier — conspiracy to import cocaine — has yet to be dealt with.

Officers had found several bricks of cocaine hidden inside a sealed bed frame on the Canadian-registered, eight-metre boat called Quesera, which had arrived from the small Caribbean island of Saint Martin.

Another man, Luc Chevrefils of Quebec, is facing charges including possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and conspiracy to import cocaine in the same incident.

Chevrefils is scheduled to be back in court Wednesday to enter pleas.

The agency said at the time that it was unusual to find such a large stash in a small boat.

The Canadian Press

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