‘This has been a huge mistake’

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Prison guard who attempted to sneak drugs into HMP apologizes

Former prison guard Ed Taylor was in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Tuesday for his sentencing hearing on charges laid after he was caught trying to smuggle drugs into Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A correctional officer who was caught trying to smuggle drugs inside the prison where he worked said he realizes what he did was wrong.

Now, Ed Taylor hopes to stay out of jail and get the chance to start over.

“I wish this court to know how much I regret getting involved in criminal activity,” Taylor wrote in a letter to the court.

“This has been a huge mistake on my part and I am firmly resolved to turn my life around.”

The letter was read aloud by defence lawyer John Kelly during Taylor’s sentencing hearing Tuesday at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.

In it, Taylor apologized to the court, his employer and his family. He said with the help of doctors and counsellors, he’s gained insight into his addiction problems and other mental issues.

The 32-year-old also said the birth of his son earlier this year has given him “a huge reason to remain a law-abiding person.”

“The future with him in it looks more than bright,” said Taylor, who wants to enrol in a heavy equipment course.

Taylor lost his job at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) last year when he was found with illegal and prescription drugs, along with other unauthorized items, that were destined for inside the prison.

The RNC investigation began Jan. 22, 2010, as a result of a tip that Taylor was smuggling drugs to inmates.

Surveillance was set up Feb. 22, 2010, when officers saw Taylor visiting the residence of well-known criminal Rene Seers on Campbell Avenue.

As a result, Taylor was searched by prison management when he arrived for his night shift.

They confiscated several items which are banned at the prison, including three cigarettes, a plastic bag with four pills, a crushed substance wrapped in plastic, a tube of super glue, a container of moisturizing lotion and a small pocket deodorizer. He was dismissed from his shift and asked to leave HMP.

His car was later seized by police and searched. Officers found a small quantity of marijuana, three ecstasy pills, 31 oxycodone, 38 morphine and five Clonazepam. There were 48 other pills which were not controlled substances, including Zopiclone and Quetiapine. There were also a lighter and rolling papers.

These items were contained in two prepared packages — one wrapped in newspaper and one in a magazine, which was taped up. They looked much like other packages often seen going inside HMP.

The street value of the drugs is: marijuana ($20 per gram), ecstasy ($4-$5 per pill), oxycodone 80s ($50-$90 per pill), morphine ($1-$1.50 per mg) and clonazepam ($10-$15 per pill).

However, these items cost significantly more inside HMP, where a cigarette is worth  $15-20, loose tobacco $100-150 per pouch, marijuana $200 for 1.5 grams, morphine $20 per pill, oxycodone $1 per mg, Percocet $10-$15 per pill and other pills $10-$15.

Taylor pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The drugs were marijuana, ecstasy, oxycodone, morphine and clonazepam.

He had already entered a guilty plea to breaching probation, which ordered him to abstain from drugs.

The condition was placed on him after he was convicted on a charge of assault causing bodily harm in June 2009.

However, Kelly said Taylor has made big efforts to improve his life this past year. He said he is getting help for his addictions to drugs and alcohol, and is being treated for bipolar, depression and ADHD.

He said Taylor has accepted responsibility for his actions and is remorseful.

Kelly said a conditional sentence would be appropriate so that Taylor can be in a better position to change his life.

He noted that being behind bars would have a negative psychological effect on Taylor, especially if he’s incarcerated at HMP, where he worked. Kelly said if Taylor is sentenced to jail, he will make a request to serve his time at a prison outside St. John’s.

“He was a peace officer and it might be harder than a civilian,” Kelly said.

However, the fact that he was a peace officer is the very reason why he should go to jail, Crown prosecutor Brenda Boyd said.

She said it was a breach of trust by a public servant.

“He had an obligation to protect the inmates and abide by the law,” Boyd said. “He clearly intended to do otherwise.”

She also pointed to the addictive nature of the drugs Taylor had.

She and co-Crown prosecutor Sheldon Steeves said a three-year prison term is the right sentence for Taylor.

Justice Wayne Dymond will render his decision Dec. 14.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Campbell Avenue, Percocet

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • kevin
    December 14, 2011 - 17:20

    how stupid was this man to think he could sell drugs to the inmates,,he wasen't the brightest star was he ?,,,i mean how STUPID could this person be ? to think that anyone of the inmates wouldn't squeel on him , if they bought drugs from him and didn't get a strong enought buzz from it,,,,,the judge should give him 5 years for ''stupidy'' if nothing else lol,,haa haaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Misty
    December 07, 2011 - 16:45

    Yes, I would like to know how prisoners can have that much money in their pocession while doing time.... imagine $15 for a cigarette...What else goes on in there? Maybe one way to clean up here would be making sure no money or gifts allowed..... hey! they are not on a retreat or vacation..... There is a simple way to clean up this mess.... and I do believe Taylor can turn his life around.... if he really wants too...BUT, if ever involved with the law again, he should be put away indefinite!!!! and...that's my 2 cents worth (for what its worth...

  • annonymous
    December 07, 2011 - 15:10

    What goes around comes around...hey Mr. Taylor....look what happens when you try to screw up other peoples lives!!!!

  • Rob
    December 07, 2011 - 14:16

    What street are you getting $15 for clonazepam? $1 maybe

  • Sailorman
    December 07, 2011 - 13:51

    He had a secound chance the first time he broke the law. He got probation and kept his job in the justice system. I don't know how, because for what he did he should have been fired. Now its time to throw the book at him and let him man up and do the time. And why shouldn't he do the time in the place that he was making corrupt in the first place.

  • nlcitizen
    December 07, 2011 - 12:28

    Everyone is one step away from jail. Anyone can end up in court . Don't throw stones while living in a glass house. Everyone has skeletons in their closets and if your circumstances changed suddenly you could end up in trouble very quickly. Forget the mightier than thou attitudes and realize that Police officers,politicians ,clergy, Military commanders , businessmen etc... have all fallen on the wrong side of the law. There are usually two sides to every story and you usually never hear the other side!!!!

    • mary
      December 07, 2011 - 21:01

      No, we are not all "one step away from jail" and not everybody "has skeletons in their closet". Many people have had their circumstances changed suddenly and have not ended up in trouble. This guy had a previous assault charge and should not have been allowed to be working as a prison guard. However, he was and he knew what he was doing was wrong. I agree with another commentor who questioned the responsibility in having a son at this time...

  • jim
    December 07, 2011 - 11:41

    mr taylor is scum and should be put in prision for 5 years so he can see how many lives he destroyed for money,i dont believe a word he says,he is a drug dealer of the worst kind and had he not been caught he would still be doing it,let him now pay for his own drugs behind bars

  • flexxa
    December 07, 2011 - 11:13

    ...on probation for a conviction of assault causing bodily harm - and this guy's day job is a prison guard? Kind of like getting the kids to mind the cookie jar don't ya think.

    • Ashmanaille
      December 07, 2011 - 14:41

      Exactly. How was this guy allowed to be a prison guard in the first place? What a terribly flawed system.

  • sealcove
    December 07, 2011 - 10:19

    Why should it be any different for him,do the crime do the time, they will say what it takes to stay out of prison,lawyer probably wrote the letter for him

  • Must be said
    December 07, 2011 - 09:42

    I hope Ed will enjoy the beginning of his new life in jail where he belongs. Now trying to do the right thing is funny. He never was a good guy and hard to believe now that just because of this he is going to change his whole lifestyle. I don't believe it for a second. He is no different then any other criminal out there that we all would be bashing in these comments. Ed did the crimes and should pay the time. Maybe his child will grow up to see well if daddy did that and went to jail maybe I should be different and behave!

  • Calvin
    December 07, 2011 - 09:30

    Give me a break, even a child is sorry for hitting his sister, if he gets caught.

  • FYET
    December 07, 2011 - 09:02

    Remorseful because he was caught! Would he have come forward otherwise? Furthermore, who would have a child knowing that there is a very good possibility they would be locked away for some period of time. Maybe to try and gain some sympathy with the justice system!! I hope the judge does right in this case and sets an example for others. I'm all for turning your life around but not before you do your time! What goes around always comes around.

  • Dee
    December 07, 2011 - 08:52

    He knows he did wrong but that was only after he got caught,would he still be at it if they never caught him,funny they all turn their lives around anything to stay out of jail.He was there to help people not to make friends by suppling them with drugs.What makes this guy any different from any other drug pusher? set an example I say

  • Dave
    December 07, 2011 - 08:52

    how did this guy get a job as a correctional officer to begin with?

  • Steve
    December 07, 2011 - 08:47

    Thanks for the insight Mrs. Taylor...err, I mean Justsayin.

  • DWH
    December 07, 2011 - 08:41

    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. Support mechanisms be damned. He took advantage of people in worse circumstances than his for personal gain. It's alright to say now that he sees the error of his ways. At what point would he have said that if he hadn't been caught?? Go see how the other half lives Mr. Taylor.

  • Justsayin
    December 07, 2011 - 07:59

    I hope and pray the court takes things into consideration. Ed Taylor is a good guy,who made a bad choice. He already has lost so much due to the bad choices, but as a friend I'm proud to see him turn his life around. Mr Taylor has an amazing family, huge support system, and since the birth of his son, a whole new lease on life. There are much bigger injustices that should be addressed then this. Praying fOr a great outcome so Ed can enjoy being a dad and a productive citizen who's life is finally his own again

    • fisherman from nl
      December 07, 2011 - 09:59

      JUSTSAYING your a moron anybody else bringing illegal stuff into HMP would be delt a strong blow from the justice system why is this scumbag so different,or do he offer u deals also, get a life JUSTSAYING

  • Eli
    December 07, 2011 - 07:37

    What! no pre-sentence hearing to give the judge advice?

  • second chances
    December 07, 2011 - 07:01

    I believe in giving everyone who trys another chance AND it appears to me Mr Taylor admitts to making these mistakes therefore one would think a judge would agree on giving this man a chance at getting his life back. Since he has a young child now and is getting help for his addictions. Good Luck Mr Taylor

  • darls
    December 07, 2011 - 06:54

    yesterday bi- polar today turning his life around....too late now to be sorry hey...do your time ..get your life together...for the sake of your child...by the way where do inmates get that kind of money in prison for drugs...please someone enlighten me cause i'm not getting that...do they get paid to be in prison...are the friends and family bringing it in...how do they get it....cheers...