Dealer seen getting drugs on school property sentenced to five years in jail

Rosie Mullaley
Published on May 23, 2014

Lawyer Mark Gruchy speaks to his client Anthony Scott Ryan after Ryan was sentenced in provincial court in St. John’s today. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

A drug dealer spotted in a small community getting his supply of more than 700 prescription pills on a school parking lot has been given a five-year prison term.
Anthony Scott Ryan — of the Goulds area of St. John’s — was sentenced this morning in provincial court.

The 31-year-old was arrested after an incident Aug. 27, 2013, on the parking lot of St. Bernard’s School in Witless Bay.

At around 7:50 a.m. that day, a female employee arrived at the school and noticed a suspicious car parked in the parking lot. Nobody was inside.

When the woman saw that the car was still there at 3:30 p.m., she and a male employee approached the vehicle, opened the unlocked doors and popped the trunk.

Inside was a 22-calibre rifle and several syringes.

They immediately called the police, but before officers could get there, another car pulled up with Ryan, his girlfriend and another man inside.

The man got out, grabbed a package from the parked car and gave it to Ryan and his girlfriend, who sped off. The man then jumped in the parked car and took off.

The police managed to catch up to Ryan and his girlfriend and pulled them over on Route 10, entering Bay Bulls.

They found 719 1/2 prescription pills, including Oxycodone, codeine and morphine.

Ryan and the woman were taken into custody.

The woman, who was driving, initially faced charges, but they were eventually withdrawn. Police weren’t able to identify or track down the other man.

Ryan pleaded guilty to a total of 43 charges: 11 counts each of theft, breaching probation and breaching a recognizance; five counts of possessing illegal drugs (prescription pills) for the purpose of trafficking, two counts of possessing a weapon dangerous to the public and single counts of obstruction of justice, assault with a weapon and possession of hashish.

The thefts were all committed last fall — between September and November 2013 — at businesses in the metro area that include Cowan’s Optical, Petty Harbour Convenience, Walmart stores and Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. stores.

After his arrest, when Ryan was first brought to court, he was found to have a small quantity of hashish.

In sentencing Ryan to five years in jail, Judge Jim Walsh noted three years of the sentence were for the drug offences. He was given straight-time credit for the 160 days he’s already spent in custody.

The decision was the result of an agreed recommendation from Crown prosecutors Robin Fowler and Jennifer Colford and defence lawyer Mark Gruchy.

Ryan is no stranger to jail. His criminal record is 27 pages long and includes 37 convictions for theft. He’s also been convicted of fraud, assault and weapons-related offences.