A 40-year-old woman who was caught up in a drug trafficking investigation was sentenced to 12 months of probation for simple possession of fentanyl at Moose Jaw Provincial Court recently. 

Jennifer Shirtliffe was in a relationship with Merlyn Hodgson last April when police were investigating Hodgson for trafficking fentanyl. 

As part of the investigation, police conducted a traffic stop on April 24, 2023, after police followed Hodgson to a known drug house in Regina. A search of the vehicle found 14.9 grams of fentanyl. Shirtliffe was inside the vehicle and had 1.1 grams on her for personal use. 

A search of Shirtliffe and Hodgson’s residents turned up trafficking items such as scales, baggies, cell phones and lock boxes. Hodgson took responsibility for those items when he pleaded guilty to trafficking charges in October

Crown prosecutor Suzanne Young said, in a joint submission between the Crown and defence, that Shirtliffe was not violent, and was not profiting or engaged in Hodgson’s trafficking and was simply in possession of fentanyl. 

Legal Aid lawyer Suzanne Lalonde said Shirtliffe has been trying to get clean but relapsed and was seriously injured two years ago that still causes her a lot of pain and didn’t help when she relapsed. She said Shirtliffe had a small amount on her and simply got wrapped up in a serious situation because of her association with Hodgson. 

Judge David Chow agreed to the joint submission and sentenced Shirtliffe to 12 months of probation.