Lisa McKinnon dabbed her eyes with a tissue before starting a seven-month jail sentence Friday for running a dial-a-dope operation.
The 23-year-old Kelowna woman kept her composure as a judge explained he had to put her behind bars even though she pleaded guilty, comes from a good home and is taking steps to curb her addiction.
"If I'm too lenient to (young women) . . . all I do is create a vulnerable class of drug trafficker," said Judge Vince Hogan. "I can't say to drug traffickers, 'find young women with no previous record.'
"They take advantage of your background, and everyone thinks (the courts) will be lenient to you so they can turn to the next young lady."
Police arrested McKinnon a year ago for selling heroin and crack cocaine from her vehicle. Investigators knew she's the daughter of Supt. Bill McKinnon, the officer in charge of the Kelowna detachment, and that her mother is also a Mountie.
They deliberately stayed quiet about the investigation until she was arrested and charged with three trafficking offences. Her parents were devastated by the news, Insp. Rick Flewelling said last year.
She stood and apologized Friday.
"I'm sorry for all the drama I've caused my family," she said, her voice shaking. "I do plan to go back to school and moving on with my life, which I couldn't do because I have charges pending."
RCMP got a tip last February that someone was dealing crack and heroin from a silver Infinity and green van. The Infinity, which was leased to Lisa McKinnon, drove around Kelowna and made several stops on Feb. 24. During one stop, an officer saw McKinnon exchange something with an apparent customer.
Police suspected she was delivering drugs after people ordered them by phone. Four days later, they watched her drive a green Dodge Caravan to several locations and talk to people briefly.
She parked the van in Mission Park mall just before 4 p.m. and appeared to send a text message, court heard. Minutes later, a young woman drove up, got out and made a hand-to-hand transaction with McKinnon through her driver's window.
Police arrested both women and seized McKinnon's two cellphones. The 19-year-old woman had a flap (one tenth of a gram) of heroin in her clothes and admitted she'd just bought it for $20.
Officers found five flaps of heroin in the van, 13 pieces of crack amounting to more than 15 grams, $675 in cash and score sheets with lists of drug prices.
One cellphone continued to ring. Each time an officer answered it, someone requested small amounts of crack or heroin.
Once out on bail, McKinnon left Kelowna to escape the stigma. A gossip website posted pictures of her and used vulgar language, said her lawyer, Shandra Corriveau, who argued for house arrest.
McKinnon had fallen into a bad relationship and started using heroin. By the fall of 2011, she got involved in low-level drug dealing to feed her addiction. She enrolled in the VisionQuest recovery program in Surrey after the arrest and has been clean for eight months, Corriveau said.
The judge said McKinnon was "a tiny cog in a big wheel" but lectured her for supplying addicts and damaging their families.
"Perhaps you were addicted at the time . . . but you're peddling poison and your addiction to other members of the community. The disease which corrupts and destroys you, you happily pass on to others. So it's extremely destructive."
McKinnon pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and to two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.
In addition to handing McKinnon a seven-month jail term, Hogan placed her on a year's probation, imposed a 10-year weapons ban and ordered her to submit a DNA sample.