CK drug dealer gets 10 years

CK courthouse. Sept 30, 2019. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

A Chatham area drug dealer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of charges that stemmed from the largest drug bust in Chatham-Kent’s history.

Jonathan Toornstra, 36, originally from Dresden, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and unauthorized possession of a firearm on Wednesday morning.

Justice Gerri Lynn Wong told him “he earned every one of those years” as she handed down the sentence on Wednesday afternoon.

He was arrested April 10, during a police raid at a Chatham apartment. Officers seized $2.6 million worth of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. They also found a floor safe in his closet and a handgun with the serial number removed. The $52,000 in cash seized by police will be returned to benefit his two children.

Tim Mathany, the lawyer acting on behalf of the Crown, said lead investigator Constable Jeff Teetzel, recommended that the money go to Toornstra’s kids and not to lawyer fees.

“He did some work with the mother of the children and what their personal circumstances were. It’s a novel approach and Constable Teetzel is to be commended for an incredible job he’s done in this whole matter,” said Mathany.

Mathany said it’s the longest drug sentence in the municipality’s history.

“Those are quantities that you might only see in a big city but the aggravating circumstances where he had the floor safe with the gun obviously made it more aggravating,” Mathany added.

Mathany said he was looking for a sentence of 12 to 15 years but Toornstra got credit for not forcing a trial.

“It would have taken in my estimation probably two weeks of time for the preliminary hearing and probably two to three weeks in Superior Court and we might have got to it about 18 months to two years from now,” he said.

Toornstra has already spent the equivalent of 283 days in custody that will count towards his prison time. He had no reaction to his punishment and had nothing to say to Justice Wong.

Mathany told the court that Toornstra “has no concern about the effects of those drugs.”

His mother was in court for the sentencing hearing but declined to comment.