Post #235

1200 words; 5 minutes to read

Jonathan Baglee  is currently attending Athabasca U with the aspiration of becoming a lawyer. www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-baglee.  This is the second part of his story; part 1 is here.  

I started using marijuana in high school and immediately became inspired by those selling it. Their status and the money they seemed to have motivated me to get involved. Our school’s dealers wouldn’t serve everyone, so I became an intermediary, purchasing marijuana with others’ money and taking a cut for myself. Not long after discovering this, I sought out my own bulk supply to further my schoolyard profits.

My friend’s older siblings would, from time to time, get us larger bags of marijuana.  I didn’t know those dealers, so I couldn’t simply go myself, but I knew where they lived. So, with what little money I saved, I sat outside of a house where I knew they sold marijuana, asking anyone who approached to middleman for me. After hours of awkward encounters and many strange looks, a senior from my school agreed to help. Success, or so I thought until he returned with a bag one-quarter the size it should have been.

Intent to persevere in a world I knew nothing of, I brought my undersized bag home and rolled it into enough joints to make my money back with a little extra.  Supplying the untrusted and unpopular kids, I quickly made my money back and found a reliable supply through my older cousin. With greater profit margins and a growing customer base, I established myself as a trusted schoolyard dealer, cementing my entry into the trafficking world where I sought to thrive.

Growing business, growing problems

In time, suppliers began to pursue me. I was in grade ten when my good friend’s older brother, Calvin, noticed my activities and hired me to sell his drugs. This new gig was a dream come true; cost decreased while quality increased. My established customer base ate up everything I had, and Calvin had more and more drugs to offer. Within a few months of meeting Calvin, I was going to school only to sell his hallucinogens, stimulants, and marijuana.

The profits came with a downside; with extra money, my own drug use skyrocketed. Ecstasy and ketamine became daily habits, and the dangers of the drug trade began to surface. One summer night, I awoke to pounding on my front door. I still lived at home, and my mother was unaware of my involvement in the drug trade. My mother and I answered the door, finding a frantic Calvin saying his little brother, my friend, was missing and he needed my help to find him. Neither my mother nor I suspected anything, so I left with him.

A bad moment

As we drove down a secluded trail in the midnight sun’s twilight, Calvin told me we were both in trouble. Some young kids were caught by their parents with our ecstasy. These kids knew a lot about Calvin, me, and Calvin’s source. We arrived at a picnic table in the bush and sat silently while Calvin’s boss spewed fury over kids as young as 12 being sold his drugs and knowing about his operation.

With tension mounting, I spoke up, pointing out that he was selling to an 18-year-old, Calvin, who supplied me, a 15-year-old. And I, in turn, supplied a friend, two years younger than I, who sold the ecstasy to the 12-year-old kids. Our supplier was ferociously mad, but the situation was diffused. Although I wasn’t harmed, nor was he armed, I went home terrified of being in such a helpless situation.  I drew two conclusions —my serve-anyone policy caused this, and I would never leave home again unarmed.

That incident now seems trivial, but it marked a change in my attitude—a fear and distrust of all enveloped me. At the same time, I didn’t want to return to who I was prior—a nobody walked on by everyone. I started slipping into the darkness of my trade, coping with heavy drug and alcohol use that made the beginning of each day worse until I ultimately dropped out of school to maintain drug sales. Violence became the bulwark against my feelings of inadequacy. What started as fighting for sport at school turned into attacking strangers for any perceived slight when drinking, and soon after, as described in my previous post, I unleashed my rage on a crowd of my peers, dowsing them with bear mace after they initiated a conflict.

Escalation

I was criminally charged but continued to sell drugs while awaiting trial and even excelled as my release conditions limited my drug and alcohol use, keeping me focused and clear from police. Eventually, as described in my previous post,  the case was resolved in my favour, and I felt unstoppable.

The following summer, 16 years old and fueled by whiskey, I broke into a friend’s house to party while he was away. Using the house phone, I called one of the people I had bear-maced to gloat about beating my charges. He propositioned me for a fight, but knowing I was in no condition to brawl, I accepted the invitation with no intention of attending.

Feeling like a comedic genius and overlooking the reverse phone number lookup, my friends and I continued drinking until a crowd big enough to surround the house appeared, pounding on the windows, doors, and walls. We hid quietly until it became apparent they weren’t leaving. Remembering the rifle I found in the closet, I exited the house armed with the gun and copious liquid courage, dispersing the crowd in moments.

Police arrived, and I attempted to hide once more, but when it again failed, I surrendered to the police, who then promptly took turns roughing me up after arresting me for drawing the gun on the crowd. Spotting the police car camera, I jokingly asked, “Is this going to be on the internet?” the arresting officer said, “Yeah, it’ll be called Baglee hits the big time.” But, to my surprise, the following day, I was released without charges or even admonishment. I was unsure why they didn’t charge me; maybe the police were protecting the homeowner from the repercussions of having an unsecured firearm, but one thing was certain: the police now knew me by name.

In a tough spot

Growing up, I didn’t like myself, and neither did my peers, but after I started drug trafficking, I found a persona I liked, and people respected me or at least feared me. However my addictions caught up to me, and my business started to suffer. I began stealing from unsuspecting customers, giving them bags smaller than they expected, as had happened to me. I had a growing debt to Calvin as I would be short each re-up. My health and physical appearance began changing as the constant drug use and regular fights took their toll, leaving me worn and weak, with an often swollen face. However, I was about to meet the future mother of my children, who would change my life forever.

About this blog: The John Howard Canada blog is intended to support greater public understanding of criminal justice issues.  Blog content does not necessarily represent the views of John Howard Canada.  All blog material may be reproduced freely for any non-profit purpose as long as the source is acknowledged.  We welcome comments (moderated).

 


Share:

Back