FILE -- Then Thunder Bay Police Services' Criminal Investigations Branch Staff Sgt. Don Lewis, RCMP Thunder Bay detachment Commandeer Normand Roy and OPP regional commander Ron van Straalen
THUNDER BAY -- The ex-girlfriend of a local man accused of drug trafficking testified the accused told her he accumulated $1.2 million from drug dealing over a five-year period.
Marcel Breton, 48, faces charges of possession of cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of a prohibited weapon and laundering proceeds of crime.
Breton was arrested in December 2009 after a search of his Mapleward home and property resulted in the seizure of 120 grams of cocaine, 50 ecstasy tablets, 454 grams of marijuana and two grams of cannabis resin as well as $1.2 million in cash found buried in the ground in a Tupperware container.
Day 4 of the trial started at the Thunder Bay Courthouse with the testimony of Caroline Stone, Breton's ex-girlfriend.
Stone met Breton at Surprise Lake in the summer of 2013. She got to know him over the summer and the two started dating; Stone also eventually moved in with Breton at his Mapleward Road home.
She said she didn't know about Breton's charges when she met him, but once in a relationship, he discussed his charges with her.
Stone said Breton was "scrambling" and "desperate for help."
"He was grasping at straws," she told the court.
Breton also discussed the Tupperware container with the $1.2 million with Stone, who testified that Breton told her he accumulated the money over about five years through dealing drugs.
While the two were dating, Breton wasn't employed, but was on "welfare" and fixed vehicles for people once in a while.
Stone said she had witnessed Breton sell marijuana to a neighbour and that he told her he had $100,000 stashed in his mother's attic and there was money stashed all over the house.
Breton also told Stone that when his arrest made media reports and he saw the amounts of narcotics found during the search of his property, there was a kilogram of cocaine the police had missed.
Stone testified Breton told her he called someone to retrieve it and that it was sold.
The relationship between Stone and Breton ended when he physically assaulted her while "extremely intoxicated," Stone said.
During cross-examination, Breton, who is representing himself in the trial, questioned some of the specifics of Stone's testimony.
He questioned how a kilogram of cocaine could be missed by a search team of police officers including a canine team.
"That's what you told me," Stone replied.
"Seems far-fetched," Breton said before the judge asked him to refrain from commenting on the testimony.
Breton was found guilty of assault of Stone last month in provincial court.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.