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Convicted B.C. drug trafficker sentenced to six years in prison

Fentanyl is "public enemy number one," said a B.C. Supreme Court judge.
A B.C. judge likened trafficking fentanyl to loading a gun and playing Russian roulette.

A Mission man has been sentenced to six years in prison for seven counts of drug trafficking involving methamphetamine, cocaine, fentanyl, ketamine, codeine, hydromorphone and morphine.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin convicted Scott William Cashman, 37, on May 30, 2022.

She cited an Alberta Provincial Court decision which said, “the trafficking of fentanyl is ‘almost the equivalent of putting multiple bullets in the chambers of a revolver and playing Russian roulette. It is the most efficient killer of drug users on the market today.’”

Devlin said the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team and Ridge Meadows RCMP executed a search warrant July 16, 2020 at a residence Cashman shared with Christopher Leigh Harmes.

Devlin sentenced Harmes to 11 years and 118 days on April 27. In that decision, Devlin cited police finding a “staggering amount of controlled substances and paraphernalia.”

In the Cashman case, Devlin said the warrant executed at residences in Maple Ridge and Mission was the culmination of an investigation into drug trafficking. Between April 1 and July 16, 2020, members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP conducted surveillance on Harmes, Cashman and the two residences, the judge said.

She said the Mission residence had security cameras outside. She said the system recording device and monitor were in Cashman’s bedroom.

“I found as a fact that the presence of the security system in Mr. Cashman’s bedroom supported a finding that he was a participant in the drug trafficking operation and took steps to ensure the safety of the valuable commodity inside the residence,” Devlin said.

Drugs and paraphernalia were found in the kitchen.

“I found this was the area where the bulk of fentanyl was prepared for distribution, by mixing it in a blender and adding blue food colouring,” she said.

In a closet, police found $102,725 in a black backpack.

Among the items seized from the Columbia Street residence were:

  • 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl;
  • 1.636 kilograms of methamphetamine;
  • 284 grams of cocaine;
  • 509 grams of ketamine;
  • 844 codeine pills;
  • 558 hydromorphone pills; and
  • 40 morphine pills.

The Crown had sought a nine-year prison term in total.

“The total value of the controlled substances was $524,930 at the wholesale level and $873,660 at the street level,” Devlin said.

“I found that the evidence established that the Columbia Street residence contained an ongoing drug operation of which Mr. Cashman was a participant,” she said.

She called Harmes the directing mind of the operation.

“While Mr. Cashman was not the directing mind, he was a trusted associate of Mr. Harmes and engaged in the supply-level trafficking operation that distributed a variety of harmful controlled substances, including fentanyl, or ‘public enemy number one.’” Devlin said.

And, that, the judge said, must result in “severe sanctions.”

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