Fentanyl dealer who used North Van stash house gets additional jail time

A Gibsons man who was making a regular ferry commute to North Vancouver to sell fentanyl in a dial-a-dope drug trafficking operation will spend a further 16 months in jail, a provincial court judge has ruled.

Judge Joanne Challenger handed Colton Bram Davies, 25, a 32-month jail sentence in North Vancouver provincial court May 30, but gave Davies credit for time already spent in jail.

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Challenger handed Davies the sentence after he pleaded guilty March 31 to possessing cocaine and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and to possession of cocaine in June 2017.

In handing down the sentence, the judge said Davies’ “moral culpability in profiting from the sale of a substance he well knew to be deadly is very high.”

According to the court documents, Davies was first noticed by police in early 2017 when the vehicle he was driving was connected to suspicious activity believed to be drug dealing. Police began tracking Davies’ movements, and observed that between the end of April and June 6, 2017 he was frequently seen catching the first morning ferry from the Sunshine Coast and spending the day driving around the North Shore and occasionally heading into Vancouver and Burnaby.

Sometimes Davies would drive on to the ferry, wrote the judge. Other times he was picked up in Horseshoe Bay by others.

On June 2, 2017, Davies was put under surveillance where he and a co-accused were observed leaving a stash house in North Vancouver and engaging for several days in “behaviour consisteant with dial-dope trafficking” according to the judge.

Davies was eventually stopped and arrested June 13, shortly after one of his customers was also arrested.

Drugs seized from the vehicle, stash house and his home on the Sunshine Coast included over 30 grams of cocaine, 9.53 grams of fentanyl mixed with a fentanyl derivative and caffeine, $2,774 in cash, several cellphones, scales, cutting agents, score sheets and the rental agreement in his name for the stash house in North Vancouver, which the judge described as consistent with a “mid-level trafficking operation.”

“Most of the drugs were packaged in small quantities consistent with street level sales,” she added.

Davies’ defence lawyer said he had a troubled upbringing including substance abuse but had taken steps to turn his life around, including being certified as a fitness trainer, becoming involved in kickboxing and developing his own fitness business. Davies also practices Buddhism, which he began during the 10 months he was jailed following his arrest, said his lawyer, who asked for a sentence of time already served.

But Challenger said knowingly trafficking in fentanyl is a serious offence.

“There is simply no reasonable explanation for his failure in judgment in this regard, or for his callous disregard for the lives of those he trafficked to, except that his desire for easy money and easy access to drugs vanquished his humanity,” she wrote “. . . those who willingly and knowingly sell a substance with the clear potential to kill must be denounced.”

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